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Photo Credit: Andrew McAllister

Plays & Publications

Some of Nicole's plays & publications include...  


Playwriting and Young Audiences: Collected Wisdom and Practical Advice From the Field  by Matt Omasta and Nicole Adkins, Intellect Ltd., 2017.


"From the success of Matilda on Broadway to the 2015 revival of Annie in movie theaters, it’s clear that theater with and for young people has widespread and enduring appeal. Despite this, there is no contemporary guide designed for playwriting for youth in professional and educational contexts.

In Playwriting and Young Audiences, Matt Omasta and Nicole B. Adkins put this right. Providing a range of perspectives, the book collects the practical advice and wisdom of seventy-five artists and practitioners. It is a deeply poignant account of those who have dedicated their lives to work that applauds the dignity and depth of young people." (Intellect Ltd.)

A Companion to Children's Literature (Wiley Blackwell)

Karen Coats, Deborah Stevenson, and Vivian Yenika-Agbaw. Contributed an essay to the "Part III: Contemporary Trends and Texts" section. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2022. 

The Bloomsbury Introduction to Children's and Young Adult Literature by Karen Coats. Contributed an essay to the "Drama, Film, New Media, Oh My!: Children's and Young Adult Literature on Stage and Screens" section. Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. 

A Sick Day for Amos McGee  (3f/m, 35-40 minutes, grades PK-2) "Adapted for the stage from the picture book written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead. Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In this heart-warming story about the joys of friendship, Amos McGee knows friends can come in all sorts of species, too. Every day, Amos visits his animal friends at the zoo, playing chess with an elephant, reading stories to an owl who’s afraid of the dark and caring for a particularly shy penguin. One day, though, Amos doesn’t show up! What will the animals do to repay the kindness shown to them by their friend? Lively and engaging puppets were designed for this show in conjunction with the work of our playwright." Commissioned as part of the Kindness Project. Premiered at Children's Theatre of Charlotte May 29-June 9, 2019. Directed by Melissa Ohlman-Roberge.


Commedia Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (longer version: 2f, 2m, 55-60 minutes; shorter version 2f, 2m, 1f/m, 20-25 minutes; grades K-5)

A rambunctious group of traveling actors decides to perform the famous fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. This liberated-princess re-imagining features masks, slapstick comedy, and a healthy dose of silliness in the Commedia dell'Arte tradition. Premiered at the Children's Theatre of Charlotte as part of WonderFest in January 2017; tours September 2016-June 2017. Directed by CarlosAlexis Cruz.


The Lion and the Little Red Bird (1f, 1m, 1m/f, 35-40 minutes, grades PK-2)

"Adapted for the stage from Elisa Kleven's beautiful picture book of the same title, this story of an inquisitive bird and a good- hearted lion follows their unfolding friendship as the Little Red Bird sets out to discover why Lion’s tail keeps changing colors.  Told with an imaginative mix of actors and puppets." Premiered at the Children's Theatre of Charlotte in October, 2014, and subsequently toured to schools in and around Charlotte, NC.  Directed by Mark Sutton. Remounted 


The Adventures of Iris and Walter (3-9f, 3-9m, 50-55 minutes, grades K-5)

Adapted for the stage from four of Elissa Guest-Haden's tender and lyrical early readers series about the characters Iris and Walter, Iris and Walter, Iris and Walter and Rose, Iris and Walter and Cousin Howie, and Iris and Walter: True Friends. Produced as part of the Hollins Legacy Series and Hollins / Mill Mountain Festival of New Works in January / February 2015 at Hollins University and Mill Mountain Theatre. It also toured to schools in and around Roanoke, VA.  Directed by Ernest Zulia.


The Lost Princess (5f, 2m, plus an ensemble of flexible size/gender, 75-80 minutes, grades 4-8)

Historical drama. It is Vienna in 1888. After the death of her mother, Anna is sent to live at the Schönbrunn Palace with her embittered aunt and her uncle, a Royal Guard. Required to pose in public as one of the Arch Duchesses, Anna finds herself not only entangled in palace politics, but on the verge of discovering dark secrets about her true identity. The Lost Princess was a winner of the 2011 National Waldo M. and Grace C. Bonderman Playwriting Workshop and was featured in a rehearsed reading at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, Indianapolis.  Directed by David Saar.


Iphicles: A Greek Dramedy (7f, 7m, plus an ensemble of 4 or more flexible gender, 65-70 minutes, young adult) 

Musically gifted teen mortal Iphicles has always struggled with life in the shadow of his twin brother, the demigod Heracles. When the violent death of his mentor at Heracles' hands is labeled a terrible accident, Iphicles decides to seek his own justice. Meanwhile, a young woman believes that Iphicles holds the secret to saving her father, and the changeable Gods can’t help but meddle in the lives of their earthly play-things. Won second place in the Marilyn Hall Youth Theatre Awards, received a staged reading in October 2011 at University of Utah in Logan, UT. Directed by Matt Omasta.


Goggles (3f, 3m, 5m/f, flexible cast from 5-10 actors, 50-55 minutes, grades 3-6)

Kellen wants Mega Game Goggles for his birthday more than anything, but his mom can't afford them. When he finds a pair his classmate has lost, how far will he go to keep his prize?


Keepers of the Artifacts  (2f/2m, 50-55 minutes, young adult)

Far in the future after The Last War, Ayla lives in a world where creative expression is punishable by death and the United World Government keeps a close eye. After seven years of mandated schooling, Ayla returns to her childhood home to live with her Grandfather, only to discover that his views and practices may not be entirely legal. Keepers of the Artifacts received two staged readings in October, 2013. One was a residency workship which occured at the University of Utah in Logan, UT.  It was directed by Matt Omasta. The other took place as part of the SkyPilot New Works Festival in Los Angeles, CA, and was directed by Lois Weiss.


The Story Club (3f/1m, 45-50 minutes, young audiences)

Ivy is used to being the Queen of the Story Club.  Everyone agrees she’s the best storyteller - that’s why she gets to make up the stories and cast the parts.  But the Queen’s subjects are getting restless: little brother Charlie won’t stop practicing karate, her friend Justine starts to get ideas of her own, and the clever new neighbor arrives just in time to take over Fairy Land!

Read an excerpt, or order it from YouthPLAYS now.


Herby Alice Counts Down to Yesterday (flexible cast size, 3f, 3m, 4-25m/f, 35-40 minutes, grades 5 and up)

Middle School rocket scientist, Herby Alice, has ambitions as big as the universe, and no time for interviews.  Meanwhile, media hopeful Rose Plum needs a juicy story to get in good with the school broadcast elite.  How far is she willing to go, to be a star? Or will mad scientists, aliens, befuddled teachers, demanding executives, and the space-time continuum overrun the show?

Read an excerpt, or order it from YouthPLAYS now.


Up From the Lunar Surface (3f, 3m, 55-60 minutes, adult audiences)

Comedy of Manners. Susannah’s marriage is falling apart, she’s not getting any younger, and she’s supposed to be hosting the party of the British season. Or is it Antebellum South?  Or perhaps a French drawing room? Who knows, when everything has turned so upside down? As long as the brie arrives on time, the peasants don’t frighten

the guests with their potato-sack dresses, and Susannah doesn’t drown herself in the punch bowl, everything is sure to turn out alright... Premiered August 2010 at Studio Roanoke in Roanoke, VA.  Directed by Jeff Goode.


While Dinner Grows Cold (2f, 1m, 10-12 minutes, middle grade/high school audiences)

Pablo, a creative young teen, works to keep his little sister imaginatively and socially engaged despite the unraveling of their family structure, while their older sister struggles to fulfill a more grounded role. Premiered at the October 2014 Red Eye Coast-to-Coast Play Festival.


Holding (4f, 4m, 10-12 minutes, high school audiences)

Four teens await their fates in the break room of a police station, after being caught at a park drinking past curfew. Premiered in February, 2015 as part of Great Expectations: A Collection of Short Plays About Parental Pressure, at Cherry Creek Highschool in Aurora, CO. Directed by Eric Eidson. Read an excerpt, or order it from YouthPLAYS now.


Out Post (2 f, 8-10 minutes, available in anthology Pushed, for high school audiences)

When Cruz incurs serious social fallout after posting a picture of herself and her unpopular girlfriend online, her sister refuses to get involved. Cruz struggles with personal responsibility – is it her fault the world is so unfair, or did she go too far this time? And will her big sister ever step up and protect her? Read an excerpt, or order it from YouthPLAYS now.


Andy and Chrys (1f/1m, 6-8 minutes, available in anthology Aesop Refabled, for middle grade audiences) A hotshot basketball player has no doubts that impressing the pretty girl in the wheelchair will be a slam-dunk. However, when he underestimates her, it may just cost him the game. Based on Aesop’s fable The Ant and the Chrysalis.

Read an excerpt, or order it from YouthPLAYS now.

Prom Ninja (2 f/1m, 12-15 minutes, available in anthology Please Say Yes: Short Plays about Promposing, for high school audiences).

Though everyone around her seems to have come down with prom fever, overachiever Nina refuses to join the crowd. While Justin musters the courage to prompose, Colby hunts for the perfect date, and Sergio livestreams his shirtless roller-skating journey toward his intended promposee, Nina struggles to stay focused on her deadline and finding the perfect angle for the prom yearbook story...but that may mean joining the crazy. Read an excerpt, or order it from YouthPLAYS now.

Photo Credit: Donna Bise
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