Performance Poet. Playwright. Pop Culture Critic. Philanthropy Professional.
Nicole M. Young is a performer, poet, playwright, director, event producer/curator, and nonprofit professional with over 20 years of experience combined in these areas. Nicole has worked across various disciplines, including theatre, poetry, and classical music. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Nicole currently resides in Northern Connecticut and works in Western Massachusetts.
Nicole recently released her debut spoken word album, In/Put: Live from the Valley, which was recorded at CLICK Workspace in Northampton, MA in 2018. Proceeds from the album were used to create a fellowship program for emerging women and nonbinary writers of color through Straw Dog Writers Guild.
As an actor and playwright, Nicole trained with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada and Ping Chong and Company. Her play, get (t)his!, received a 2009 James Baldwin Memorial Playwriting Award from the Five Colleges Multicultural Theater Committee and has since been produced in Michigan and New York City. Nicole recently returned to the stage after an almost 20 year hiatus from acting in the role of Marian in Real Live Theatre's production of Harrison David Rivers' When Last We Flew.
As a writer, Nicole fills and completes the spaces for those whose presence is absent or invisible in mainstream media, especially women of color. Nicole's plays focus on the unique relationships that might develop between people if they listen to one another. Nicole’s poetry is autobiographical, and she has performed her poetry at venues across New England and Michigan, including Augusta Savage Gallery (UMass Fine Arts Center), The Collected Poets' Series at Mocha Maya's (Shelburne Falls, MA), Luthier's Co-op (Unbuttoned Series), Easthampton City Arts' Cultural Chaos, Whitney Center for the Arts (Pittsfield, MA), Wistariahurst Museum and the inaugural Dwellings Arts Festival. Her blog, CoCo's Culture Corner, is an attempt to understand the world around her and how people like her fit in it. Through her writing, Nicole explores the gaps within human interaction as an attempt to prove that we can all get along and respect one another.
Nicole earned a Bachelor of Theatre Arts from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Management from Wayne State University and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and will be starting the doctoral program in Higher Education Leadership and Organizational Studies at Bay Path University in the Fall of 2020. She is a member of the Straw Dog Writers Guild and Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity's Alumnae Association, regularly collaborates with Attack Bear Press and serves as producer for Valley Society's monthly livestream series, Black Writers Read. Nicole works in grantmaking and also teaches composition at several universities in New England.
Nicole is currently working on a memoir on the challenges of dating and several plays along with continuing her blog.