Nicole graduated from Fordham University at Lincoln Center with a BA in Theatre, and has worked as a professional actor in regional theatre, educational touring companies, and Theatre for Young Audiences. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association. Her love of teaching came when she performed at the Kaleidoscope Festival in Aberdeen, Scotland. At the festival, she was given the opportunity to teach some local youngsters an acting workshop, and realized that she may have found her calling
Nicole was hired to teach drama at PS#3 by The Jersey City Public School District in 2004. It was there that she founded the nationally award winning Conwell Kidz Drama Program.
The Conwell Kidz Drama Program has been highlighted on ABC, CBS, News12 NJ, NJ.com, the Jersey Journal and others. They have also performed at community events such as Mayor Fulop’s Inauguration, All about Downtown Festival, I Love JCPS festival, Van Vorst Park Children’s Festival, and The Hoboken Arts Festival. The Conwell Kidz have also won top honors at The National Performing Arts Festival in Walt Disney World, FL as well as The Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, GA. Students have piloted productions with iTheatrics, Disney Musicals, and Musical Theatre International. The Conwell Kidz recently launched the national release of Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Treehouse: Pirates Past Noon at the prestigious New Works Festival in Atlanta, GA.
The program has received national recognition, but, more importantly, has created an alumnus of students who return back time and time again and recall the program as their greatest memory.
In 2016, Nicole was hired by The Jersey City Public Schools Arts Department to direct the district in their first ever district musical production. Over 150 students auditioned for this production in which 50 students from 26 schools were selected through an audition process. In March 2016, the musical Les Miserables had a successful run at NJCU to an audience of over 2,000 parents, community members, JCPS staff members, students, the JCPS District Superintendent, Dr. Marcia Lyles. Broadway producer Ken Davenport, who attended the production wrote “Super kudos go to Jersey City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Marcia V. Lyles and Les Miz Director Nicole Oliver for making this production happen. The future of the theater is in good hands, thanks to people like you.”
Nicole was nominated for The Carnegie Mellon Excellence in Theatre Award presented by The Tonys. Last January, she was the recipient of the Freddie G Teacher Fellowship through iTheatrics, MTI, Disney Musicals, and theatrical guru Freddie Gershon. Last summer, through the fellowship, she studied under the tutelage of Broadways finest, including director Jeff Calhoun and choreographer Chris Gatelli. Her program also received a generous $5,000 grant from the Gershons. Nicole was the 2016-2017 JCPS District Teacher of the year. Jersey City is the second largest school district in the state.