DGF Fellows Program Playwriting Chair
Hailed by Variety as “thoroughly convincing”, Los Angeles-born, OBIE Award-winning actress and writer Nikkole Salter arrived onto the professional scene with her co-authorship and co-performance (with Danai Gurira) of the Pulitzer Prize nominated play, In The Continuum (ITC). For its Off-Broadway run at Primary Stages and the Perry Street Theatre and for its US State Department and Bloomberg sponsored international tour, Ms. Salter received an OBIE Award, and the NY Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Award for Best New American Play, the Seldes-Kanin fellowship from the Theatre Hall of Fame, and the Global Tolerance Award from the Friends of the United Nations to name a few. Ms. Salter also received Helen Hayes and Black Theatre Alliance nominations for Best Actress for her performance. ITC, published by Samuel French, was pro-nounced – by New York Times, Newsday and New York Magazine – as one of the best plays of 2005 and was featured in numerous esteemed media outlets including Essence Magazine, American Theatre Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and NPR’s Leonard Lopate Show. ITC has received over 20 productions across the world to date.
As an actress, Ms. Salter can be seen in Gavin O’Connors feature film “Pride & Glory” starring Ed Norton, Colin Farrell and Jon Voight, and heard as the voice of ‘Laticia’ in Rockstar Games’ video game release, Midnight Club: Los Angeles. Ms. Salter has received an Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in TONY winner Kenny Leon’s production of Stick Fly co-produced by Arena Stage (Washington, DC) and the Huntington Theatre (Boston), starred in the role of ‘Cookie’ in the West Coast Premiere of OSCAR winner Tarell McCraney’s play Head of Passes at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (dir. Tina Landau), was featured in Harold Jackson, III’s independent film Last Night (winner of the Audience Award for Best Film and the Grand Jury Prize for best Screenplay in the 2015 American Black Film Festival), starred as Lady Macbeth in TONY-nominated Liesl Tommy’s controversial production of Macbeth at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC, and in a recurring role in Forest Whitaker’s new series, Godfather of Harlem. Ms. Salter was most recently seen originating a starring role in McArthur Genius Award, TONY nominated playwright Dominique Morisseau’s new play Mud Row, as ‘Sally Childress’ (a fictional character based on the real Geraldine Whittington) and Coretta Scott King in the Broadway production of Robert Schenkkan’s play The Great Society, and starred in the 3rd season of ‘New Amsterdam’ as Isabel Sarasa, the hospital’s Chief Equity Officer. Once COVID is contained, she will return to the Huntington Theatre to originate the role of ‘LaVinia Shaw Williams’ in the world premiere production of Kirsten Greenidge’s Our Daughters, Like Pillars.
As a dramatist, Ms. Salter has written 8 full-length plays, been commissioned for full-length work by 6 institutions, been produced on 3 continents in 5 countries, and been published in 12 international publications. Her work has appeared in over 20 Off-Broadway, regional and international theatres, and the Crossroads Theatre production of her play Repairing A Nation (directed by Marshall Jones, III) was regionally aired during the second season of the WNET program “Theatre Close-Up”on NYC’s channel THIRTEEN, WLIC, NJTV. The National Black Theatre production of her play Carnaval was nominated for 7 AUDELCO awards including Best Playwright and Best Production and won for Best Ensemble Performance. Ms. Salter is a 2014 MAP Fund Grant recipient, a Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference semi-finalist, USA Fellowship nominee, a two time Playwright’s of New York (PoNY) Fellowship nominee, is currently working on a commission from Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
Amid an emerging acting/writing career, Ms. Salter’s deep sense of social responsibility led her to co-found (with NSangou Njikam) and serve as Executive Artistic Director of THE CONTINUUM PROJECT, INC., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that creates innovative artistic programming for community empowerment and enrichment. Their first bi-annual endeavor, The Legacy Program: Residency – an arts education, youth development initiative – launched in 2009 at the William Alexander Middle School in Brooklyn, NY. The Continuum Project, Inc. received the 2010 and 2011 Brooklyn Arts Council Regrant Award (Local Arts), a grant funded by the New York Council on the Arts’ Decentralization Program, in support of the LP: Residency. Ms. Salter as the Exec. Art. Dir. of the CP and conceiver of the Legacy Program was featured on WBAI 99.5 FM’s “Talkback with Hugh Hamilton” in NYC and was featured on the nationally broadcast PBS series, “Finding Your Roots,” hosted by Harvard Professor Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The Legacy Program was most recently in residence at the Harlem School for the Arts and continues at its flagship site in Brooklyn.
Ms. Salter is an active member of the Actors Equity Association, the Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the Actors Center; and sits on the Council of the Dramatists Guild and serves as Chair of the Board of the Theatre Communications Group. She received her BFA in theatre from Howard University under the instruction of Al Freeman, Jr. and Sybil Roberts; and her MFA from New York University’s Graduate Acting Program under the tutelage of Zelda Fichandler and Ron Van Lieu. Ms. Salter is currently the Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts within Howard University’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.