Nicole Jost writes strong female characters who advocate fiercely for their rights and desires.
The power of her voice first became apparent to YPT in 2002 when she wrote The Fear and The Pope as a sophomore in the In-School Playwriting Program at Wilson High School. That play featured the exploits of two criminal masterminds as they balanced the promise of love against the possibility of a life of wealth and power.
Jost says of her first experience writing with YPT, "I loved the freedom to write about anything I wanted. We never had to get into a debate about content. It was so freeing and wonderful. Before YPT I had never done writing for fun before." Prior to her work with YPT Nicole had only been exposed to musical theater. Inspired by her new experience, she became a Producer with the Wilson Players and advocated forcefully for more politically relevant productions. "Nothing stuffy," she said. "I pushed for Kushner and Vonnegut."
In 2004, YPT contacted Nicole again and requested her permission to make her play part of the Express Tour. Although she was honored, the 18-year-old Nicole found it difficult to relate to her own writing from just a few years before. "It was so clearly from a 15-year-old’s point of view," she said.
Although she is critical of her own writing as a high-schooler, she is beaming with pride about the work of her own students. As an Intern this summer with YPT, she co-taught the Dramatics program at Bell Multicultural High School. "I gotta say, looking at my play compared to how the Bell students wrote, I was kind of a moron."
Very few would agree with this assessment. Nicole is now a senior at the University of California, Santa Cruz, studying Theater and Cultural Politics, a major of her own devising. In her latest work, Finding Love in Any Kingdom, Nicole cleverly uses the fairy tale genre to reveal enduring truths about love across conventional boundaries. Nicole doesn’t pull punches when making a point.
To quote a character from her 2002 play, she’s an "intelligent and resourceful woman. I suggest you show the appropriate respect for her abilities."