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Nicole Sterling caught the theatre bug at age five when she saw a high school production of Oliver! starring her older brother as Fagin. At that moment, she found her home in the theatre, unlike her brother who never got on stage again. Now an actor, director, choreographer, arts administrator, and educator in the Columbus, Ohio area, she has been working in professional theatre for almost two decades.

As a performer, Nicole appeared in the world premiere of the Stephen Sondheim musical Bounce (since re-titled Road Show) under the direction of Harold Prince and is featured on the original cast album. Other world premieres include Stephen Flaherty’s A Long Gay Book (since re-titled Loving Repeating) under the direction of Frank Galati and The Donner Party (since re-titled Meet Your Mountain) by Eric Rockwell and Margaret Rose. Nicole has performed on stages across the country, including Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre, The Kennedy Center, The Goodman Theatre, Sacramento Music Circus, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Arvada Center, Sacramento Theatre Company, Stages St. Louis, and many more. Among her favorite roles are Nancy in Oliver! (of course…), Sister Mary Downy in Disaster!, and Aldonza in Man of La Mancha. 

As a director and choreographer, Nicole has worked on professional and youth productions, benefit concerts, and cabarets across the regions, including with Utah Shakespeare Festival (Playmakers, Bardway, Baby!), Columbus Children’s Theatre, CATCO, and Sacramento Theatre Company (Main Series and over a dozen Cabaret Series productions).

While currently focused on the artistic side of theatre, Nicole is also an accomplished arts administrator, having raised millions of dollars for non-profits. She served as Sacramento Theatre Company’s Development Director for three years, as well as the Associate Director of Development at the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival for three years.

Nicole has a passion for education, having taught voice, acting, and arts administration for elementary to college-aged students. She has created courses and taught for five seasons within Sacramento Theatre Company’s highly-respected School of the Arts and adjudicated the annual High School Shakespeare Competition on the campus of Southern Utah University for six years (a campus where she also served as a guest lecturer in arts administration). She currently works with Hilliard City Schools and the CAPA Marquee Awards program and teaches private lessons and master classes for young performers in-person and virtually throughout Columbus and beyond.

Nicole is a proud member of Actors’ Equity. She holds a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from The Ohio State University and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre and a Music Theatre Certificate from Northwestern University.

Headshots by Lucas Blair Photography