So the annual play at my university is coming up and i wanted it to be on a novel i recently read. I'm ready to adopt it but the thing is that i wanted to know if i might encounter any trouble with the author. I've read the book top to bottom and found no warnings against my idea. I even searched her website but found no warning. Would i still face any restriction if i write a playscript and let it be produced by the university. I'd mention her name and give full credits of the inspiration to her.
Copyright law covers the creation of derivative works. This is important to authors. For instance, if someone wants to make a movie of a novel, they have to pay the author for a license to create a derivative work. So, you need permission from the copyright holder to create a play based on a book.
Also recognized that they may be reluctant to give permission for less than the full potential value of such an adaptation, since it would diminish their chances of selling the play adaptation rights again. Thus is may not matter that you are not intending to make money off your adaptation yourself. But ask them, because it is up to them what rights they will license.
IANAL, so consult competent counsel to be sure. More information here: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ14.pdf