About me ...
At the age of seventeen, Tolley founded his own youth theatre group and discovered that he had a natural skill for directing. In the ten years that he ran the group, it grew from its humble beginnings in a village hall to performing sell-out shows in professional venues. During this time he directed many different shows. His role as director included; taking notes and incorporating them into the production and leading technical rehearsals, ensuring they ran efficiently and smoothly for all departments. He is willing to consider change and adapt ideas whenever issues arise. He enjoys the challenge of line managing different departments whilst retaining overall responsibility for creative vision. Tolley feels it appropriate to be friendly and approachable whilst working with people on a production whilst also maintaining a professional persona. He has learnt to effectively communicate with other creatives, young cast members and their parents, ensuring a smooth and successful production.
Tolley has a wealth of experience in directing both adults and children but the one production that taught him the skill of strong leadership and the importance of a clear plan was a Christmas production based around the Nativity with a cast of two hundred children under the age of seven and sixty adults. This helped him develop crucial communication skills with a keen eye for detail.
Tolley gained a 2:1 Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from The University of Plymouth. This gave him the opportunity to work with people of all ages and to lead groups of various sizes. It also enabled him to work independently and to appreciate the importance of good time management.
Tolley has recently completed his Master of Arts in Creative Practice and Directing at Guildford School of Acting (GSA) on the Musical Theatre Creation pathway. During his time on the course, he has been fortunate enough to work with leading professionals in the industry enabling him to perfect his skills and techniques. Whilst working collaboratively on productions during his industrial placement, Tolley has had the opportunity to implement ideas that the director has needed to be communicated to the cast or other creative members.
The Phantom of the Opera 2015
He has a particular interest in the works of Stanislavski, Merlin and Strasberg and has incorporated their ideas into his rehearsals whilst still maintaining his own directorial style. Tolley has also been a drama teacher at Stagecoach Performing Arts School, where he taught children from six to eighteen years old, different acting techniques.
During his time with his own company, and that with GSA, Tolley has learned how to successfully implement the audition process, run and maintain productive rehearsals and attend weekly production meetings. Tolley works effectively as part of a team but also has the ability to work independently. He is not afraid to take risks and can manage groups of people to achieve a collective goal. He is now ready to further these skills and face new challenges.
As an upcoming director, Tolley has a real enthusiasm and passionately believes in the importance of making shows accessible to all, striving to protect the joy of live theatre. The company he founded is proof of his determination to create entertaining musical theatre for people of all ages
Tolley has a current DBS check, is a licensed chaperone and is first aid trained.