University of Toledo

Breakthrough > To A Greater Degree: Nolan's Story

Photo of Nolan - Theatre major
Breakthrough To A Greater Degree Photo of Nolan - Breakthrough To A Greater Degree

Nolan was deeply involved in his high school theatre program. He was well-acquainted with the school's theatre director and teachers and had a tight network of fellow student-actors. So when he began college at a large state school majoring in political science, the experience was a big culture change.

"At a larger school it's very common to feel like you're just another face in the crowd," he explains.

Since transferring to The University of Toledo, I've felt like I have more opportunities to make a name for myself. UT is the best fit for me as a theatre major.
Quote signed by Nolan
Theatre major, College of Arts and Letters '17
Following his freshman year, Nolan re-examined his interests and his options and made the decision to transfer to The University of Toledo to study theatre. The change allowed him to pursue his passion for acting; moved him closer to home, making it easier to prepare for auditions; and made college substantially more affordable thanks to the scholarships he earned.

"It was a breakthrough moment in my life as I decided this is what I wanted to do with my life," he recalls. "I knew this is what I was passionate about."

Nolan has immersed himself in UT's Center for Performing Arts, enabling him to connect with other actors, network with faculty, and prepare for audition opportunities.

"At UT I have felt more a part of the college community than I ever have before," he says.

This spring, Nolan will play Seymour, the lead role in the Department of Theatre and Film's production of "Little Shop of Horrors." UT also has given him opportunities to appear in professional productions. In a collaborative project with the Toledo Symphony, Nolan was part of the cast of "Midsummer Night Mysteries." He'll also appear on stage this summer at the Toronto Fringe Festival, an annual independent theatre festival that's been ongoing since 1989 as part of the international fringe movement.

These acting opportunities are providing Nolan significant experience as he begins to apply and audition for graduate programs in theatre.

"The relationships I've been able to form with faculty, you feel so close," Nolan says. "They're so knowledgeable in what they're teaching, and they're so comfortable in teaching it. I've learned a lot about acting and theatre, and human nature in general."

He adds, "They've taught me so much about life after college. Like, where do I go from here? It can get really overwhelming, especially if you're an actor and you're questioning your future," he admits. "They've been to the top grad schools and lived in the big cities of New York and Chicago."

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Last Updated: 7/1/16