Our fantastic South Side Theatre Academy team have one aim and that is to make sure every young person that we work with goes home with a smile on their face having had fun! For us theatre is about being able to relax, have fun and not worry about anything else. Each member of the team works closely with the children to make sure the workshops and rehearsals are exactly what they want them to be, meaning that they engage more and develop both as actors and as young people, growing in confidence, teamwork, friendships and so much more.
All our team have a valid DBS check.
Toby Ward-Smith - Youth Director and Founder
Toby has a Distinction in Performance Arts Teaching from the Performance Arts Awards. Toby founded 'South Side Theatre Academy' in May 2018 following multiple years of experience of working in Children's Theatre. Toby runs the Weekly Academy and Holiday Projects and is the first point of contact for all matters. He currently works at Saint Cecilia's Church of England School in Southfields.
Toby previously was the Assistant Director of the Churchill Theatre Young Company and directed and choreographed productions at the Lantern Arts Centre, including 'Matilda the Musical' and 'Annie Kids'. Toby also directed 'Brainstorm' at Putney Arts Theatre in November 2016 with a cast of 11-18 year olds. On the stage Toby has appeared in Bugsy Malone (New Wimbledon Theatre), In the Heights (Stockwell Playhouse) and It Snows (Putney Arts Theatre/Orange Tree Theatre) to name a few. You can also catch Toby in the short film 'Whatever Happened to Evie'.
Luke McCabe - Musical Director
Luke is our resident Musical Director and will be taking the musical lead in our upcoming production of 'Aladdin JR' following Musical Directing both 'Annie JR' and 'Bugsy Malone'.
Luke is a musician and producer specializing in musical theatre. Currently the Director of Music and Co-Founder of Glitter Theatrical, as well as the Director of Music for Full Tilt Theatre Company, Luke divides time between musical direction/supervision on professional and amateur productions, teaching for Make Believe Academy and working as an accompanist for New Malden Voices Choir. Luke is also studying toward an MA in Musical Theatre Composition at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Anna Pease - Weekly Academy Assistant
Anna assists every week with the running of our Weekly Theatre Academy and Holiday Projects. She recently performed in 'Girls Like That' at the Lantern Arts Centre and is currently studying Drama and Theatre Studies. For South Side, Anna was the Assistant Director on 'Bugsy Malone' and will be taking up the same role with our next production 'Aladdin JR'. Anna brings so much energy and fun to the Weekly Academy and is always there if you need anything!
Bethany Ward-Smith - Safeguarding Officer
Bethany works for Kingston Council in their Child Protection Team as a social worker. She went to York University where she studied Social Work for 3 years. Alongside social work Bethany has a strong love for theatre and musicals, she is LAMDA Grade 8 Musically Trained and has performed in numerous amateur productions and showcases including Cinderella, Guys and Dolls, Godspell and Aladdin.
We look forward to announcing new members to our team in the coming weeks! Or similarly you can join us. Check out our 'Join Our Team' page to check any current positions available or volunteering opportunities.