UVU Alum, Broadway Headliner Chase Ramsey Teaches UVU Theatre Classes Amidst Broadway Shutdown

Despite the unexpected events of the COVID-19 pandemic, UVU alum and Broadway star Chase Ramsey is excited to share his knowledge with fellow Wolverines.



On March 12, the COVID-19 pandemic dimmed the iconic bright lights of Broadway, and the world of theatre was put on hold. Before that, UVU alumnus Chase Ramsey could be found center stage, playing the starring role of Elder Cunningham in “The Book of Mormon” musical. 

When interviewed in March 2019 for a UVU news article, he never thought that just a year and a half later he would be back at his alma mater teaching theatre students while Broadway remains closed. 

"It's a little unexpected. I miss performing. I am a performer first, so I have to check myself sometimes and make sure I am giving everything to my students and not indulging as actors do. But I can't think of a better place to return to. I love it here, and I am constantly reminded of how valuable and rare getting professional life experience is, when shared with the students, over just academia. A mix is needed," Ramsey said. 

Despite the unexpected turn of events, Ramsey is excited to share his knowledge with fellow Wolverines. 

"UVU is my place. I love it here. I had time off, and teaching was the first thing that crossed my mind. I love the students, and I am loving working on the craft with them. So grateful to be here," said Ramsey. 

Though he never anticipated teaching, his one-of-a-kind experience is invaluable to UVU theatre students. Abigail Watts, a student in Ramsey's Audition II class, said, "With COVID hitting the theatre world really hard, I felt discouraged heading into my senior year pursuing a BFA in musical theatre. Not to mention doing all of the coursework virtually! Despite this, Chase has encouraged me as a theater artist with his fierce ambition and belief in us as students to go for it." 

According to Watts, Ramsey has every right to feel discouraged but he doesn't let that deter him, and his passion is a testament to students. "His career has been greatly impacted by COVID,” she said. “In his circumstances, he has every reason to be discouraged; however, he has never once alluded to this. He has only shown us through example how to follow your passion persistently even through times of crisis. Chase makes it feel possible — and not only that, he invests in each of us as students to ensure that we know how to go into the world and follow our dreams."

Teaching remotely is "not the best for acting," as Ramsey said, but he believes his current group of students is the perfect group to teach during a pandemic. 

"The students are more resilient than ever before, but we are all excited for everything to open up, of course," he said. 

COVID-19 not only affected classrooms, it has had a significant effect on the arts. Despite being an art form that is widely consumed, Ramsey noted a lack of support when it matters most. 

"We all watch Netflix and are moved by what we see on the screen every night but then somehow that same support does not translate to the arts. I often wonder where people think these actors are coming from. They come from our classrooms," Ramsey said. 

The transition has taken a toll on Ramsey, who, as much as he loves being a teacher, misses his time under the bright lights of Broadway. 

"I miss the communication and working with a scene partner. I miss the stories. The stories are inspiring and important. I mostly miss the challenge of it.” 

As an alumnus of the university, however, Ramsey is familiar with the UVU grit and resilience that accompany being a wolverine. He commends his students on their grittiness, noting that it is an attribute that is crucial to success in the industry. 

"I think everyone is functioning at 50% right now, and I have noticed that there has been no complaint from my students. They are just doing their best, and I see it. I’m very proud of their resiliency," said Ramsey. 

Along with having grit, Ramsey wants his students to have hope for the future and develop the confidence to carry them through their careers. 

"I hope to have work. For my students, I hope for the same. To make a living in this field, you have to have grit. You have to network and hustle. So, I hope that they can find that. Overall I hope that my students find a sense of peace and self-love in themselves. Then there will be no wrong to be had. I think they are on their way, and I am inspired by them every day."