A Bit About Chaz
Chaz Wolcott [he/him] is a theatremaker who strives to spend his days developing, curating, and telling stories that will challenge audiences to think in new ways. Chaz works as a director, choreographer, actor, and educator, and is best known for his work with Disney's Newsies.
Chaz's Résumé and Artist Statement are linked below!
Chaz grew up in Columbus, Ohio where he got his start in the performing arts at the ripe old age of 11 months. His parents, who were swing dance instructors, taught him how to cha-cha when he was in diapers. His feet haven't stopped moving since!
Chaz enrolled in dance classes at age 2 at Pinnell Dance Centre in Gahanna, OH and began acting with Phoenix Theatre Circle a few years later. He found his love for musical theatre in The Who's Tommy while playing the 4-year-old version of the title character. His family relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada where Chaz continued his training at The Dance Zone in Henderson, NV. As a teen, Chaz appeared on CBS's "The King of Queens" as a young Jerry Stiller, and competed on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in the Greatest Dancer in America Challenge. Chaz won the Gold Medal at the US Tap Championships and went on to win the Bronze Medal for the United States at the World Tap Dance Championships in Germany, at age 14.
Two days before graduation, Chaz was offered the role of Mistoffelees on the National Tour of Cats, his dream role. He performed the show over 500 times all over North America, and then moved to New York City. Chaz was featured on FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" - where he jumped on Mary Murphy's Hot Tamale Train to the Academy in Season 14. Chaz made his New York City Center Encores debut as the Pearly King in Me and My Girl, directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Warren Carlyle. Chaz has accrued regional credits at MT Wichita, The Rev (formerly Merry-Go-Round Playhouse), Arena Stage, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, The Fireside, Gateway Playhouse, Fulton Theatre, Casa Mañana, Gretna Theatre, Moon River Theatre, and Westchester Broadway Theatre. Chaz has made appearances in HBO's "High Maintenance" and on "Anderson Live". Chaz has performed for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' annual fundraising shows: Gypsy of the Year and Easter Bonnet.
Perhaps most notably, Chaz spent two years touring as one of the Newsies, Buttons, in the First National Tour of Disney’s Newsies, visiting 70 cities and performing over 750 shows. Chaz is also featured in Disney's Newsies: The Broadway Musical, the film version of the show from Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre. The movie is now available digitally on Disney+, iTunes, and Amazon Prime Video.
Chaz has found a true passion for being on the creative side of theatre. Chaz's Broadway choreography credits include: Gypsy of the Year for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (New Amsterdam Theatre), Broadway Backwards for The LGBTQ Center (Al Hirschfeld Theatre), and Chaz created the first-ever Red Bucket Tribute for BCEFA's inaugural Red Bucket Follies in 2018.
Chaz's regional directing/choreographing credits include MT Wichita - Cats (Upcoming - September 2023); Forestburgh Playhouse - Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Altar Boyz, Me and My Girl, Kiss Me Kate, Crazy for You, The Addams Family, Mamma Mia, The Diamond Anniversary Revue and Mary Poppins; Interlakes Theatre - Newsies, Cats (2x) and La Cage aux Folles; Gateway Playhouse - Newsies; 3D Theatricals - Newsies; Westport Country Playhouse - Newsies; Woodstock Playhouse - Cabaret; Millbrook Playhouse - Jersey Boys; The Legacy Theatre - Regional Premiere of Bright Star, Newsies, Bullets over Broadway. Chaz loves working with young performers too! At Penn State, Chaz directed/choreographed Penn State Centre Stage's Cabaret, and choreographed for the Capital Campaign and President's Tailgates Events. Chaz served as Choreographer of Newsies at Franklin Performing Arts Company. Chaz was the Choreographer for NewArts production of Newsies, teaching the show's original Tony Award-winning choreography (by Christopher Gattelli) to the incredibly inspiring group of students who survived the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, CT, one of the greatest privileges of Chaz's life. In NYC, Chaz has presented choreography at Night of Life and Leg Up On Life Showcase, which each raised money for The Trevor Project, and at The Ho Ho Holiday show, which raised money for Toys for Tots. Chaz created choreography for the fabulous Professional Semester students in Broadway Dance Center's Showcase and for the inspiring Steps Summer Study NYC students at Steps on Broadway.
Chaz joins the esteemed faculty at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music [CCM] in Fall 2023. He will be an Assistant Professor Educator of Dance & Musical Theatre. Chaz will also serve as a Director & Choreographer for the program.
Chaz has served on Faculty at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway in New York City since 2015. Chaz has served on the faculty of Celebrity Conventions and Industry Integrity, traveling the country bringing Musical Theatre dance, and Tap to thousands of students per year. Chaz has also taught for Tada Youth Theater, Broadway Donation, Dancers Responding to AIDS, Dancers Against Cancer, Broadway Workshop, The Broward Center, Arena Stage, The Smith Center, Orpheum Theatre, Disney on Broadway, BroadwayCon, Broadway Connection, Stage Door Connection, The Broadway Collective and Inside Broadway.
Chaz served on the Faculty of Penn State Musical Theatre from 2021 to 2023. He was a director and choreographer for many PSU shows and events, and taught all levels of Jazz Dance, Musical Theatre Styles, and advised on the Senior Showcase. Chaz's academic career has included numerous guest artist residencies at Oklahoma University, Kent State University, UC Irvine, Oklahoma City University, Butler Community College, Susquehanna University, University of Idaho, Otterbein University, Nazareth College, University of South Florida, Lipscomb University, and Montford College (Ireland).
Chaz created, produced, directed, and choreographed four cabarets for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS while on tour with Newsies and is proud of leading the fundraising campaign that raised over $400k for the incredible charity. The show, The Newsboys' Variety Show, has gone on to be produced three times at Feinstein's/54 Below in NYC, which Chaz has hosted and performed in. While in quarantine due to COVID-19, Chaz produced, directed, hosted, and choreographed The Stars Align, a virtual cabaret starring Kristin Chenoweth and Kelli O'Hara, which raised over $8k for BCEFA.
Chaz is the Creator, Director, and Star of Cooped Up, a theatrical dance narrative, to document the year of the COVID-19 quarantine through dance.
While serving as Vice President for his alma mater's alumni organization, OCUNYC, Chaz programmed multiple week-long musical theatre workshops, bringing together students of theatre from his alma mater and Broadway movers and shakers in a week of workshops, classes, and mock auditions.
Professional Affiliations and Training
He is a member of Actors Equity Association [AEA]. He is a member of Musical Theatre Educators' Alliance [MTEA] and has trained extensively with Theatrical Intimacy Education [TIE] in Intimacy Direction, Trauma-Informed Practices, Racial Equity, Consent in the Classroom and Rehearsal Room, and Working with Trans and Non-Binary Artists. He is certified in Mental Health First Aid from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Chaz has also trained in QPR Suicide Prevention.
Chaz earned his MFA in Theatre Arts from the University of Idaho, with concentrations in both Directing and Pedagogy. While pursuing his MFA, he was selected to direct the department's First Bite Series production of Silver Belles by Lauren Grove, and was asked to choreograph the department's production of Into the Woods alongside Director David Lee-Painter. While at UI, he has served as a Teaching Assistant for MFA Directing Studio and Foundations of Intimacy courses. During his time at UI, he also earned an academic certificate in Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Universal Design for Learning, and produced two research projects geared at improving the culture in his spaces: Demystifying the Role of Artistic Director in Theatre, and Creating an Inclusive, Anti-Racist Curriculum.
Chaz earned his BFA in Musical Theatre Dance from the prestigious Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment at Oklahoma City University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Chaz was a member of the award-winning American Spirit Dance Company, and served as Company Deputy and Dance Captain. Chaz studied Choreography and Jazz, Tap, and Ballet Pedagogy. Always interested in paying it forward, Chaz has taught numerous master classes and led talkbacks at his alma mater. He also served as Vice President of OCU's NYC Alumni Chapter for four years, programming Spring Break Musical Theatre Intensives for current students.
Chaz's is an avid college football fan (Go Buckeyes!) and loves spending his days off with his sweet rescue pup, Quincy Bo!
Chaz's Artist Statement