Broadway Star Returns Home to Teach at Averett

Danville, VA - Ringgold's hometown celebrity Brad Bass has been to Broadway and back. He made his mark in the Big Apple - starring in two shows - and now he has returned home to teach in the community where he grew up.

He is joining Averett's theater program to give it a little TLC.

Bass says he was bitten by the acting bug at an early age but found very few opportunities to hone his craft in the area. Now, he's hoping to change that for the students at Averett.

Bass knew very little about the Great White Way when he took a school trip to see a Broadway show at just 13 years old.

"I grew up on a tobacco farm, so there wasn't a whole lot of theater going on there," Bass said.

But from that trip, he knew he had found his calling.

"It changed my life. From that moment on, I was like, 'I now know what I want to do for the rest of my life.'"

After moving to New York at the age of 18, he started attending an acting academy and quickly began landing roles in Tony-awarding winning shows like "Wicked" and "Memphis."

"I opened, you know, in a brand new musical in the original cast and then got to perform at the Tony Awards which was like the most special night of my life," said Bass.

Now, following a successful run, he believes he's found his second calling at Averett University. After teaching a master class in May, Bass worked out a deal with the University.

"I love teaching. It's my passion, but I never got a degree and I said, 'How about this? How about you guys let me go to school at Averett and I'll do whatever you want me to," Bass said.

The school has offered Bass a full-ride to pursue his degree in theatre education in exchange for his teaching services.

Now, he hopes to help the program become better than it's ever been.

"I'd really like to see this theater department grow and get bigger and be the best in the state," Bass said.

He's currently working as choreographer for Averett's next major production, "Chicago", which will run November 1st through the 4th.