Filmmaker, theater artist, and Urban Improv actor-educator Veronica Wells has been with us for eight years — and is a veteran of the program!
According to Veronica, Urban Improv “provide[s] an opportunity for young people to practice safe approaches to negative or dangerous social situations, in a safe and judgement-free environment.” The work — and play! — of Urban Improv is fun, stimulating, and challenging for Urban Improv students, and it can have transformative results. Sometimes, says Veronica, “the kids who are otherwise [initially] not interested… end up being the loudest… and they shine in the discussions if not on the stage.” This type of transformation, she is happy to report, is common in Urban Improv youth, and for Veronica it’s a joy to witness each time.
And such metamorphoses are not limited to UI students — Veronica herself has experienced the program’s magic firsthand as an actor-educator. Though she studied musical theater when she was younger, when she first performed with Urban Improv it had been years since Veronica considered herself a confident singer. “Singing was very scary — sometimes kids can be mean,” she admits, laughing. But through bravery, practice, and persistence, putting herself again and again in the hot seat — just as Urban Improv asks of its youth — Veronica overcame concerns that had been holding her back and grew as a singer and performer.
Veronica earned her theater training from Boston Arts Academy and her BFA in film-making from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. When not performing with UI, she is an actor, director, and producer who works frequently with Escena Latina Teatro, Boston’s only nonprofit Spanish-language theater company. Last December, she produced with them her first fully-realized play, Marriage, Mentiras, and Mantras, which she also directed.
Veronica’s creative plate often overflows — in wonderful ways. Recently, she spearheaded a bilingual documentary on local education activist Margarita Muñiz, for which she traveled to Cuba to interview Muñiz’s family. In the pipeline is a plan design and produce “pop-up”-style portable plays adaptable to location, looking to make theater more accessible to all parties involved, from producers and creators to audience members. Camera in hand, she collaborates frequently with Urban Improv Interim Artistic Director Tory Bullock, and has provided photography and videography for music videos from local musicians, as well as for the first season of the webseries The Pineapple Diaries.
After eight years with Urban Improv, Veronica continues to be motivated to do the work because of the youth she serves, delighting in the fact that, every day, she sees young people — our future — so excited for this programming. She is excited, too, to be able to work with them using her many creative capacities — and to do work she loves.
Veronica is from, and lives in, Boston. Follow along with her many creative adventures at www.veronicawellsmedia.com.