Anthony Wells ’23, School of Fine Arts

Anthony Wells reflects on his time at UConn

Portrait of Anthony Wells

Portrait of Anthony Wells, taken March 31, 2023. (Sydney Herdle/UConn Photo)

Anthony Wells started his career as a business and marketing professional before turning to acting full time and taking the stage name of Tony King.

“I was drawn to acting as a young kid,” he says, “but it took me a while to dedicate myself to the craft and discover my proverbial why.”

Today, he has bona fide acting credits on his resume, including leads in Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s 2021-22 performances of “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Food for the Gods” and its 2023 performance of “Rent,” and is looking ahead to a summer of gigs lined up in Colorado.

“I am captivated by performance for its unique ability to share truth,” he says.

Why did you choose UConn?

I chose UConn primarily because of its association with the URTAs audition process. URTAs allows prospective MFA candidates and faculty recruiters from dozens of top theater programs to meet, interview, and audition with a hope of finding a school-student match. The benefits of choosing UConn included an integrated relationship with a professional regional Equity Theater, the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, which allowed the opportunity of performing at least once a season resulting in enough show credits to join the Actors Equity Association. The program also welcomed actors at all stages in their careers and with my major switch from finance to performance arts, I wanted a full drama school crash course. In addition, attending a school out of state on a full scholarship was a hard deal to pass up.

What’s your major/field of study, and what drew you to it?

I am studying acting in the Fine Arts program. I was drawn to acting as a young kid, but it took me a while to dedicate myself to the craft and discover my proverbial why. I am captivated by performance for its unique ability to share truth and emblematical narratives and about various subsets of the human experience, ranging from reality to fiction, and everywhere in between.

Did you have a favorite professor or class?

My favorite professor, although I have had many during my matriculation here at UConn, is Kristin Wold. Kristin has a dedication and a liveliness that is infectious, and she imbues the passion that is necessary for a successful life in the arts and professorship. She has inspired me, especially in performance, to strive for a potential beyond my first inclination and proudly required discipline in practicing performance. These attributes I will carry with me in my career.

There is an honorable mention to Professor Vincent Tycer, whose dedication to the student, to performance, and to his integrities as a man is so great that seemingly no human hardship that he can persevere will keep him away from the art and the things he is impassioned by. I am privileged to have had a team of awesome professors.

What activities were you involved in as a student?

I served as a graduate assistant at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, working in marketing, as a CRT company member, First Year Experience instructor, and co-hosted the radio show Sons of Dionysus with WHUS Storrs.

What are your plans after graduation/receiving your degree?

Immediately upon graduation, I plan to journey to Creede, Colorado. I will be performing for the summer season at Creede Repertory Theater as Jay in “The Royale” by Marco Ramirez and Prince Charming in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” Thereafter, I plan to be whole, adaptive, and successful in my artistic pursuits in storytelling through film/TV, stage, and voice-over work.

How has UConn prepared you for the next chapter in life?

I feel in some ways that my time at UConn has prepared me to reenter the workforce as a stronger empath, a more critical thinker, and has reinforced the necessity of living in truth.

Any advice for incoming students?

Higher education is a privilege, learning is non-negotiable. The School of Hard Knocks will teach you that way if you don’t seek the knowledge first. Live in your truth and do things you’re proud of. Never forget life was tailor-made just for you. Yours is the perfect fit. It will accent what you love and hold space for all the imperfections. Live well.

What’s one thing everyone should do during their time at UConn?

Horse. Barn. Hill. That’s it. That’s the Tweet.

What will always make you think of UConn?

When I think of the love of my friends and colleagues, it will always bring me back to my time in Connecticut.