For Chip Wells, all the world’s a stage |

For Chip Wells, all the world’s a stage

Pete FowlerPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

Driving off in her yellow Volkswagen New Beetle, with the matching flower sitting in its cup holder, Chip Wells has plenty of things going.Now that she’s helped get Glenwood Springs High School’s speech and debate team off and running this year, she’ll focus more on other things. She’s preparing for a classical voice recital after voice lessons. She’s spending time helping pull together entries in the playwriting competition. She’s auditioning for parts in performances. And working on the production team for a version of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” set in 1870s Colorado no doubt takes some time.”I am an actress first and foremost,” she said.But Wells used to teach in language arts, reading and drama. Talking with the colorful actress personality, a playful theme emerges about bringing the creative to the concrete. Into nearly everything, in fact.There’s talk of mathematic equations in play productions and creative activities brought into the classroom. For example, “Macbeth” in its mid-1000s atmosphere could be equal to the atmosphere of 1870s Colorado. Wells’ mother being a performer and her father an engineer likely contributed to her penchant for merging the creative and concrete. Her mother, a dancer, eventually choreographed shows and went into production, including for circuses.

“On the weekend I was a circus kid as I was growing up,” she said.When Chip Wells was 13, her real name was Dorothy. She’d always had a nickname, and a friend once said she hated her own name and suggested they switch to the names of boys they liked. The other girl was Jack for about two weeks, but Chip remained Chip. The actual Chip was kind and treated her like a sister.”It really seemed to fit,” she said.After moving west from Illinois in 1980 with her husband, Mike, Wells taught in Basalt for six years then switched to Carbondale. She began work there as a media specialist and got involved with an early literacy center, all the while coaching speech and debate in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. She also substituted for teachers in Glenwood Springs. Wells said she strived to bring creativity into academics to create a higher level of understanding than recall alone.”I found if you had a creative bent to what you were doing it was much more effective,” she said. “It’s not read the book and write a book report.”Before early retirement from teaching in 2000 and making the leap to full-time acting, Wells had always been performing in various shapes and forms.”I reached a day when I said, ‘What am I waiting for?'”As an actress, how does Wells feel about the quote “All the world’s a stage”?

“In my own experience it’s really true,” she said. “You can always be sure that someone, somewhere will be impacted by everything you do.”This leads her to the conclusion that one should own, take responsibility for and hopefully be proud of everything they do, including the thousands of opportunities life presents them every day.Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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