students on stage

Celena Forrest

Celena Forrest
Major: Theatre education major with minor in music


Reidsville, NC

High School

Reidsville High School


Theatre education major with minor in music

Career Plans & Goals

I plan on teaching as soon as I graduate. I would love to teach elementary school students! But if something else falls in my lap I’ll be ready. In the future I want to open up an actor studio in a town were students don’t get theatre in their daily learning. I would eventually turn this studio into a community theatre. I want every student to be able to shine in my classroom and outside of it!


I love to do arts and crafts! I am the owner of Forrest Flower Jewelry were I make all kinds of different jewelry pieces. This business is just getting started and is such a fun thing to do outside of school work!

Why did you choose UNCG and specifically UNCG for the Arts?

I chose UNCG because Greensboro has always been a home away from home. I was actually born in Greensboro because my town was so small that they did not do childbirths at our local hospital. I chose the UNCG theatre program because I went to see Heathers in 2018 and I feel in LOVE with everything I saw. I felt like I belonged there and what I saw on stage was something that I wanted it to be a part of.

Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?

Before I decided on UNCG I didn’t even know if I was going to pursue higher education. And the fact that I’ve had so many opportunities inside of schools and with the community of Greensboro it’s something that I never thought would happen. I am currently on my way to my senior year and I’m going to be student teaching in the spring. I am so glad I got the opportunity to be a CVPA Ambassador because it really changed my life. I was able to change perspective students lives as well and help them decide that UNCG was the place for them.

Peak experience?

One of the best experiences I’ve had at UNCG was when I got to be an assistant Director for Short Tales. Short Tales is a series of short children’s plays directed by area college and high school theatre students. This production features more than 40 local children 7-16 years old. In this experience I got to change the life of one of my actors. She had never acted in a show before and after this she would not stop talking about how she wanted to do Short Tales every year. I even got a little parting gifts from all of my students and they all meant so much to me.

What surprised you?

One thing about UNCG is the fact that everyone is so willing to work. The willingness to work especially in the theater department equals a lot of opportunities. This is another thing that surprised me is the amount of opportunities I have been given throughout my time here at UNCG.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

I definitely think that my family has helped me a lot to get to where I am. That’s the cliché answer but I could also say that Josh Purvis who is head of the theatre education department has been one of the most amazing mentors I’ve ever met. Josh strives to push his to to achieve greatness. Another person who has helped me get to where I am is Sandra Barinowski who is Director of Recruitment for the College of the Visual and Performing Arts. She has help me realize that I can change others lives and I can do so by just loving what I do!

What do you think you will miss the most after you graduate?

I will say that I will definitely miss Sandra and Josh when I leave. I will also miss the overall atmosphere of the arts department. I will continue to strive and have the same passion that I do now that I will 30 years from now.

Advice for the incoming class?

Stop being hard on yourself and realize that the things you are doing are wonderful and amazing. You will have your days where you feel like you want to give up but getting to those days where you get these opportunities to do better make it so much more worth it.

Describe the moment you knew you UNCG was for you (or alternatively the moment you knew you were in the right major):

Before I decided I wanted to teach theatre I was set on being a veterinarian. I know what a crazy difference but I knew deep down in my heart that I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. As I said before I came to see Heather’s in 2018 and my love for theater group even more. The show showed me that theatre isn’t just actors on the stage it’s a team that comes together as a whole and makes something beautiful. This was the moment that I decided that I wanted to teach theatre.

Your favorite place on campus and why?

My favorite place on campus has to be my freshman dorm. My freshman year I lived in Cone a.k.a. Studio 91. This was the first year that studio 91 was open and I got to experience so many things and opportunities that I didn’t know I could experience. My favorite part of Studio 91 was being able to hear people make music and art every single day and it never got annoying. And you can’t forget Taco Bell!

Your favorite professor or class and why?

One of my favorite professors on campus Hass to be Erin Spear because she is just a fantastic professor. I had her as a professor for Performance Styles and in this class I was able to teach a lesson to my fellow college students. Her charisma and passion shows through her work and her teachings. She is amazing and I recommend ANY class with her!

Anything else you would like to share about your experience at UNCG and in your major that you think prospective students should know about?

UNCG has changed me into amazing person. I came in as a very shy timid student who wanted to keep to their selves. I still occasionally keep to myself but I am more open and I am confident. Confidence is something that I’ve strived for my whole life and I believe that UNCG has gave me that confidence. be in a theater education major is an easy but it is so worth it in the end to be able to see the smiles on your students face. To be able to know that you learned and had the opportunities before you even got your own classroom is amazing! I recommend the UNCG theater education department and will gladly come back to help new theatre education majors realize it is worth it!

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