By Mary Liz Cronk

Student Profile:
Celia Quillian, Senior
The Westminster Schools

Ask most high school seniors involved in theater how many plays they have taken part in during high school and they probably would answer four to six. Ask Celia Quillian, a senior at The Westminster Schools, and she will tell you “13.”

After taking several theater classes within the past two years, Celia has enhanced her acting skills and has earned lead roles in school productions  of “The Rivals,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Oklahoma!” and “The Skin of Our Teeth.”

“I love everything about acting, especially watching my characters develop,” said Celia, daughter of Henry and Deanie Quillian.

The 18-year-old said she learned a lot about acting when she played the lead role of Maggie Antrobus in “The Skin of Our Teeth,” which was directed by the professional actor and director Tom Key.

“I learned so much from Tom,” she said. “I really got to stretch myself in another direction.”

Ater working with Celia, Key said he found himself thinking, “Is this what directors felt like when they worked with Meryl Streep when she was a student at Yale?”

“Her shimmering talent, cracking-clear voice and fierce intelligence gives strong evidence that she will be the best of the next generation of American actors,” Key said.

Within the past year Celia has been awarded Best Actress for her incredible performance in The Rivals, Best Character Actress for her enthusiasm in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and Best Supporting Actress/Outstanding Student Director Award in “Cyrano de Bergerac.”

Acting is not the only area that Celia is talented in. She has made the school honor roll every semester since the seventh grade. This year she was nominated for both National Cum Laude Society and National Honors Society for her outstanding grades.

Celia also takes time out of her busy schedule to give back to her community. As a senior “peer leader” at her school, she plans weekly discussions for a group of 15 freshmen. She consistently participates in community service projects at Northwest Presbyterian Church and also has donated her hair twice to Locks of Love and Beautiful Lengths.

To ensure that she will be able to continue theater after she graduates, all of the schools that Celia has applied to for next year are liberal arts colleges that have excellent theater programs.

So far, she has been nominated as a finalist for scholarships from three different schools. She’s a semi-finalist for the Thomas Wolfe Creative Writing Scholarship at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Johnson Scholarship at Washington and Lee University and the Presidential Scholarship for Theatre at Wake Forest University. She also has been admitted into the Honors Program at the University of Georgia.

“In college I want to take classes that explore other aspects of the theater, such as costuming and makeup design,” Celia said. “I also hope to continue directing plays.”

What’s next?

Celia has not decided which school she will be attending next year. However, she does know that she wants to continue being involved in shows and performances wherever she decides to go. “Honestly,” she said, “I think my final decision for college will come down to scholarships, but I know I’ll be very happy wherever I end up going.”

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