In the Loop
Alumni News : Sep 22, 2015

Celeste Den’s journey to the theatre

By Tyler McLennan

Celeste Den (BFA Acting ’01) first became involved in theatre during her last semester of her senior year of high school. Although she had gone to see almost every theatre production her school put on since middle school, she had never been on stage until a friend convinced her to audition for a directing class.

“I had no idea what I was doing, but I still remember feeling, for the first time, a sense of play at those auditions and how much fun it was,” Den says.

Den was cast in a three-person ensemble piece after her first audition.

“As we rehearsed I found more and more that this (theatre) was what I wanted to spend all my time doing,” says Den. “The support and encouragement I was getting from the ‘seasoned’ theatre kids in my school gave me a feeling of community I'd not experienced before.”

Den took her talents to UF where she auditioned for and was accepted into the BFA acting track. She says every professor at UF had and an impact on her and continue to do so as the years pass.

One of these professors is Dr. Ralf Remshardt, who Den says first gently suggested, “You’re not going to get cast in the roles you’re really right for until you’re in your 30s. Why don’t you think about grad school in California?”

Sure enough, Den went on her earn her MFA from CalArts. Den remains in Los Angeles where she works in theatre, film and TV. She has been cast in various productions including a co-production of ART and Young Vic Theatre in London called Wild Swans, the Broadway international tour of David Henry Hwang's Chinglish, as well as being a member of the 2014 Oregon Shakespeare Festival acting company performing in Water by the Spoonful and an all-female production of Two Gentlemen in Verona.  

Most recently, she shot a co-star role in Shameless opposite Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy. Den has also been doing autobiographic storytelling in hopes of creating a solo show. In her words, “The hustle continues!”