Attending a good acting school can go a long way in helping you build a successful career as an actor, director, writer, or other type of media professional. Below is an extensive list of the most esteemed acting academies in the country.
- The Julliard School: The Julliard School has an extremely competitive drama program that accepts only 18 students each year.
- Yale University: Yale University’s School of Drama offers conservatory training in all aspects of theater at the graduate level.
- New York University: NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts has different studios teaching different acting methods, from Strasberg to Experimental.
- Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon University’s drama school is the first conservatory acting program in the United States.
- California Institute of the Arts: California Institute of the Arts is a conservatory that’s often described as experimental and off-beat.
- Purchase College, State University of New York: The acting program at Purchase College is very intense and discipline-driven.
- Syracuse University: The School of Drama at Syracuse University offers well-rounded conservatory-style training.
- University of Minnesota, Twin Cities: University of Minnesota’s Department of Theatre Arts & Dance features a conservatory-like acting program that also places emphasis on academics.
- University of North Carolina School of the Arts: This conservatory program teaches an eclectic mix of acting, movement, and voice techniques.
- American Conservatory Theater: American Conservatory Theater offers a small Master of Fine Arts program that admits eight to 12 students each year.
- University of California, Los Angeles: The acting program at the University of California, Los Angeles features an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines the performing arts and entertainment worlds.
- Pace University: Pace University’s Actors Studio Drama School focuses on method acting and the Stanislavski system.
- University of Southern California: University of Southern California’s drama department not only trains students in acting but also the business side of the film industry.
- DePaul University: DePaul Univesity is the leading acting academy in Chicago, which is America’s second-best theater city.
- The Actors Studio: This school had some of the best teachers in the world, such as Lee Strasberg, Elia Kazan, and Sanford Meisner.
- Northwestern University: Northwestern University’s drama department works closely with the Tony Award-winning Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
- University of California, San Diego: Sharing staff and facilities with the renowned La Jolla Playhouse, this school presents 15 productions every year.
- Florida State University: Master’s students at Florida State University get tuition waivers and hands-on experience at Asolo Repertory Theatre.
- Harvard University: Harvard University offers a five-semester acting program that gives students the opportunity to work in its world-famous American Repertory Theatre.
- Rutgers University: Students at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts get to train at Shakespeare’s Globe in London for a full year.
- Brown University: This school has a close connection with the Tony Award-winning Trinity Repertory Company.
- William Esper Studio: William Esper Studio specializes in the Sanford Meisner method.
- University of Washington, Seattle: About 50% of this school’s graduates get acting work within one year.
- Oxford School of Drama: This acting school in the United Kingdom has only 18 students in each course.
- National Institute of Dramatic Art, Kensington: The National Institute of Dramatic Art, Kensington is the largest acting school in Australia.
- Guildhall School of Music & Drama: This drama school in the United Kingdom offers a broad, versatile training program.
- Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts: Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts provides contemporary-style training based on traditional techniques.
- Royal Academy of Dramatic Art: Some classes at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art have only one instructor and three students.
- London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts: Founded in 1861, this drama school produced actors who won numerous awards, including Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Tony Awards.
- Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts: Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London places emphasis on professional stage training.
- Royal Conservatoire of Scotland: This acting academy in Glasgow offers undergraduate and post-graduate programs, as well as a course for youngsters under the age of 18.
- Central School of Speech and Drama: Central School of Speech and Drama is a unique school in London that always strives to develop new forms of training for theater and film actors.
- Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama: This school maintains strong connections with local television broadcast stations and stages more than 300 public performances annually.
Benefits of Attending an Acting Academy
Going to an acting school isn’t only beneficial to actors, but it can also help directors, screenwriters, producers, and other filmmaking professionals improve their careers. The following are a few good reasons why you should go to acting school.
- Practicing acting in an immersive environment.
- Learning from a professional faculty.
- Improving character development abilities.
- Becoming more collaborative as a creative.
- Getting opportunities to participate in actual performances.
- Making connections with alumni and industry professionals.
Types of Degrees Available at Acting Academies
The following are several degrees that can be beneficial to the careers of professionals in the filmmaking industry.
- Associate Degree in Acting: An Associate Degree in Acting program is typically designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to eventually transition to a more advanced Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program. It involves studying different genres of acting and other skills needed to become a proficient performer.
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting: A Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program is more comprehensive and intensive than an associate degree program. It gives you a fundamental understanding of the main tools and techniques actors use for character creation, such as movement, voice, speech, and singing, as well as stage production, scene study, and other aspects of film and theatrical production.
- Master of Fine Arts in Acting: In a Master of Fine Arts in Acting program, you’ll have the opportunity to fully focus on a variety of mediums, including film, television, and theater. As an advanced degree, this program enables you to specialize in your craft as well as work more one-on-one with instructors and colleagues.
- Conservatory Program: A conservatory program provides an intense environment to enable students to concentrate only on learning their craft. Such a program differs from a traditional degree with its immersive coursework, arts-oriented curriculum, professional faculty, and small class size.
Choosing the Right Acting Academy
With so many acting academies to choose from, you may have a hard time deciding which one is most suitable for you. Take the following things into consideration to select the right acting school:
- Choose a well-established acting academy with a reputation for producing skilled actors.
- Look for a school that has many faculty members who are acknowledged for their extensive skills, talents, and experience.
- Enroll in a program that allows you to be immersed in hands-on exercises and experiences.
- Attend an acting school that regularly holds public performances.
- Opt for a program that gives you the opportunity to work with accomplished actors, directors, and writers and meet with casting agents, artistic directors, and producers.
If you’re looking for a reputable acting academy in Nashville, consider enrolling in Nashville Film Institute. We offer an accredited avocational course called Acting for the Camera, which consists of three four-week modules that take place on Friday nights and weekends to suit everybody’s schedule. This course is focused on the Meisner Technique, which seeks to help you discover your hidden talents and unleash your inner acting genius. Contact us today to find out more about our Acting for the Camera program.