To be successful in the increasingly competitive profession of acting, making a commitment to an intensive, focused period of training and practice is key. Our school will teach you how to act, but it will also teach you how to become an actor at the professional level.
The school's main course of study. This four semester program of intensive acting classes provides students with a strong foundation in the craft. Upon completion, students receive a Diploma in Acting.
Our school provides students with the tools they need to succeed as professionals in the creative industry. Students will receive 1,800 hours of intensive instruction over 16 months of study (56 credit hours). Small class sizes of no more than ten students ensure students receive individual guidance.
We offer daytime (11 AM - 3 PM) and evening sessions (6 PM - 10 PM) to accommodate most work schedules. Students attend school five days a week. In their final semester, students will present weekend showcases to the public.
Our program is open to anyone who has completed high school or has their GED. Our students range widely in age, background, and experience from those who received their bachelors in theater or film, to those with no professional experience, but a lifetime of built up passion for performance.
Upon completion of the Conservatory Acting Program, students who have demonstrated excellence in their work are asked to audition for the Advanced Acting Program. This two semester program further develops students' acting craft and expands their studies into film, the technical elements of production, and other aspects of the creative industry.
In the Advanced Acting Program, students will refine their craft over two semesters of study. They will be expected to consistently demonstrate a level of professionalism appropriate to the creative industry.
Students will challenge themselves by producing, directing, and acting in short films, exploring new types of theatre, and creating their own work. They will expand their skill set and push themselves to a higher level of creative and technical accomplishment. In the Advanced Acting Program, "school" becomes a playground for exploring your ideas and individual artistic voice.
Our program is about more than just acting classes. In the course of learning how to become an actor, students will expand their network of professional contacts through production development, acting workshops, and other opportunities. They will form lasting bonds with their schoolmates and the wider NCDA alumni network spread across Washington, D.C. and beyond.
with a faculty of actors, directors, producers, filmmakers, writers, and other creatives actively working as professional creatives all across the country.
a network of contacts comprised of school alumni and industry professionals that you can rely on for help in getting your career off the ground.
on our school's black box stage and with the theatrical and filmmaking equipment you'll find in professional theaters and film studios.
As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread and local and federal authorities issued stay at home orders, NCDA transitioned to distance learning so that our students could complete their current semester of training and performances while sheltering in place. During our time online, our students have proven incredibly successful, growing in their passion, commitment, and craft. Now, as the city begins to slowly reopen, we are using a hybrid of online and in person learning to keep our students engaged and safe. Our faculty members have done an extraordinary job of translating NCDA’s curriculum to online platforms and finding new, creative solutions for training actors face-to-face with social distance, masks, and other safety measures in place.
We are currently taking applications for upcoming enrollment and doing interviews and audition workshops via Zoom. With daily changes in public health recommendations, we'll need to remain flexible and open to creative solutions as the year moves forward.
Each day, we're finding that the theatre forms we've taught and performed for years have great resilience and power at this moment in our history. Actors are still powerful storytellers even while sheltering at home; we can still play and connect to audiences through video and the internet; the art of comedy is more necessary than ever; the voice of the tragic chorus can still resonate virtually. It has been heartening for students and faculty alike to stay connected through these theatre forms, with all they have to teach us about human resilience, human vulnerability, and of course, laughter!
We all need our communities, our colleagues, and our networks of friends and family to help us navigate the unprecedented challenges we're facing. We know that artists and their work are essential to our collective well-being. Although we are working remotely, everyone at NCDA remains fiercely committed to the education of our students, supporting our alumni and faculty, and building connections with our audience and our community.
We eagerly look forward to the time when we can all come together again in theatres, cinemas, on stages, and sets.
Funded, in part, by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts is not affiliated with the Federal Government, the District of Columbia Government, or any other state or local government. The "National" in the name of the institution refers only to our location.
© National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts 2019