Best Drama Schools: Best Drama Schools To Attend

28th October 2021

Best Drama Schools: Best Drama Schools To Attend
Maria Hanlon

Maria Hanlon

Are you an aspiring actor? Have you considered going to drama school, or perhaps you just want to find out more about the best drama schools to attend? Well, look no further as we have compiled a list of the top 10 drama schools in the world, and the best in London, as well as a list of superb summer courses.

Best Drama Schools In The World

Here are the top 10 drama schools in the world:

best drama schools in the world

1. The Julliard School (New York, US)

New York City’s Julliard School is considered the best acting school in the world. It was founded in 1905 as the Institute of Musical Art and currently trains around 800 students per year, however, it’s notoriously difficult to get into.

Naturally, it has very impressive alumni including Aretha Franklin, Robin Williams, Viola Davis, and Jessica Chastain. This super-competitive school offers first-class training like no other, educating the most exceptionally talented performing artists from around the world, equipping them with all the tools they need to make it in one of the most challenging industries.

2. Yale School of Drama (Connecticut, US)

A very strong contender is Yale School of Drama, which first opened its doors in 1924 and has since taught some of the most famous actors in the world including Meryl Streep and Paul Newman.

As you can imagine, getting a place at this school is not an easy task, but once you’re in you’ll be given some of the most rigorous training imaginable. The school offers in-depth teaching with plenty of production experience so that once you graduate, you’ll be ready for a successful career as a professional actor.

3. Tisch School of the Arts (New York, US)

This highly regarded school was founded in 1965, offering training in theatre and film and is still considered America’s leading arts school.

Approximately 300 artists are accepted at Tisch School of the Arts each year, and whilst that number might sound high, the admission is very selective and so getting a place is, you guessed it, very difficult!

4. University of North Carolina School of the Arts (North Carolina, US)

This top-ranking creative and performing arts university is without a doubt, one of the best acting schools you can attend. The school offers a deep and progressive learning environment and thoroughly prepares students for this highly competitive industry.

At the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, they offer mock auditions for senior students from agents and casting directors and have seen the likes of David LaChapelle, Jada Pinkett Smith and Missi Pyle pass through their doors.

5. UC San Diego (California, US)

MFA (Master of Fine Arts) students at UC San Diego have the chance to work with the notorious La Jolla Playhouse. The school also has close ties with Wagner New Play Festival, so there are many exciting opportunities for students attending UC.

Additionally, you’ll partake in intensive studio work in movement, voice, speech and singing. The programme is split into 3 parts – the first year focuses on daily exploration that will help you enhance your expression as an artist and the second year is centered around studying classical texts. During the final year, the teaching will be dedicated to your individual development as an actor, to prepare you for your first steps as a professional performer.

6. London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (London, UK)

The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) is one of the oldest schools in the world, founded back in 1861. It was the first institution to offer acting tuition and has trained notable names including Benedict Cumberbatch, Dominic Cooper, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Brian Cox.

If you’re able to get in, you’ll be given outstanding training which will prepare you for theatre, TV, and film. Plus – having LAMDA on your CV will not only look impressive but help you connect with some of the best contacts in the industry.

best drama school in london big ben

7. Carnegie Mellon University (Pennsylvania, US)

This prestigious acting school is the oldest in the US and is renowned for making sure students truly understand their characters through deep analysis. The school is known for offering small classes and personalised training. As well as this, it has a faculty of theatre professionals who ensure that all students are prepared for work after graduating. Alumni include Ted Danson, Andy Warhol, Ethan Hawke, and Gabriel Macht to name a few.

8. Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London, UK)

Sitting firmly on the list as one of the best schools in the world is Guildhall School of Music and Drama which prides itself as a vibrant, international community of musicians, actors, and production artists. The Drama Department offers a BA in Acting Studies and an MA in Acting. Alumni include Michaela Coel, Daniel Craig, and Michelle Dockery.

9. The Old Globe (San Diego, US)

This highly competitive programme has a very low 2% acceptance rate and is led by acclaimed actor, director, and choreographer Jesse Perez. The curriculum focuses on performance skills for classical theatre, and includes classes in acting, movement, voice, speech, and literature. Meanwhile, summers are kept for productions at the Old Globe.

10. Brown University (Rhode Island, US)

Regarded as one of the top universities for acting in the world, Browns University focuses its training on developing acting techniques to allow you to become a versatile performer. As well as their excellent teaching techniques, as a student you’ll also have the chance to learn and perform in a Tony-Award winning regional theatre, Trinity Rep.

actors at the table with laptops

Best Drama Schools In London

So, those were the best acting schools worldwide, but what about in London? You might have noticed a couple of London-based schools included, but here’s our complete list of the best theatre schools in the Capital of England:

Sylvia Young Theatre School

Guildford School of Acting

London Academy of Dramatic Arts (LAMDA)

Rose Bruford College of Theatre Performance

Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA)

Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts

Best Drama Summer Course

Nowadays, actors come from all different types of training backgrounds, some have trained for years at some of the best theatre schools in the UK or top drama colleges, others have taken short courses to enhance their acting skills. Whichever path you choose to take is totally up to you, but below is a list of the best drama summer courses if short-term study sounds better suited for you.

Here’s our list of the drama schools with the best summer courses:

Royal Central School for Speech and Drama – Shakespeare Summer School

Shakespeare’s Globe – International Actors Fellowship

National Youth Theatre

Mountview London Academy of Dramatic Art

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

actor with acting slate to start filming

Now You Know Everything About The Best Drama Schools

That’s all you need to know about the best drama schools both worldwide and in London, as well as the best drama summer schools if a shorter course sounds like a better fit for you. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading and if you’d like to find out more about acting, check out Stage Acting: Basics Of Acting On Stage.

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