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Professional Peforming Arts Schools

10 Best Professional Performing Arts Schools In 2023

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A professional performing arts school might just be the place for you if you have some of the qualities that make a great actor. Becoming a professional performer requires years of practice, discipline hard work to accomplish. Hence, knowing where to go for training is the first step to pursuing a career in performing arts.

Attending any of the top professional performing arts schools today is already inspiring. But, what makes professional performing arts an excellent career? As a professional performer, you can impact the world with your skill. In addition, you get the chance to meet other professionals and work in the ever-interesting and eccentric field.

So, you expect nothing short of excellence from the best professional performing arts schools. Prepare your mind to move a lot when you enroll in a performing art school. It’s one of the core requirements of the field since you are your art.

Professional performing art school will help you hone your acting skills, learn techniques and acquire creative ideas about becoming a better performer and display your skills in auditions. Also, you get the opportunity to showcase your talent on the stage of your college.

Most of all, you are opportune to learn from the best and study with other students passionate about performing arts.

If you are passionate about performing art, below are the ten best-performing arts schools in 2023 you can enroll in and start your career journey today.

What is Performing Arts?

Performing arts includes all the different creative activities that professionals perform in front of an audience. They include all forms of the arts–from drama to dance and music. While many professional performing arts schools are available today, the best schools provide rigorous training and several practical experiences to students.

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Professional Performing Arts School Acceptance Rate 

While some arts-performing schools are easier to gain admission into, others have strict requirements. Therefore, a professional performing arts school acceptance rate is one way to consider if a school is right for you. Schools with higher acceptance rates are easier to gain admission.   

Schools like Central School for Speech and Drama University of London and Juilliard School are among the toughest to gain admission with only a 1% acceptance rate.

What is the Difference Between Professional Performing Arts Schools and Regular High Schools?

One of the key differences between a professional performing arts school and a regular high school is in the curriculum. While a performing art school’s program combines both training in performing arts with rigorous academic courses, regular high schools focus more on academic courses.

Again, professional performing arts schools allow students to select from a variety of majors. Unlike performing arts schools, students of regular high schools may be able to learn performing arts as an elective course or secondary activities.

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10 Best Professional Performing Arts Schools

Here are the top 10 performing art schools you can enroll in and kick-start your acting career.

  • Central School for Speech and Drama University of London
  • California Institute of Arts  
  • Carnegie Mellon School of Drama
  • The Old Globe and the University of San Diego
  • DePaul University’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television 
  • Guildhall School of Music & Drama
  • Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts 
  • Juilliard School 
  • London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts 
  • Mountview Academy of Theater Arts 

#1. Central School for Speech and Drama University of London

  • Location: London, England
  • Tuition and Fees: £20,000 – £30,000
  • Courses: BA (Hons) in Acting, MA in Acting
  • Acceptance rate: 1%

Central School of Speech and Drama University of London is one of the most competitive professional performing arts schools today with only a 1% acceptance rate. When it comes to producing brilliant performers, CSSD is next to none, which has earned it the title “British Hollywood”.

Graduates of this school often appear on a credit list in most of the iconic movie titles and TV shows. Some of the popular titles include movies like Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and Harry Potter. If you can scale through the competition, CSSD is the place to go for a great opportunity to become a great performer.

Some of the prominent alumni of the school are Martin Freeman, Judy Dench, and Jason Isaacs among others.

Follow the link to enroll in CSSD and start your professional performing arts journey today.

#2. California Institute of the Arts

  • Location: Valencia, USA
  • Tuition and Fees: $35,000 – $60,000
  • Courses: BFA in Acting, MFA in Acting, MFA in Theatre, California Institute of Arts
  • Acceptance rate: 29%

California Institute of the Arts was founded and established by Walter Elias Disney, the maker of the Mickey Mouse. The institute remains one of the best places to kickstart your acting career. In addition to the quality of training, you will acquire here, there are many great programs you can also learn from the California Institute of Arts.  

Many notable Hollywood stars passed through this institute to become the best in their field. They include notable names like Alison Brie, Tim Burton, and David Hasselhoff. Alumni from the school have also aired in some of the most famous Disney movies.

For more information about the California Institute of the Arts, follow the link.

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#3. Carnegie Mellon School of Drama

  • Location: Pittsburgh, USA
  • Tuition and Fees: $40,000 – $50,000
  • Courses: BFA in Acting, MFA in Acting
  • Admission rate: 13.5%

Carnegie Mellon School of Drama popularly known as the CMU School of Drama remains at the top of the list of acting schools in the world. CMU requires a lot of hard work to gain admission. CMU also comes with a great workload. Nevertheless, it pays off in the end to attend Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.

Some of the best actors pass through CMU School of Drama to prepare for their career industry. With its proximity to Pittsburgh’s theatre, you will have all the opportunities and tools to test your skills. CMU actors are undoubtedly among the best. Some of the notable alumni from CMU are William Atherton, Rene Auberjonois, and Hale Appleman.    

Click here to find out more about enrolling at CMU.

#4. The Old Globe and the University of San Diego

  • Location: San Francisco, USA
  • Tuition and Fees: $40,000 – $45,000
  • Courses: MFA in Acting
  • Acceptance rate: 2%

The Old Globe and the University of San Diego graduate theatre program was established in 1987. According to Hollywood Reporter, the Old Globe remains among the top-tier acting schools in the world today. In partnership with USD, the Old Globe currently runs a 2-year MFA program in acting led by Jesse Perez, who is a well-known director, actor, and choreographer.

The Old Globe graduate theatre program is very competitive, with only a 2% acceptance rate. Hence, to study at the Old Globe, you need to bring your best act. One notable figure from this school is Jim Parsons, renowned for his character as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory.

Follow the link for more info about enrollment and programs at Old Globe.

#5. DePaul University’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television 

  • Location: Chicago, USA
  • Tuition and Fees: $35,000 – $40,000
  • Courses: BFA in Acting, MFA in Acting
  • Acceptance rate: 68%

Several qualities make up the best acting schools in the world, and DePaul University’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television has some of those essential qualities. When it comes to producing quality actors and brilliant actresses, the school is among the most reputable in the world today.

Many of its graduates enjoy successful careers in Hollywood and other key movie production sectors. But then, DePaul University graduates are not just famous for their talents. They are also very creative and original.

It is almost a common sight in the school to find students practicing monologues from Shakespearean series at the cafeteria or performing spontaneous acts on the patio. Some of the noteworthy alumni from DePaul University’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television include Joe Keery, Gillian Anderson, and Judy Greer.

Follow the link for more information about enrollment and student life at DePaul.

#6.  Guildhall School of Music & Drama

  • Location: London, England
  • Tuition and Fees:  £20,000-£25,000
  • Courses: BA (Hons) in Acting, MA in Acting, MMus Performance
  • Acceptance rate: 10%

If you are a fan of 007, then you should consider Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Ranking as one of the best professional performing art schools in the world today, it is the school that produced some of your favorite 007 characters.

Also, the school is famous for producing some of the biggest names in Hollywood today. However, it is not just the eminent alumni that make the school prestigious. Her strength lies in the quality of training and various performance opportunities that students enjoy at the school.

The school also has some of the best facilities, with an outstanding faculty. Little wonder experts recommend it as one of the top-notch acting schools to kickstart your career.  Some of the noteworthy alumni from Guildhall today include Orlando Bloom, Daniel Craig, and Ewan McGregor.

For more information about Guildhall, click here.

#7. Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts 

  • Location: Working, England
  • Fees:  £20,000-£25,000
  • Courses: BA (Hons) in Acting, MA in Acting
  • Acceptance rate:  10%

The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts is among the best professional performing arts schools in the world today. For over 100 years, the school is among the list of schools producing some of the finest quality performers.

The school is located in England and specializes in providing various performance opportunities and hard training to brew the best quality performers. Whether it’s stage performers or screen actors, Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts has undoubtedly stamped its foot in the entertainment industry across the globe.

Some of the famous graduates from the college include Brian Aherne, Gabrielle Anwar, Tony Adams, and Zaraah Abrahams. 

For more information about the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, follow the link.

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#8. Juilliard School 

  • Location: NYC, USA
  • Tuition and Fees: $40,000-$50,000
  • Courses: BFA in Drama, MFA in Drama
  • Acceptance rate: 7.4%

When it comes to the top professional performing arts school Julliard is one of the best places to consider. The school was founded in 1905 and there is a good reason why many professionals consider it an excellent place to receive quality knowledge in the performing arts.

Students receive rigorous training at Julliard School in preparation for their acting careers. Successful students graduate from Julliard fully prepared for their careers in the performing arts. In addition, they receive all the training they need to reach their full potential in life.

One of Julliard’s strong points is its focus on practical skills. Students engage in various in several stage performances throughout their stay at Julliard. Furthermore, the school comprises some of the best trainers in the industry who have the required skill to provide mentorship and quality guidance.

Some of the notable names to pass through Julliard School include Jessica Chastain, Sara Ramirez, Oscar Isaacs, Viola Davis, and Adam Driver.

Follow the link for more information about Julliard School.

#9. London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts 

  • Location: London, England
  • Tuition and Fees: £14,000-£20,000
  • Courses: BA (Hons) in Acting, BA (Hons) in Professional Acting, MA in Classical Acting for Professional Theatre
  • Acceptance rate: 75 – 80 %

London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) is among the earliest professional drama schools in the British Isles. It is also a founding member of the Federation of Theatre Schools and arguably a great place to pursue a career in professional performing arts.

In 2018, was succeeded by Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Strange) as the head of the Board of Trustees. Subsequently, in 2022, Professor Mark O’Thomas became the principal of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. He took over from Sarah Frankcom.  

When it comes to success, graduates of LAMDA are among the best in their careers. Many of them are gainfully employed at places like the Royal National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and other top theatres in the West End of London.

Some of the prominent alumni from LAMDA include notable names like James Bundy, Tony Goldwyn, David Abeles, Brian Cox, and Zeljko Ivanek.

Follow the link for more information about LAMDA.

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#10. Mountview Academy of Theater Arts 

  • Location: London, England
  • Tuition and Fees: £14,000 – £22,000
  • Courses: BA (Hons) in Acting, BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre, MA in Acting
  • Acceptance rate: 75 – 80 %

Mountainview Academy of Theatre Arts is one is an excellent place for young and promising actors. In addition to rigorous training, the school also has all the equipment students need to excel in their careers.

Some of the available resources in the school include twenty-three acting and dance studios, two theatres, and TV and radio suites. In addition, the school has conference rooms, rehearsal rooms, and modern on-campus cafes and bars.

Graduates from Mountainview Academy of Theatre Arts enjoy a high employment rate of up to 90%. Also. Its students take part in over 70% of the theatre production in the mountain view area. Some notable graduates from the school include Emily Aboud, Maria Aberg, and Kelly Adams.

For more information about the Mountain Academy of Theatre Arts, follow the link.

FAQs

What is the hardest professional performing arts school to get into?

Julliard is the most difficult performing arts school to get into. When it comes to taking in new students, Julliard School is highly selective. In addition, all students undergo an in-person audition.

What is the most expensive professional performing arts school?   

The Julliard School ranks as the most expensive performing arts school in the world today. The tuition and fees for Julliard range from $40,000—$50,000.

Which schools can I study performing arts in?

Any of the schools in this top ten list can be an excellent place to kickstart your performing arts career.

Which country is the best place for those that wish to study performing acts?

Some of the best acting schools are found in the United States and the United Kingdom. Many students, both domestic and oversea students enroll in acting schools in these countries daily.

In what areas do actors, major the most?

Many actors and actresses choose to major in drama during their undergraduate years. however, many of them go for MFA during their graduate level.

Are acting schools worth the time and the energy?

Yes. Attending a professional acting school is an excellent way to start your journey if you wish to become a professional actor and excel in the industry. Both the training and the connection you will make are crucial to your growth in the industry.

Conclusion

The best-performing art schools in 2023 are the ones that provide extensive training and quality facilities to prepare students for their performing arts careers. While regular high schools may offer training in performance art, it is always best to attend a professional performing arts school, since they are more practical in their approach.  

Additionally, attending a performing arts school will allow you to focus more on your passion and education rather than an extracurricular activity. Since many of these schools audition students before they grant them admission, it helps to ensure that each student has a passion for the performing arts before offering admission.

Therefore, ensure you have the qualities and passion before applying to enroll in any of the professional performing arts schools.

References

  • Amber blog— 20 Best Acting Schools in The World In 2023
  • Kamer Power—15 Best Performing Arts High School |What is the Most famous Performing Arts School?

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