“The theatre is the only institution in the world which has been dying for four thousand years and has never succumbed. It requires tough and devoted people to keep it alive.”
― John Steinbeck
Do you dream of expressing your artistic talents on the stage? Perhaps you're even ready to start auditioning for drama school this year. There are lots of amazing drama schools all over the country - but which will be the best fit for you?
Most drama schools will take an audition fee, so it's important to narrow down your list to just a few schools.
And what about audition preparation? You can look into acting classes Perth to gain confidence, hone your technique and ensure your audition will be a success.
If you're hoping to enrol soon, it's important to do thorough research on all your options before committing to a course. Let us take you through an overview of the acting school landscape in Australia. In building this list, we've take into account general reputation, facilities, teaching staff, well-known alumni and industry standing.
On the other hand, don't get stuck on the idea that you'll need to move to Melbourne or Sydney or even abroad to train at a top drama school. Whilst there are many great drama training institutions in the big cities, many students can't afford to live away from home just yet. You'll find there are drama school gems to be found in many unusual places - such as Perth.
The Best Acting Schools in Melbourne And Sydney
As the National Institute for the Dramatic Arts, NIDA's reputation proceeds it as one of the top acting schools in Australia.
After graduating from NIDA, you'll be in good company - NIDA has a star-studded alumni, including greats who've made it big locally and abroad - such as Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette and Mel Gibson.
But let's dig a little deeper into NIDA - aspiring actors will primarily be drawn to their Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. But perhaps you're interested in other parts of theatre production? They offer streams in Costume, Design for Performance, as well as Technical Theatre and Stage Management - and no matter which stream you take, you'll be graduating with a Bachelors in Fine Arts.
You'll also get to collaborate on performances with students from other disciplines, widening your horizons and connecting to a community of passionate theatre-makers.
Not sure if you're ready to commit to a full three-year Bachelor degree? You can take advantage of NIDA Open - a suite of programs designed for teenagers and adults who are passionate about acting, theatre-making, design and performance to learn at NIDA.
They offer both weekend and evening courses, short courses over a few days or weeks, and school holiday workshops for kids and teens. Already acting professionally? You can take advantage of NIDA open to get some professional development and ace that next audition.
If you're hoping to study one day at NIDA, the NIDA Open programme can give you an idea of the quality of teaching you'll receive. If you have a young actor at home who is weighing up their higher education options, going for a short course or holiday course there can help them make their decision.
NIDA are abreast of the digital age - they have now branched out into offering online acting courses for adults. So no matter where you are in Australia, you can access their world-class acting teachers.
Victorian College of the Arts (VCA)
VCA is part of Melbourne University, which recently renovated their Southbank Campus and put in new, world-class theatres. Like many of the programs we'll mention in this article, your acting stream is one among many fine arts and performing arts streams offered by the university, so you'll get to put on performances while working with students from other disciplines, such as lighting, music, dramaturgy, screenwriting...
The National Theatre
The National Theatre offers a full-time accredited acting course for students 18 years and over. You'll graduate after three years with an Advanced Graduate Diploma in Acting. Subject areas include Movement, Voice and Signing, Improvisation, Stage acting, Screen Acting, Character development, text analysis and industry knowledge.
Another great course designed to help students try out the school and dip their toe into the world of acting is the Foundation in Acting Course, which takes place over 16 weeks and introduces the necessary skills for a career as a professional actor. Curious about acting but never done it before? The National Theatre has you covered - they offer a series of Introductory short courses to those who want to try acting out for the first time. These provide a safe, welcoming environment to the beginner actor, and you're given the option to graduate to a more structured course when you feel comfortable.
Get information about acting classes Melbourne.
There are a number of great acting colleges in Sydney. One of the most well-known is the Actors Centre Australia (ACA), which also offers an Advanced Diploma of Dramatic Arts. This will see you graduating in three years, and joining famous alumni such as Hugh Jackman.
Sydney is undoubtedly the biggest hub for Australia film, TV and drama - even our national news is filmed there! Any young Australian actor hoping to work onscreen should view the programs on offer at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS).
You could also look into smaller, boutique schools for a more personalised experience. There are almost too many of them too choose from, include the Actors College of Television and Theatre, The Sydney Film School for aspiring movie stars and the Sydney Theatre School for the Shakespearily-inclined.
One piece of advice we have for young actors: start early, and get all the experience you can!
Live in Sydney and have a young actor at home? There are also many great opportunities to enrich their theatre and performance experience, particularly as the Australian Theatre for Young People. You could join them up to a weekend drama ensemble or get them some screen experience with the Screen Acting Ensemble.
You may take acting classes Sydney part-time or full-time, online or in-person.
The Best Acting School in Perth
Many aspiring dancers, singers and actors move over to the other side of Australia, chasing the world-class training they can get at WAAPA - that's the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. It is managed by Edith Cowan University, but maintains its own strong presence and excellence across many different artistic disciplines.
If acting is your focus, WAAPA offers a Bachelor of Arts (Acting) to aspiring thespians. You'll be prepared for a career across many different media, include films, theatre, television and radio.
Did you know: Hugh Jackman is one of WAAPA's most famous graduates!
Because you'll be studying acting in a conservatoire with highly-renowned fine arts and music programs, you'll be able to collaborate with students from other disciplines on projects - preparing you for an exciting career collaborating with other artists. They offer masterclasses with guest directors, performance opportunities and strong links to the industry.
Can't commit to a full-time degree? WAAPA also offers a one-year Diploma of Acting, which focuses on skilling up students who wish to act in theatre. It's counterpart is the one-year Diploma of Screen Performance, which trains young actors to work in film and television.
Having a range of theatre-making, film, writing and performance skills serves an actor well, since many move into playwriting or working behind the camera!
Need to prepare for your big audition? Whether you're intending to enter university for acting, or simply trying to nail your next audition, we're here to help. You can find a more general class by searching "acting classes Melbourne" or "acting classes Sydney". If you need the one-on-one attention only a tutor can provide, why not find someone right here on Superprof?
You'll be able to access an in-depth background to your potential new tutor, including
- any qualifications they hold
- their years of experience
- the methods of acting they teach
- verified reviews from past students who have studied with them!
Want to look beyond Australia to cultural hubs such as London or New York? Dream of auditioning for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art or making it big in the city that never sleeps? Read our guide to the world's best drama schools.