National Conservatory Of Dramatic Arts

Rating: 4.84 stars   37 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 1556 Wisconsin Ave Nw Washington DC 20007 USA

Mission: The founders of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts realized the need in 1975 for a quality program in the Washington area, which would allow students to train for careers in the performing arts.  Prior to the establishment of the Conservatory students wishing to train as actors were compelled to move to either New York or California to attend Conservatories in those states.  The performing arts in the Washington area have enjoyed enormous growth over the past ten years, increasing the demand for professionally trained actors.  The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts remains the only full-time, accredited acting program in the area.  Prospective students must demonstrate their readiness for training through a formal admissions process including both interview and audition.  Student Actors admitted to the Conservatory Program spend four consecutive semesters training twenty hours per week in voice, speech, acting, stage movement, stage combat, theatre history and rehearsal labs.  Students who have demonstrated professionalism and promise move on after the Conservatory Program to be members of Actor’s Repertory Theatre (ART) and spend an additional two semesters as members of the ensemble perfecting their craft in a professional company atmosphere, and appear in three full productions which are open to the public and invited members of the Washington theatre and performing arts community.
Results: We have graduated 700 students, and our actors are on stages and screens in LA, NY, DC, Chicago, and all over the country.
Target demographics: All ages and races who are looking to start a career or 2nd career as a professional actor.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 30 students
Programs: We offer two programs of study. A 4 semester Diploma in acting, and a 2 semester Advanced repertory company.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

While I'd taken acting classes at many different places, I did not get the comprehensive instruction about acting that you find at the Conservatory. They prepare you for the stage and for the business. Not just acting tools, but success in getting auditions, and selling and marketing your skills. I've stayed involved because I believe in the people there and their work. NCDA truly is a home with an ever-growing family.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the fact that I have been able to get work through the training they provide, and work with people and organizations that I came in contact with through the Conservatory.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

see if it were possible to bring in professionals in casting/producing/management more frequently to provide students with additional networking and growth opportunities.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

It was a challenge as a student, but it was always fun. And it has continued to be fun in my work volunteering with them. They are consummate professionals, but incredibly generous with their time and their laughter. Makes for a good time.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

incredibly enthusiastic about their work, and supportive of your efforts, so long as you made an effort. They bend over backwards to help you get where you need to. Also, they're hilarious.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand its curriculum, give countless more students without the resources the chance to experience a great arts education, support fellow organizations in both the Georgetown and arts communities, and maybe even open branches elsewhere, if so inclined.

Ways to make it better...

They had been able to devote more time to some related studies, such as stage combat and/or the technical side of the business, but there is only so much time, and they have limited resources.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

a constant battle to keep up funding, and to continue marketing effectively to potential students in the area.

One thing I'd also say is that...

My experience at NCDA helped shape who I am today, and introduced me to people I will be friends with forever. And for that I will always be grateful.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I did not really know what to expect when I enrolled in the NCDA. As a "true senior" (over 65) I did not know how I would fit in; how I would mesh with the much younger students; how I was going to learn lines; and how I was going to use this training to launch into my third career. Attending NCDA was one of the best things I have ever done. The training was superb and the interaction with my younger classmates was a most rewarding experience. The faculty, all of whom are working actors pushed hard in their instruction and provided encouragement all the way. Upon completion of the program, I knew that I was eager and ready to compete in the world of theatre. I always make myself available to talk to potential students. I do this because I am always confident that they too will find that completing NCDA is one of the best things they can do.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the way the NCDA leasership and faculty continue to avail themselves to help former students meet new challenges. This support includes counseling, audition coaching, much-needed encouragement. Their committment to "go-the-extra- mile has inspired me to d

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

My Three year program at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts far exceeded my expectations. I received a solid education and worked with some if the best actors and directors in the Washington area. Since finishing my program two years ago, I have worked consistently in theater. I recommend this program to anyone who is seriously considering a career in acting.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The rapport with people of all different ages, education, and socio-economic classes

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

improve the physical space, e.g. a more sophisticated sound and light system in the theater; renovate the bathrooms and install showers; have a fully equipped kitchen; give the faculty well deserved raises; and expand the program to include film making au

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

It was my dream to become an actress and after attending the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts my dream became a reality. Attending this school was the best decision I’ve ever made. It offers an intense acting training program with well qualified professionals. A month after finishing the program I was active and booking many acting opportunities. NCDA was a magical and life changing experience for me. I would recommend it to anyone that would like to become a serious actor.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Extremely helpful and grew to be like family.

Ways to make it better...

N/A

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

 
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