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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Performing Arts Schools, Theater

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.

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

From a student's perspective--great training from an excellent faculty. From a theater goer's perspective--an opportunity to enjoy innovative theater while supporting actors-in-training. From a local artist's perspective--a widely respected organization with opportunities to collaborate and network. Good people doing quality stuff for theater in DC.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I graduated from the advanced acting program at NCDA four years ago. My experience as a student was positive, and I've also had a positive experience as an alum. The faculty continues to take an interest in the students even after they graduate, and that's been immensely valuable to me.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Folks at NCDA as they would like to be called treat you a family that will never cast you out. I feel I have joined a family that only continue to grow with an outstanding group of people

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a graduate of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts. The administrators and faculty consistently showed that they were willing to go the extra mile to help students succeed. Their knowledge and expertise, as well as their commitment to excellent teaching, and small classes, all contributed to a terrific, hands-on, practical education that has readied me for an acting career.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts is a great resource for education and support for the arts. It serves as a incubator for aspiring actors but also provides shows and resources for people to experience theatre and other art for free. It is amazing how much they are able to accomplish and do for people with such limited resources. They find instructors who not only are working professionals, but also usually are the top in their areas of expertise. The curriculum is varied and ever-evolving to adapt to the needs of the field. They help students during their time at school and beyond as they start their careers. Unlike most schools, the personalized attention is unparallelled. They truly want people to succeed and foster a competitive edge in their students to allow them to thrive in a highly demanding field.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The school is a home away from home and the staff and students are my family members. One is treated with the utmost respect and cared for dearly. In this school, I have been privleaged to work with professionals who really know the craft and will to anything in their power to make sure one succeeds in the aggressive and competative world of acting. They will introduce you to their connects so that you stand a fighting chance in the world of acting. The most important advantage of this school is that they are accredited and for great reason too. The school is a powerful tool needed for this field and they will work with you very well because they understand everybody has a busy life. If I can do it, so can you.

2 gmichaelharris

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a student at NCDA in 2007-08. When I arrived I had over a decade of stumbling around between community theater and low level professional. I wanted to make the jump to being a serious professional, but had little idea how to do it, and limited training. In the three and half years since graduation, I have earned my Equity card, performed in several nationally prominent theaters in D.C., become the Artistic and Executive Director of the Baltimore Improv Group, and returned to NCDA as a member of the faculty. For years my development as an artist was hampered by the need to pay the bills for my family. Now I am able to make a living and care for my loved ones using jobs that are all theater related. NCDA is the reason that my life has changed in this way, and I could not be more thankful.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I completed both of the programs at NCDA and it was one of the best things I have ever done. I learned about not only the craft of acting, but the business as well and I believe that I now have the tools to succeed. The people at NCDA are some of the most dedicated I have ever met and I would never have learned this much anywhere else.

1 Joshua D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts gave me everything I need to pursue an acting career. At the Conservatory, I developed and practiced skills and techniques, learned about the business of acting and how to market myself, all from an extremely qualified faculty that genuinely cared about me and my education. The Conservatory provides an incredibly welcoming atmosphere and support network that continues beyond graduation. The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts has made my dream of an acting career possible.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great training! Far exceeded expectations and the amount and information taught truly puts us ahead of a four year degree program in theatre. Unbelievable amount of time saved. Unbelievable amount of learning gained. Greatest acting secret in DC!