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: 5 stars  

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

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

Film and on stage.

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

Change nothing about it.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did you find this group?

I found them on the internet. They are the only accredited acting school in the greater Capitol Washington area.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

They have encouraged me to be a great actor, a professional and to be kind and sincere to people everywhere.

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Quite well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

auditions, on stage, preparing a role.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

How did you find this group?

Internet search

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

The Conservatory encouraged me to have confidence that I can pursue an acting career.

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Rating: 5 stars  

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!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was enrolled in the Conservatory during 2007-2008. I found it to be a professionally run, intensive, useful program that hit on all the fundamentals needed to pursue a career in acting. The audition and business classes were particularly helpful and something that was neglected at the university where I previously studied. The staff and faculty were very helpful and available, and have remained so for me since graduating. It is very much a family atmosphere, with wonderfully small classes and lots of individual attention. The camaraderie, bonding, and network during and after my time there have been really important in launching my post-Conservatory acting career.

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

I would love for them to find a really rich patron to help them expand their facilities and curriculum, and be able to offer scholarships.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

How did you find this group?

Actor's Center newsletter

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a recent graduate of both the basic and advanced programs at NCDA. Their training was professional, comprehensive, tough, but nurturing at the same time. Since I've graduated, I've used their services for monologue development and other advice (all free of charge). I'm now in a professional production and am using every bit of the training I received at NCDA. It has enabled me to prepare for auditions as well as develop a character far beyond what I was able to do before I attended this program. Naturally, any program is only as good as what you're willing to put into it, but if you are serious about becoming an actor, this group will help you get there.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

A nurturing environment and the freedom to take chances make the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts' actor training the most effective I have ever experienced. The work is challenging and incredibly gratifying. Opportunities to find employment and learn about the business of acting make this school truly unique. NCDA will provide the skills to anyone who is serious about become a working actor and continue to support you is so many ways even after graduation. My heartfelt thanks to the staff for the incredible hours they put in to make this school a success.

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

Being able to find work as a result of this training.

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

Add voice (singing) to the curriculum.

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