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
Write a Review
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts is a terrific gem of an acting school located in Georgetown. Great faculty!

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

Very Well

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

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
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.

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I began training at the Conservatory exactly twelve years ago. Ten years later, I am a successful working actor, primarily in the theatre. I owe everything to the Conservatory. Without the training, guidance, and support of the faculty, administration, and fellow student body, I wouldn't be where I am today. I apply the training I received at the Conservatory to my work as an actor daily, and I've expounded upon that training. As a result, I'm not only an alumnus, but a member of the faculty as well. I always encourage people who are looking to begin their training to first consider the Conservatory. It has not only helped me grow (and continue to grow) in my craft, but it's helped me to grow in life. I thank the Conservatory wholeheartedly for that. ~Frank Britton

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?

2010

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

I have found the graduates from the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts (NCDA) to be extremely professional and very well trained. When I come across an NCDA graduate at and audition, I always give them special consideration.

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

Very Well

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

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
profile
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

An excellent training ground for those in the DC area who want a certificate program in acting - the faculty is terrific, all professionals in their own right who are making a living in this field in the DC area.

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

Quite 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? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

The Nat'l Conservatory is an arts-championing educational institution that welcomes students immediately into a FAMILY. The network created here is something that is so hard for actors of any age to find, in any market. Here, students train with professionals *currently in the field* -- people who can tell them what the greater artistic community is like right here & now, but also people who could potentially get them work after graduation. The man who just taught you script analysis? He runs a bold experimental theatre company. The man who just introduced you to Commedia? He operates a children's theatre doing original work. The woman working with you on monologues just finished a national tour, and is currently writing a show with her husband (also on staff), set to be produced by a local company. This is a place where students are given tools to become thoughtful actors, serving this and other communities through storytelling, while being able to raise a family or keep steady employment. This is the first institution I have encountered where students were ALWAYS welcome back, be it for advice or coaching or support. NCDA gives so many people the confidence, skills and courage to keep the arts alive & flourishing.

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

Quite 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? 
Rating: 4 stars  

A place of enlightment and discovery. The National Conservatory of dramatic Arts or (NCDA) is more than a building where acting classes are held, it serves as a preperation gateway for a career field that is extremely competitive. Within 3 months of intensive learning, from styles ranging from classical to contemporary studies, my experience has compelled me to become the best actor I can be and more. I recommend anyone who wants down-to-earth, humanized, and GENIUNE training to appear in front of these doors ASAP. Well, what are you waiting for?

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

Prepeartion for my jobs and future gigs in the industry.

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

create a more tech-savvy environment.

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?

2008

What is unique about this organization?

The home-like environment which allows people of all shapes, sizes, sex, race, etc to learn or/and better their craft as actors in full potential.

Was this review helpful? 
profile
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

As a DC Filmmaker, it's refreshing to have a place to turn time and time again for experienced, professional actors who treat their craft with the determination it requires for success. The students want to work, and we're constantly looking for actors. It's a win-win.

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

Very Well

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

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have had the pleasure of being associated with this school for well over ten years. In that time, I have been so impressed with the dedication exhibited by those who run this school. They are committed to improving their programs and always show a willingness to expand, try things and risk new ideas. Two examples of many would be the new play component of the ART program as well as film. In both of these cases, the school has reached beyond its comfort zone in an effort to better serve the students who attend the school.

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

the greater Washington D.C. area. I have lost count of the number of students who have gone on from their studies at the Conservatory to be busy professional actors at local theaters in the area. I have also worked with a number of students in the professional arena and have found them to be more serious, well-trained and dependable than many of the actors who come from other programs.

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

In so far as possible, raise the bar on admissions in order to attract more students without jeopardizing the program.

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts has a staff of incredibly talented professionals who not only understand the craft of acting, but also the craft of teaching. Through the 2-year acting program, students are guided through their own personal discoveries and allowed the freedom to explore and express themselves in a safe, nurturing environment. Wonderful program!

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

Shooting commercials and industrials is often a constant struggle to find actors who understand the process and what is expected of them on set. The Conservatory is the only school in the area that has woven together acting technique with film production classes.

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

I wouldn't mind seeing the film program expanded.

Was this review helpful?