Arts & Culture,
Performing Arts Schools,
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.
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.