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National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts

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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

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 4

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.



Rating: 5

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.



Rating: 5

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.



Rating: 5

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.