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8 Best Drama Schools in the World

Kenna wrote, and directed several plays, taught acting for kids. She is a former talent scout and directs and produces.

1. David Geffen School of Drama at Yale


Yale Drama School Free

Yale School of Drama's reputation stands by claiming that each graduate acquires an agent within one month. Cole Porter, Angela Bassett, Julie Harris, Thorton Wilder, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep and Paul Giamatti are just a few well-known alums. Since being established in 1924, the school offers programs in every theatre discipline one can imagine.

David Geffen School of Drama at Yale

Tuition and Living Expenses

The tuition is free, based on a remarkable gift from David Geffen. His generous donation ensures that full-time students in degree and certificate programs will receive 100% tuition remission from each day forward. Rightly so, the school's name changed to David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University. Books and estimated living expenses come to $21,000, including Yale Health Hospitalization/Speciality Coverage.

2. The Juilliard School


In her memoir, Patti Lupone felt truly educated when she arrived at Juilliard. The drama school's founder John Houseman imbued her with an unthinkable discipline of taking her diction problem to strangulation if she did not overcome her plight. The Julliard School takes the adventure of drama rather strictly in the most creative way. High success guarantees in a handful of the disciplines: Oscar Isaac, Patti Lupone, Viola Davis and Jessica Chastain, a few reputable alumni. An agent says students learn and understand the classics, turning young talent into classical masters of the technique.

The Julliard School

Tuition and Expenses

Tuition estimates at $39,720, with living expenses varying depending on whether students live on or off-campus. The cost includes room and meals from $14,790 to $18,460, depending on a double or single room. Book and supplies are $ 3,440, so the total per year is $57,950 to $61,620.

Those who decide to live off-campus are looking at much higher housing and food costs, including transportation costs around $1,008. Potential students should note that there are application fees as well.

3. Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama


Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama

Holly Hunter and Ted Danson are a handful of the famous alumni of CMU, including the creator of Wicked and Pippin, Stephen Schwartz, who is a graduate. CMU graduates earned six Oscars, 31 Tonys and 99 Emmys. Carnegie holds the most graduates with awards than any other drama school.

Tuition and Expenses

Tuition for both resident and off-campus students is the same at $49,610, while other fees apply at $1,055, with room and board costing $14,972. Books and supplies cost an estimated $2,400. The university includes part-time tuition with $465 per unit.

4. Royal Academy of Dramatic Art


Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art speaks the history of theater. Playwright George Bernard Shaw asked a third of his royalties to RADA. Such notable graduates are Maggie Gyllenhaal and Anthony Hopkins. Sir Lawrence Olivier taught at RADA, while he has also bestowed one-third of his royalties to RADA.


Tuition fees formulate in UK currency for the local, island, and overseas students. The tuition ranges from 9,000 pounds to 17,200 pounds. Students living in the UK and with low-income can apply for scholarships.

5. San Francisco American Conservatory Theater

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American Conservatory Theater

San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater (ACT) is a hard act to follow. The school works within one of the top regional theaters, and the drama program draws undergrads. They attend the school’s 15-week semester. Ed Davis, Annette Bening and Denzel Washington are just a few well-known graduates.

Tuition and Expenses

Tuition and fees can estimate $26,750 and total $48,131 with supplies and cost of living. The school offers child care and other services as additional fees.

6. Northwestern University School of Drama


Northwestern University School of Drama

Northwestern University graduates are the talented Charlton Heston, Warren Beatty, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Stephen Colbert and the founder of Lookingglass Theatre, David Schwimmer.

Tuition and Expenses

Financial aid is available for low-income families, and it appears resident and out-of-state tuition does not vary. The total for one year of schooling runs about $63,554. The cost includes miscellaneous fees, room and board, and books and supplies.

7. CalArts


Cal Arts' Center for New Performance is part of a school established by Walt Disney. Don Cheadle, Alison Brie, and Ed Harris are a handful of graduates who graced the school. Not considered a drama school, but a theatre school gives students the chance to work with the likes of Ron Cephas Jones in the production of Prometheus Bound at Getty Villa.

Tuition and Expenses

Tuition for an academic year runs about $45,030 for full-time enrollment. Payment plans are available, and other fees may apply. Tuition includes instruction, facilities, and some materials used in regular programs. Students need to be financially able to pay for other supply materials required for most projects.

Christopher Pheiffer, CalArts School of Theater MFA

Deciding on a Drama School

8. The Academy of Dramatic Arts

The Academy of Dramatic Arts

The American Academy of Dramatic Arts of Los Angeles and New York (Manhattan) are private institutions as a performing arts conservatory. The students earn and associate a degree and audition for an invitation to be in the third-year theater company. Most students transfer to another higher institution to earn a bachelor's degree.

The academy is the oldest acting school globally as an English-speaking school. Both schools have impressive alumni, including Lauren Bacall, Anne Bancroft, Danny DeVito, Paul Rudd, and Robert Redford.

Tuition and Expenses

The undergraduate tuition and fees of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles are $36,190, of which about thirty-seven percent of the enrolled undergraduate students receive grants or scholarships at an average of $8,835. The total tuition and fees at AADA Los Angeles are $42,940, including education, books, fees, living costs and supplies.

The American Academy of Dramatic Arts New York undergraduate tuition and fees as a full-time student is $59,219 for all students, no matter their residency. This includes $34,410 for tuition, $19,555 housing, $570 for supplies and books and $750 for miscellaneous fees.

© 2015 Kenna McHugh

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