Top 5 Performing Art Schools in America

Top 5 Performing Art Schools in America

Some of Hollywood and Broadway thespians weren’t products of top performing art schools in America, but that doesn’t mean that that taking classes from these Ivy League picks are a waste of money.  In fact, exposure to the same techniques, theories and concepts that have produced some of Tinsel Town’s most notable talents could give future alums a solid foundation, should they want a career in theater, TV or the big screen. 

If they can’t make it big there, there will always be windows of opportunities in the academe, where their training and experiences are valuable assets to be imparted to future thespians. 

If you’re looking forward to a bright future in Broadway, you can start your journey to fame in one of the top performing art schools in America outlined below:

1. Julliard School, New York City * - The Julliard School is not for the weak of heart and stomach.  It won’t train you with kitten gloves, nor will it shower you with compliments for your acting chops.  It will eat you whole and alive, only to spit you out as graduates with thick skins, frightening eloquence and scriptwriting savoir-faire.  Kevin Spacey, a 1981 alumnus, shares how he protested the tough treatment by a teacher who compared his voice to a tattered rope to a student group.  “She said, ‘You’re an idiot.  Don’t you realize that I’m the hardest on you because I think you’re the most talented, but I also know you’re the laziest?’  And she was right.”*

Aside from Kevin Spacey, other notable alums were Robin Williams and Jessica Chastain.

2. Yale School of Drama, New Haven Connecticut*.  Imagine being taught by Tony Award nominees themselves*.  That’s what you’ll get in Yale School of Drama, and more.  The Yale School of Drama has been providing rigorous training in every discipline in theater since 1900.  Most notable alums include Sigourney Weaver and Meryl Streep.*

3. Tisch School of Arts, NYU, New York City*.  Most notable are the Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) and the Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) programs.  Students are well-rounded, but well-trained in the discipline they have chosen for themselves.  Most notable members of the alumni are Felicity Huffman and Alec Baldwin.

4. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania*.  Founded 10 years before the Yale School of Drama, Carnegie Mellon have produced 24 Tonny and 95 Emmy Awardees, and six Oscar awardees, to name a few. 

5. University of Carolina School of Arts, Winston-Salem North Carolina*.  Just to give you an idea of how rigorous their application standards are:  UNCSA only accepts about 5% of their applicants*.  It is no wonder that many of their alumni have won roles in film, TV and theater productions.

Be warned:  these schools expect only the best and will often be very selective of their applicants.  But getting in and being able to graduate from one of the top performing art schools in America is not only a big honor, it’s also the beginning of a promising future in TV, big screen and theater. 


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