Are you looking for a place that can train you in acting and help you acquire essential skills for moving ahead in the theatre and film industry?
Looking for a drama school that provides such opportunities is a good place to start. There are some prominent drama schools in India—in both rural and urban spaces.
In urban spaces, drama schools can be found in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore. In these urban centres, students come from a greater variety of cultures, which will ensure that there will be ready-made conditions for multiple and diverse social perspectives in the learning space.
Of course, there are more definitive criteria you need to consider when choosing a drama school for your education. In this post, we will outline the basics for you.
Look for a Holistic Pedagogy
What does a holistic syllabus in theatre education look like?
The subjects would actually go beyond just acting. A drama school that takes a holistic approach to your education would also impart the processes of creation and entrepreneurship. To have an understanding of this, your preferred syllabus should generally include, but not be restricted to, these subjects:
Acting: These are the areas and skills that will help you bring out your best performances on stage.
- Script analysis
- Scene study
Tip: Always ask about the frequency of performance opportunities per semester. As an actor, the best way to test yourself is to perform a piece of theatre for the people who know how to constructively criticize it.
Creation: These are subjects that will help you write, create, and produce your own work. Call it a theatre-making lab where you will play the part of storyteller, writer, actor, and producer.
- Devising and presenting
- Scenography, Makeup, and Costume
- Lighting design
- Sound design
- Stage management
Tip: This stage of the semester is usually driven through one-on-one conversations with a guide or a mentor. Students get feedback based on their writing, interpretation, and performances on a weekly basis. Ask if, at the end of the semester, there is a provision for students to produce a self-created project to an audience.
Entrepreneurship: These are subjects that will help you write, accept critiques, and market your work to the right audience segments. You could also be asked to research and interview living theatre practitioners to understand the process from scratch.
- Script reading
- Research and praxis
- Discourse and discussion on theatre, cinema and other art forms
- Written communication and marketing
Tip: Ask which theatre personalities you can get access to. Some drama schools have a working relationship with visiting lecturers who are also active theatre practitioners.
Assess Budget Needs, Ask for EMIs
Some students are interested in courses that last a fortnight. Drama schools often have guest speakers who conduct a series of workshops and webinars for a short-term period.
Some can afford the time and money to spend 1-4 years on their theatre education. These degrees and postgraduate courses can be expensive, so it is important to assess how the drama school of your choice provides for candidates in need of financial aid.
Look for drama schools with EMI facilities, scholarships, and bursaries. If you intend to apply for scholarships, you will be required to submit a complete application for the same that sufficiently demonstrates your eligibility.
Look for Accomplished Faculty and Alumni
Go through the school’s website to see who the faculty are. Once you do this, spend a day or two researching them and their credentials on external forums, film databases, and actor databases to make sure they are fairly accomplished in the performing arts. Professionals who are still working in the field tend to instill confidence into one’s process—they could be producers, directors, playwrights, voiceover artists, dancers, designers, actors, and more.
The other way to verify the credentials of the drama school is through its alumni. Have they performed in productions since graduating from the school? How well-known are they? If most of the alumni are finding work in the theatre, film and allied industries, then you know that the school has done its job well.
Look for a Careful Application Process
When you apply to a drama school, notice their process of selection. If it is a gradual, intensive one, you can be sure that the faculty have set high standards for their course.
In addition to a CV, most drama schools will ask the candidate to write a SOP on why they are undertaking the course. Some of the stricter schools will even keep an age and experience cutoff, especially if it is a postgraduate course.
The best schools will also send you through a round or two of auditions, followed by an interview. You will be expected to answer professional and personal questions, much like a job interview.
Make Sure You Get a Renowned Credential
In the end, you have to ask yourself how the drama school in question will secure your future prospects.
A renowned drama school will give you renowned credentials.
Recruiters in theatre companies, production houses, performing arts groups, and film productions will be aware of its reputation, and you will find it relatively easier to and a job or gig after graduating with a degree or certificate from the drama school in question. Your prospects might even improve in applied theatre, for fields such as drama therapy, dance therapy, and corporate training. A big name stays in the mind longer.
If you have searched far and wide and have come to no conclusions yet, note that our PG Certificate course at the Drama School Mumbai meets these requirements. Drama School Mumbai is more than just a school; we create the conditions for actors to hone themselves inside our community of thespians.
With alumni on films, OTT platforms like Netflix and Hotstar, and educators who take the time to understand your personal acting process, applying for an intensive 1-year postgraduate course at our Drama School Mumbai might be just the thing you need to upskill.