16 Best Acting Schools in South Africa

The South African acting school industry is booming, but there’s still a lot of confusion about whether or not you need to attend an acting school in order to become an actor. 

In this article, we’ll explore some of the benefits and drawbacks of enrolling in acting schools in South Africa as well as some of the best schools in our country.

What is an Acting School?

Acting schools are places where students can learn about acting and the performing arts. Acting schools offer courses that range from beginner classes to more advanced acting courses, with students learning about auditioning and other skills they need as they work toward their goals of becoming professional actors. Acting schools can be found in different parts of the world, including South Africa.

Many actors have gotten their start at these types of institutions, so if you’re looking for acting classes near you or abroad, it’s important to do your research first before selecting an institution that will provide the right training for your needs.

Do I Need to Enroll in an Acting School to Become an Actor in South Africa?

Acting schools are not the only way to become an actor. However, they can help you get a foot in the door and improve your acting skills. 

Acting schools offer acting classes (often more than just one per week) that teach you how to act and what goes into preparing for auditions.

Benefits of Attending an Acting School

Acting schools are a great place to learn the craft of acting. Acting schools provide a safe, supportive environment for students to learn from experienced instructors who have worked in the industry and who will guide them through their studies. In addition to this, acting schools offer a range of courses from beginner-level classes to more advanced ones.

Because acting is such an individualized art form that requires each student’s particular strengths and weaknesses to be taken into account, it’s important for actors to find an acting school that offers the right mix of courses suited to their needs. 

Some acting schools offer courses specifically geared toward children or young adults; others cater exclusively to adults looking for professional training in their field. 

Acting schools can also help students develop their skills by connecting them with other professionals in the industry and providing opportunities for performance experience before graduation day arrives.

What’s the benefit of enrolling in an acting school? You’ll learn how to audition better, be prepared for auditions, increase your confidence on set, and make connections with other actors around South Africa who also want to work in film or TV.

The List of Acting Schools in South Africa

The following is a list of 16 top acting schools in South Africa:

Figment School of Dramatic Arts

Figment School of Dramatic Arts is located in the Cape Town CBD. The school offers a wide range of academic programs, including acting, directing, writing, and performance studies classes.

The facilities include state-of-the-art classrooms with high-quality audiovisual equipment as well as an art gallery showcasing local artists’ work.

AACA Film & Acting School

AACA Film & Acting School is a film school in Johannesburg, South Africa. The school offers one-year and two-year diploma courses in film-making, acting, and TV presenting.

Johannesburg Academy for Theatre Arts

Johannesburg Academy for Theatre Arts is a professional theatre school that offers courses in acting, directing, playwriting, stage management, and more. It also offers short courses in acting and directing.

The academy has numerous venues, including the new and improved Ennesburg Academy Theatre. It also runs a children’s theatre program that offers workshops, classes, and performances.

Act Cape Town – Film Acting Academy

Act Cape Town is a professional drama school that provides training in the performing arts. The school has a reputation for producing some of the best actors in South Africa and continues to be at the forefront of training aspiring actors. 

The program offers an intensive 12-month course where you’ll learn how to act, prepare for auditions and get ready for your first role on stage or screen.

Drama Dynamics

Drama Dynamics is a drama school in Cape Town that offers short courses, workshops, and full-time courses. It offers a range of courses for all ages and levels of experience, including beginners, improvers, and improvers/intermediates. 

The school also offers long-term programs such as its three-year course that helps students prepare for acting careers.

The school also has an extensive library that includes books, DVDs, and other resources for the students to use. The building itself is modern and spacious, with comfortable seating areas where students can relax between classes.

SA Film, Acting & Theatre Academy

SA Film, Acting & Theatre Academy is a full-time acting school that offers a three-year diploma in acting. The academy has a high pass rate (98 percent) and its tuition fees are affordable. 

It’s also one of the most respected acting schools in South Africa, which means that you can rest assured that they will give you all the tools necessary to become an accomplished actor or actress.

The academy has a strong reputation for training actors, which means that you’ll be among some of the best in the industry. 

Waterfront Theatre School

The Waterfront Theatre School is one of the best music schools in South Africa. The school offers courses in acting, directing, playwriting and screenwriting. It has a reputation for high-quality training. 

The school has a strong focus on the practical side of acting; it puts an emphasis on performance skills rather than theoretical knowledge.

The Market Theatre Laboratory

The Market Theatre Laboratory is the official training school of the Market Theatre, South Africa’s oldest theatre company. The laboratory offers a range of courses including acting, directing, playwriting, and more.

In addition to its one-year course in Acting for Stage and Screen, which is accredited by The National Department of Education (NDOE) as an Advanced Certificate or Diploma level qualification, it also has non-accredited courses in Acting and Directing as well as various workshops such as Improvisation and Voice Training.

This school is one of the top music schools in South Africa that accounts for graduating a high number of actors now working in the film industry.

Rush Institute of Performing Arts

Rush Institute of Performing Arts is a professional theatre school that offers a variety of training programs for actors and directors. The institute offers courses ranging from introductory to advanced levels.

SITA is a professional theatre school that offers courses in acting, directing, and playwriting. It was founded by Jade Hall, known in the country for her impeccable dance moves.

In addition to its training programs, Rush Institute also offers workshops for schools and community groups. The school also trains students on acrobatic performance on-set for those who want to become stuntmen, instead of actual actors.

Helen O’Grady Academy – Brackenhurst Studio

The Helen O’Grady Academy – Brackenhurst Studio is situated in Brackenhurst, Johannesburg. This acting school offers a variety of classes for actors and other theatre professionals. 

The staff at this acting school are highly qualified and experienced in the industry as well as friendly and welcoming to all students.

Helen O’Grady Academy – Brackenhurst Studio is a school that offers acting classes and tuition for all ages. Their instructors are highly qualified, experienced, and friendly. They also provide fun-filled workshops for children during the holidays.

University of Cape Town – Drama Department

The drama department at the University of Cape Town is one of the most prestigious drama schools in South Africa.

Established more than 60 years ago, UCT’s Drama Department offers a BA Honours degree in Theatre and Performance Studies and a BMus (Professional Performance) degree. 

The BA program comprises five main streams – acting, directing, playwriting, production design, and stagecraft – with students choosing to specialize in one or more streams during their time at university.

UCT’s Drama Department was one of the first in South Africa to introduce a BMus degree, which allows students to pursue a career in the performing arts while also gaining an academic qualification. The BA Honours in Theatre and Performance Studies is taught by a team of distinguished academics who have extensive experience working in theatre and film.

Byron Bure Academy of Theatre Arts

Byron Bure Academy of Theatre Arts is a drama and music school located in Johannesburg, South Africa. The academy offers a range of courses for students and aspiring actors.

Byron Bure Academy of Theatre Arts offers the following degree programs: Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting); Bachelor Fine Arts (Theatre Design & Production); Honours Degree in Fine Art; Honours Degree in Dance; Honours Degree in Drama (Acting). Students can also take up one-year diploma courses like Acting for Film & TV, Acting for Stage & Screen, Acting II: Shakespeare’s Comedies & Histories, Contemporary Performance Workshop, and Musical Theatre Workshop.

LALT Talent & Drama School

LALT Talent & Drama School is a private acting school in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is accredited by the National Skills Accreditation System to deliver courses in the field of drama and performance arts. The school offers a variety of acting classes for adults and children, including:

  • Acting 101
  • On-Camera Auditioning
  • Commercial Auditioning (Commercial Acting)
  • Improvisation for Actors (Improvisation)

Warrick Frank Drama Academy

Warrick Frank Drama Academy offers a range of acting classes, from drama classes for kids to intensive acting courses. The school is located in Johannesburg and is affiliated with the Actors Studio.

The school has been teaching acting classes in Johannesburg for over a decade, with their students achieving success on stage, on television, and in film.

Stageworx School of Performing Arts

The Stageworx School of Performing Arts is a full-time drama school that offers training in all areas of the performing arts.

The school has been running for over 10 years, and it’s their passion to create professional actors and actresses who are ready to pursue their careers on stage or screen.

Stageworx can help you develop as an actor by teaching you how to take direction from directors, collaborate with other actors and even direct yourself.

Stageworld Theatre School

Stageworld Theatre School is a professional theatre school in Johannesburg, South Africa. The school offers courses for all ages and levels. Stageworld is the only professional theatre school in South Africa that offers all disciplines under one roof. 

Their focus is to develop your talent as an actor through intensive training, practical experience, and networking opportunities.

FAQs and Answer

These are commonly asked questions about acting schools in South Africa.

What is an acting school?

An acting school is a place where students can learn how to act. Actors often attend drama schools, but not all drama schools offer training in acting.

How can I become an actor in South Africa?

If you have a dream of becoming an actor in South Africa, you have to first attend an acting school in South Africa. This typically takes 1 to 2 years.

After successful completion of the program, you can start applying to acting gigs in television, film, and documentary series to build your experience. However, as a newbie actor, you are advised to look for acting roles in television shows; as that is the easier place to start from.

What’s the difference between a drama school and an acting school?

Acting students at an acting school are taught how to do more than just act: they also learn about the theory behind their art form, as well as technique and practice. In addition, actors who go through this kind of program have access to various performance opportunities that may be unavailable at other institutions (like competitions).

Drama schools tend to focus primarily on practical training—meaning that you will spend your time rehearsing for plays or performing in front of audiences—but do not necessarily offer lessons on the business side of things (e.g., how does one get hired?).

Wrapping It Up

So, you’ve decided to become an actor in South Africa and enroll in a drama school? Hopefully, this article has helped you make your decision, whether that was by helping you find out more about what a drama school offers or just providing some insight into the industry as a whole. If you have any more questions about acting schools or anything else related to the art of acting, feel free to comment below—we’ll be happy to answer them for you.

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