Drama school

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An acting school is used to train professional actors .

Types of training

There are three types of drama schools:

  • State drama schools (art colleges / technical academies or publicly funded vocational schools)
  • Acting schools under private law (as a (higher) vocational school or specialist academy, state-recognized or state-approved training facilities under private sponsorship)
  • Private lessons

Publicly sponsored training centers

These include primarily the state universities or specialist academies in the German-speaking area that offer the drama course.

There are twelve of these in Germany, three in Austria and two in Switzerland. There are also two other publicly funded training centers outside the university sector: The Otto Falckenberg School in Munich , which is supported by the City of Munich, and the Vorpommern Theater Academy in Zinnowitz of the Vorpommerschen Landesbühne . In Austria a few years ago, in addition to the existing universities, two conservatories in Vienna and Linz were raised to the rank of private universities. They are borne by the respective cities or the federal state of Upper Austria. In addition, there is the Carinthian State Conservatory as a state-recognized post-secondary educational institution. The university in Timișoara, Romania, also offers German-language acting training.

The training costs of the public training centers are between 100 and 500 euros per semester, depending on the training center. The Vorpommern Theater Academy is a specialty, which does not charge any training costs, but pays its students a training allowance (as of summer 2006).

At all public training institutions, applicants have to undergo an entrance test, usually consisting of several parts, which is intended to ensure basic artistic skills. It also channels the flow of applicants. Although there are no exact figures, there are up to 5,000 applicants compared to around 300 apprenticeships each year.

The "Standing Conference Acting Training " (SKS) is the working group of these German-speaking, state or municipal training institutes for professional actors . It serves to coordinate the tasks assigned to these training centers and promotes the discussion of content-related and organizational issues relating to drama training, insofar as they are of supraregional importance.

State-recognized or approved private drama schools

Private drama schools are usually recognized as a vocational school or as a technical academy and represent the bulk of drama schools . State recognition or approval of a drama school is tied to the conditions of the respective federal state.

For the drama student, state certification has the advantage of recognized professional training. This in turn is a prerequisite for entitlement to state training grants ( BAföG ). Training at a private drama school costs up to 7,000 euros a year. However, the number of lessons and the intensity of supervision (group / individual lessons) at state training centers are often significantly higher.

In 2010, the first private drama schools merged to form an association of private German-speaking drama schools (VdpS e.V.) in order to establish uniform training standards for drama training at private drama schools. Only member schools that undertake to adhere to minimum standards are accepted. In addition, the association conducts a so-called seal test for graduates before an independent commission of experts. The association advocates more transparency and quality in private acting training.

Many state-sponsored theaters are reluctant to accept graduates from private drama schools. Nevertheless, training at a recognized private drama school with the same personal aptitude and willingness to work can open up the possibility of a well-founded training and, subsequently, a successful career path. Examples from Germany are Andrea Sawatzki , Til Schweiger , Katja Flint , Wotan Wilke Möhring , Hannah Herzsprung , Thomas Kretschmann , Kai Wiesinger , Anna Loos , Julia Bremermann , Irene Clarin , Veronica Ferres , Christine Neubauer , Heiner Lauterbach , Diane Kruger , Dominic Raacke , Bettina Zimmermann , Benno Fürmann , Daniel Brühl , Gesine Cukrowski , Fred Düren , Günter Pfitzmann , Joachim Kemmer , Nicolette Krebitz , Mariella Ahrens , from Austria Ulrike Beimpold , Nina Blum , Karlheinz Böhm , Katharina Böhm , Konstanze Breitebner , Ulli Fessl , Georg Friedrich , Regina Fritsch , Karlheinz Hackl , Ludwig Hirsch , Elfriede Irrall , Peter Lodynski , Sylvia Lukan , Erni Mangold , Peter Matic , Adele Neuhauser , Manuel Rubey , Dolores Schmidinger , Herwig Seeböck , Werner Sobotka , Kurt Sowinetz , Krista Stadler , Oskar Werner , Barbara Wussow and Alexander Wussow .

In addition, there is the possibility of private acting lessons in the form of lessons, which are offered by a single lecturer.

Situation in individual countries


Acting training at state and municipal higher education institutions is considered an "artistic degree" and usually lasts 8 semesters. As in other courses of study, at most universities the previous diploma degree (specifically: the academic degree “Dipl.-Schau.” ) Is gradually being replaced by Bachelor and Master degrees (“BA” / “MA”).

The training period at private drama schools lasts three to four years and should end with a professional qualification. The “diploma” awarded at these drama schools outside the university area does not correspond to a university or academic degree.

The stage maturity test , which one could take before the joint commission ( Deutscher Bühnenverein und Genossenschaft Deutscher Bühnen-Members - GDBA), was abolished in 1991.

The agency for artists of the ZAV (formerly the Central Stage, TV and Film Agency ZBF), which with its six locations is part of the Federal Employment Agency, offers a placement option in theater engagements . If proof of relevant school-based vocational training (at least 3 years at a state or state-recognized drama school), interested parties who could not introduce themselves via the annual so-called director auditions of the universities, can arrange an appointment for an audition in the drama department of the artist agency. It depends on the course of this audition, during which the specialist mediators assess the employability in professional theater engagements, whether an entry can be made in the placement index of the artist placement for the areas of stage and film / television. A high degree of initiative and commitment is decisive for the professional advancement of actors in Germany.


Comparable to acting training in Germany, there are academic and non-academic training paths to become an actor. Accordingly, a distinction must be made between drama schools in private schools and state universities. The universities that offer a degree in acting belong to the so-called art colleges or universities. The course has so far been completed with the academic degree of a Magister Artium. However, various drama universities are converting their studies to a bachelor's degree; the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz had the first bachelor's degree in acting . In the non-university private way, there is the possibility of taking a stage maturity test in three steps before the joint examination commission of the Younion trade union (formerly art, media, sport, liberal professions) and the Austrian theater business associations , which, in terms of labor and social law, results in a master’s degree state art university is equivalent.


Here, as the first country in Europe, training to become an actor was switched to the Bachelor and Master system. There are German-speaking state universities in Bern and Zurich , a French-speaking one in Lausanne and an Italian-speaking one in Verscio . The two German-speaking state drama schools in Switzerland at the ZHdK in Zurich and the HKB in Bern have an age limit for accepting new students for training as an actor, which is currently 30 years (Zurich) and 27 years (Bern).

The EFAS , based in Zurich, is the oldest film acting school in Europe. Since 1990 it has been training young talents as a private school to work in film and television.

Since 2012, the Stage Academy of Switzerland has been teaching mostly very young aspiring actors on a part-time basis. The new teaching concept provides for the students to be trained in singing in addition to regular acting studies. The Academy is located in downtown Zurich.

After 50 years of activity, the private training facility “Acting School Zurich” was integrated into the training structure of the SAMTS StageArt Musical & Theater School in Adliswil near Zurich. In addition to part-time acting training, SAMTS also offers part-time musical training. One of the most famous graduates is the Hollywood actress Sabrina Kern.

At the private drama school in Basel, speech formation, acting and directing have been studied full-time up to stage maturity since 2010. A special feature of this school is that after a joint preparatory course, the students can decide whether they want to do the postgraduate course and graduation either in directing, acting or as a speech artist.


The only drama school in South Tyrol was the Bruneck Theater School , which was closed in 2015 . The 3-year all-day training was carried out by the Bruneck City Theater and financed by the European Social Fund, the South Tyrolean provincial government and the Italian Ministry of Social Affairs and was therefore free of charge. The examinations planned for stage maturity were held in Vienna by the joint examination commission of the KMSfB trade union (art, media, sport, liberal professions) and the Austrian theater business associations.

German-speaking drama schools

Training centers with a university or technical college degree





State-recognized training centers (sorted alphabetically by location)



  • Acting Academy Elfriede Ott, Vienna
  • 1st filmacademy , Vienna
  • Open Acting Academy, Vienna
  • Acting school at the Prayner Conservatory, Vienna
  • Performing Center Austria, Vienna
  • Drama School Krauss , Vienna
  • Drama School Pygmalion, Vienna
  • Acting school at the Schauspielhaus, Salzburg


Foreign language drama schools

FranceFrance France
United KingdomUnited Kingdom Great Britain
ItalyItaly Italy
CanadaCanada Canada
  • Methodica Acting Studio for Film and Theater
PolandPoland Poland
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
United StatesUnited States United States of America (USA)

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. cf. SKS - Standing Conference Acting Education / Theatertreffen at theatertreffen.com, accessed on January 6, 2012
  2. cf. Academic degrees ( memento of September 3, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) at abkuerzungen.biz, accessed on January 6, 2012
  3. https://www.schauspielschule-basel.ch/was-wir-tun-1
  4. Bruneck City Theater. Retrieved September 7, 2019 .
  5. Brunico Theater School before the end. Retrieved September 8, 2019 .
  6. Joint examination committee. Retrieved September 7, 2019 (Austrian German).
  7. ^ School for Drama, Direction and Musical in Aachen
  8. schauspielschule-koeln.de
  9. ^ On Stage Academy for Dramatic Art
  10. Acting - Direction - Screenplay | Munich Film Academy - Good Acting - Good Films! Accessed October 1, 2017 .
  11. Yorick Theater School / Acting School , Munich