Since there are so many acting schools in PA and beyond, how do you know which one to join? How do you know which ones are even legitimate schools, and which ones are just a waste of money?
Here are some factors to consider when choosing an acting school:
Cost – Not all performing arts schools are expensive. The cost varies considerably depending on whether you are actually applying to a university that charges for tuition, a performing arts school, or classes offered by an acting coach. In addition to cost, look into the payment plan. Will you be required to pay in full or allowed to make monthly payments? Find out what the fees or tuition are going to cover, and if you are eligible for any discounts.
Application requirements – Depending on the school, the application process may be simple or complicated. Look over the entire registration form carefully before you even begin to fill it out. Make sure you understand exactly what information is required from you. Will you need to audition or schedule an interview? Will you be put on a waiting list if the program is already full?
Schedule – Some classes are no more than an hour long while others may last for two or more hours. Also, if you only plan to go part time, make sure the school you are looking into has flexible scheduling. You can do this by requesting or viewing a copy of the schedule.
Curriculum – In addition to the schedule, the curriculum is something to look into. A good theater class, for instance, will cover topics such as improv, Shakespeare acting, scene work, vocal technique, stage safety, etc.
Size of classes – The more people in the class, the more difficult it’s going to be to do good teamwork. The teachers will have less time to spend one-on-one with each student. Ideally, there shouldn’t be any more than 15 people in the class in the same age group as you.
Reputation – Before spending any money on any acting school, do a great deal of research. How much experience do the teachers have themselves in acting? Is there some good feedback from previous students? You don’t want to enroll in acting classes that only involve reading books and practicing a few lines here and there. Ideally, the school should have some involvement in the acting or theater industry.
If you live in or near Lancaster County, you might want to check out theater classes offered by Cavod Academy of the Arts.