California Acting Schools

There are 15 Acting Schools located in California. Skip to a list of schools »

California is home to Hollywood, the epicenter of the entertainment industry.  It houses all of the major studios where hundreds of films, television series, commercials, music videos and more are filmed.  With Los Angeles being the “it” place of the industry, it is no surprise it is also home to some of the best acting schools in the country.  From private coaching, week long classes, summer camps, full acting programs and graduate programs, California has it all.  Whether you are looking to try out a few classes or extend your degree, California has many coaches, classes, workshops, schools and colleges to choose from.

Acting schools in California offer courses to train your voice, your body movement, to build a character, breakdown a scene, improvisation, commercial, audition technique, stage and theatre and more.  Acting programs offer everything from Undergraduate Programs like a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Bachelor of Arts (BA), Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) and Graduate Programs like a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and a Master of Arts (MA).  Whether you are interested in participating in general acting college classes or going to a school that whose primary focus is acting and performing, there are a lot of options for you.  Many acting schools offer programs that will fit into your schedule.

Classes offered can range from full time courses and workshops that run for one day to one, four and eight week classes (or sometimes longer) where students can attend one to three times a week to full time programs where students attend classes every day.  With California having such a large presence in the entertainment industry, it offers diverse teachers, coaches and schools.  Using the map above or the list below, you will find a wide range of acting schools that will fit what you are looking for.

Best Acting Schools in CA

American Academy of Dramatic Arts

City:   Los Angeles       Address:   1336 N. La Brea Avenue
Programs Offered:   Acting, Certificate & Degree Programs

The American Academy’s Hollywood campus was constructed on the south lot of what used to be Charlie Chaplin’s studios. The location is perfect for students who are aspiring to excel in dramatic arts as the school is within close proximity to all the major tv and film studios.

The academy has a 150 seat proscenium theatre, rehearsal space, studios for camera technique, acting vocal production and a shop that…

Official Website:   https://www.aada.edu/home/home.html

American Conservatory Theatre

City:   San Francisco       Address:   405 Geary Street
Programs Offered:   Conservatory, Studio Programs, MFA

The American Conservatory Theatre was founded in 1965 in Pittsburgh, PA by William Bell, and is a non-profit theatre company that specializes in both classical and contemporary productions. The company relocated to San Francisco after receiving multiple invitations.

ACT’s mission was to be a theatre company as well as an acting school. Ranked in the top five actor training programs by US News and World Report, ACT offers…

Official Website:   http://www.act-sf.org/home/conservatory.html

American Musical & Dramatic Academy

City:   Los Angeles       Address:   6305 Yucca St
Programs Offered:   Acting, BFA, The Studio Program for Stage, Film & TV Acting

The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) LA campus is perfect for students who are looking to make it big time in theatre and film. Aspiring actors have always journeyed to Hollywood to pursue their dreams and this is exactly what AMDA offers at the LA location.

Your Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees and two-year Certificates in Professional Performance Programs in Acting, Musical Theatre, Dance and Performing Arts can…

Official Website:   http://www.amda.edu/programs/acting/

Beverly Hills Playhouse

City:   Beverly Hills       Address:   254 S. Robertson Blvd
Programs Offered:   Acting Classes

Beverly Hills Playhouse is one of the oldest and most respected acting schools in the US and is located at 254 S Robertson Blvd, in Beverly Hills. Students are taught based on the techniques of traditional American actors and one such technique is Milton Katselas’ unique approach: Acting, Attitude, and Administration.

Tuition is calculated on a monthly basis and is approximately $220. A lot of emphasis is placed…

Official Website:   http://www.bhplayhouse.com/

Beverly Hills Playhouse – LA

City:   Los Angeles       Address:   1816 N Vermont Avenue
Programs Offered:   Acting Classes

Located at 1816 N Vermont Ave in Los Angeles, California, the Beverly Hills Playhouse has been offering acting classes for about thirty years. Moment-to-moment and behavior oriented acting as well as the skills of traditional American actors are emphasized.

The school also offers students who enroll in the acting class an opportunity to take audition classes to deal whatever fears they might be harboring. Tuition is $220 monthly…

Official Website:   http://www.bhplayhouse.com/

Beverly Hills Playhouse – San Francisco

City:   San Francisco       Address:   414 Mason Street #502
Programs Offered:   Acting Classes

The Beverly Hills Playhouse opened in San Francisco in September 2009 under the leadership of Robert Zimmerman. One of the highly favored acting classes in the area, the BH Playhouse classes are held at 414 Mason Street, #502 and often exceed twenty students.

This institution has thrived for over thirty years and has facilitated acting classes for both amateurs and professionals who want to improve the skills…

Official Website:   http://www.bhplayhouse.com/

California Institute of the Arts

City:   Valencia       Address:   24700 McBean Pkwy
Programs Offered:   Acting, BFA, MFA

Based in Los Angeles, the California Institute of the Arts is widely regarded as the ‘Juilliard of the West.’ Focus is placed on teaching practices that are meant to enrich the actor’s global perspective and a semester is spent abroad in Scotland. Let’s take a closer look at this acting school.

The Acting Program at California Institute of the Arts offers classically centered training with an eye toward…

Official Website:   http://theater.calarts.edu/programs/acting

Chapman University

City:   Orange       Address:   1 University Drive
Programs Offered:   Theater, Theater Performance, Screen Acting, BFA

Chapman University is a non-profit university located in Orange, California and it’s affiliated with the Christian Church. The annual tuition is $38,000 for students pursuing their bachelor’s degree. Audition is part of the application process and includes one Shakespearean Monologue and a Contemporary piece.

The Theatre department has degree programs that are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), which ensures that all national standards…

Official Website:   http://www.chapman.edu/copa/theatre/academic-programs/index.aspx

Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute

City:   W. Hollywood       Address:   7936 Santa Monica Blvd
Programs Offered:   Conservatory, BFA

Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute is an acting school that has providing training for over 40 years. It is located in Manhattan, New York and West Hollywood, California. The school was founded by the renowned acting teacher Lee Strasberg in 1969 to teach method acting.

The curriculum is specially designed by Strasberg and gives actors the chance to systematically pursue their work as well as obtain…

Official Website:   http://www.strasberg.com/

Loyola Marymount University

City:   Los Angeles       Address:   1 LMU Drive
Programs Offered:   Theatre Arts, BFA, MFA, PhD

Loyola Marymount University is a private, co-educational university in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions that was founded in 1911. Located in Los Angeles, California on a 142 acre property, this institution is number three (3) in the 2014 edition of Best Regional Colleges.

Tuition and fees are about $40,040 and entrance into the LMU Theatre Arts Program is by submission of exemplary material in the student’s primary area…

Official Website:   http://cfa.lmu.edu/programs/theatrearts/curriculum/

Theatre of Arts College

City:   Los Angeles       Address:   6755 Hollywood Blvd.
Programs Offered:   Conservatory

Centrally located in Hollywood, the Theatre of Arts College is the longest continuously operating acting school in Los Angeles, CA. Students are offered an intimate and nurturing environment in which they can interact with other individuals from around the world and train for successful careers in film, television, and theatre.

The Theatre of Arts conservatory program is developed and taught by highly experienced working professionals who combine the strengths…

Official Website:   http://www.toa.edu/

UC San Diego

City:   La Jolla       Address:   9500 Gilman Drive
Programs Offered:   Acting, Theater, Film, TV and Digital Media, BFA, MFA

UC San Diego’s Department of Theatre is located at 2910 La Jolla Village Dr, La Jolla, CA and facilitates courses such as Acting, Film, TV and Digital Media, MFA and BFA. With top-ranked top ranked departments and award-winning faculty, students will undoubtedly be prepared to take on the next generation of scholars, artists, and professionals. All enrolled students are equipped with the tools and knowledge to…

Official Website:   http://theatre.ucsd.edu/

UCB Training Center

City:   Beverly HIlls       Address:   9100 Wilshire Blvd
Programs Offered:   Improvation and Sketch Comedy

The Upright Citizens Brigade Training Center is the only accredited improv and sketch comedy school in the country. It has a location at 5919 Franklin Avenue, Los Angeles, CA and is known for its excellent improvisation and sketch comedy curriculum.

Famous actors suck as Kyra Sedgewick have enrolled in available classes which typically cost about $400 for eight weeks. The faculty consists of some of the industry’s most…

Official Website:   http://losangeles.ucbtrainingcenter.com/

UCLA School of Theatre, Film and TV

City:   Los Angeles       Address:   102 East Melnitz Hall
Programs Offered:   Theater, Film, Television, Digital Media

The UCLA School of Theatre Film and Television is located at 225 Charles E Young Dr, Los Angeles, California. A lot of talented students from across the globe are steeped in humanistic storytelling and follow a leading-edge, 21st‑century approach to the art and craft of the entertainment and performing arts industries.

We develop the kind of artists and scholars who use their voices, their works and their research…

Official Website:   http://www.tft.ucla.edu/

USC School of Dramatic Arts

City:   Los Angeles       Address:   1029 Childs Way
Programs Offered:   Acting, Visual & Performing Arts, Acting, Applied Theatre Arts

The USC School of Dramatic Arts (SDA) the dramatic arts school at the University of Southern California, located in Los Angeles, CA, is ranked among the top dramatic arts schools in the world, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 Drama Schools.

The School uniquely blends artistic training in a conservatory environment with outstanding faculty and the full academic experience found only within a major research university.

This close-knit,…

Official Website:   http://dramaticarts.usc.edu/