Dreaming of your Broadway debut but not sure how to get started? Taking classes at an acting school is key. But with so many out there it may be overwhelming to decide which acting school in New York is best for you. We’re here to help!
What makes a top acting school in New York?
There are a few different factors you can use to evaluate all your acting school options.
First, you want to look at their reputation. Have many successful actors/actresses come from there? A few? None at all?
Second, you want to see what type of acting they prepare you for, and what techniques they use to do so. That way, you can ensure your acting classes align with your goals, whether it be sharpening your improv skills or prepare to audition for commercials.
Third, it’s important to the average note classes size and tuition. Of course, you need to select a school that fits your budget, but you can get more for your money from certain schools. One of the best ways to get the most for your money is to choose a school with class sizes that allow for personalized attention.
Finally, it’s very important to take a look at the school’s environment. How much acting is done during the classes? Are teachers directing you or teaching you? Do their techniques align with your learning style? These are all important questions to raise.
With those factors in mind, here are the 10 best acting schools in New York.
Winner - Top Rated in 2020
Located in Greenwich Village, HB studio sees an influx of both new and experienced actors. They offer a wide range of classes for beginners in areas like Acting, Scene Study, and Acting with the Camera. For those looking for more advanced courses, they are available with instructors like Oscar-winner Mercedes Ruehl, but they are by audition only.
Address: 120 Bank St, New York, NY
Phone: (212) 675-2370 x1
Tuition: $445-$645 per trimester, $20 per class audit.
Specialty: Classes for new actors.
The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre is for those looking for serious, full-time acting courses. If you are not looking to commit to a multi-year program, you can sign up for one of their short session summer courses. Their programs focus on the practical skills you’ll need to build your career and technical training of acting, movement, speech, and voice. The Neighborhood Playhouse is the only conservatory where the faculty were all trained to teach acting by Sanford Meisner himself.
Address: 340 E. 54th St, New York, NY
Phone: (212) 688-3770
Tuition: $3,500 for Summer Acting Intensive, $32,800 for full-time two-year program, $2,550 for four week Summer Teen Conservatory.
Specialty: Intensive, full-time conservatory training.
The Kimball Studio specializes in on-camera coaching, but they offer other crash courses and specialty programs. They encourage people to audit their classes and consider their studio their “acting home in the city” — creating a sense of community that other programs sometimes lack.
They also offer online classes, which is a great budget-friendly option.
Address: 78 Fifth Ave., New York, NY
Phone: (212) 929-1984
Tuition: $325 per month ($12.99 per month for online), with additional a la carte options.
Speciality: On-camera coaching.
The New York Performing Arts Academy
The New York Performing Arts Academy is one of the most prestigious and reputable acting schools in New York. Those that have taken classes here have gone on to land gigs on television shows like Orange is the New Black and Fresh Off the Boat.
Some more advanced courses in screen, stage, movement, and voice are audition-only, but the beginner’s foundation course is open to anyone. Be sure to look into all your options here, as there are (a limited amount of) scholarships available for the Summer intensive and full-time courses.
Address: 500 8th Ave., New York, NY
Phone: (212) 457-4060
Tuition: $200 for the four-week foundation course, otherwise dependent upon courses.
Specialty: Screen and theater acting.
The Linklater Center for Voice and Language
At the Linklater Center for Voice and Language, students will be able to find their natural voice thanks to renowned vocal coach Kristin Linklater. She will instruct you on how to relax your body and utilize your vocal vibrations to find your true voice and use it while acting. One of her notable classes is Voice, Body, Shakespear, where students master iambic pentameter and learn powerful ways to deliver the classics.
Tuition: $700 for six sessions, $180 for the two-session Natural Voice Workshop
Specialty: Voice Acting.
Actor’s Connection does just what its name implies — connects actors to agents, casting directors, and each other. Here, working professionals teach specialty courses and networking seminars.
Once you are registered with Actor’s Connection, you are in their database — you’ll receive alerts when a new audition or casting call comes up, so you’ll never miss an opportunity.
Address: 630 9th Ave., New York, NY
Phone: (212) 776-4900
Tuition: $329 for the six-session Acting 101 course, other courses vary.
Specialty: Networking and talent management.
The New York Acting School for Film and Television
The New York Acting School for Film and Television helps you prepare for a career on screen. They offer group classes as well as one-on-one private sessions. You can build your skills in the Essentials Course, take them to the next level in the Advanced Class, or build your resume with the Star in A Movie Course, among others. You can get the best value from your time here by participating in one of their many packages, rather than participating on a course-by-course basis.
Address: 131 W 72nd St., New York, NY
Phone: (212) 877-2219
Tuition: $2,100-$2,500 for half term, $4,500 for full term, and $7,600 for full package.
Speciality: Acting for film, television, and commercials.
The New York Film Academy
The New York Film Academy is great for aspiring actors since it gives you the choice between Bachelor’s Degree programs, 1 or 2 year programs, and 4, 8, or 12 week intensive courses in a variety of specialties. The shorter workshops are great for brushing up on your skills before an audition or building a foundation before taking longer courses.
This is an extremely prestigious academy, with courses taught by distinguished producers, directors, and actors.
Address: 100 E. 17th St., New York, NY
Phone: (212) 674-4300
Tuition: Dependent upon program.
Specialty: Film production.
The Barrow Group
The Barrow Group is where Oscar winner Anne Hathaway got her first acting education. They offer dozens of classes for kids, tweens, teens, and adults in just about every area of acting you can imagine. Their 10-week Beginners Acting Course is perfect for those who have no experience, and from there you can smoothly transition to more advanced courses.
The Barrow Group also puts on two shows per season, so you can see the student outcomes for yourself.
Address: 312 W 36th St, New York, NY
Phone: (212) 760-2615
Tuition: $495 for the Beginners Acting Class, other classes vary.
Specialty: Fundamental acting techniques.
American Art Theatre
For those not looking to go into the city, you can get world-class acting instruction at the American Art Theatre at the Huntington Center for Performing Arts on Long Island.
During the eight-week semester, students will be taught the techniques of Stanislavski, The Group Theatre, and The Actors Studio. While their classes are offered only to adults, they do accept high school juniors and seniors based on interviews.
Address: 301 New York Ave, Huntington NY 11743
Phone: (631) 424-2477
Tuition: Available during appointments.
Specialty: Sense memory, improvisation, scene study, script interpretation.
Now you have all the information you need to pick a New York acting school to help you get your acting skills Broadway ready, good luck!