Top 10 Best Acting Schools in South Africa in 2023 | How to Apply

An institution specializing in pre-professional training in drama and theater arts, such as acting, design and technical theater, arts administration, and related subjects, is known as a drama school, stage school, or theater school. 

It may be an undergraduate or graduate school or department at a college, university, or a free-standing institution (such as the Drama section at the Juilliard School).

In acting, a story is told by an actor or actress who adopts a character and performs the story in a mimetic manner on stage, on screen, on the radio, or in any other form of media.

A wide range of abilities is required for acting, including a sharp imagination, emotional finesse, physical expressivity, vocal projection, linguistic clarity, and the capacity to understand drama. There are many Acting schools in South Africa.

Also, attending drama school allows anyone to explore the academic, social, physical, emotional, and moral realms. 

Drama fosters self-discipline, self-assurance, teamwork, and abilities in interpreting, researching, bargaining, problem-solving, and decision-making. See our list of South Africa’s top acting schools.

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Are there Acting Schools in South Africa?

There are a good number of acting schools in South Africa. Some of them are:

  • City Varsity, South Africa
  • First Physical Theater School
  • Helen O’Grady’s Drama Academy
  • The National School of the Arts, South Africa
  • The Playhouse
  • University of Kwazulu-Natal
  • The Waterfront Theater School
  • ACT Cape Town
  • AACA Film School
  • AFDA South Africa
  • Rhodes University Theater 
  • Figment Dramatic Arts School
  • Stellenbosch University 
  • School of Art -Drama Department- University of Pretoria 
  • Byron Bure Academy of Theater Arts (BRATA)
  • South African Film, Acting, & Theater Academy (SAFATA)

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How Does One Become an Actor in South Africa?

We’ve assembled information you need to know if you’re thinking about pursuing a career in film and have always wished you could be an actor. 

Acting is more than just taking on a role and being paid. Several factors contribute to an actor’s success.

Before accepting a role, actors should read the script, meet with agents, and consult with other industry experts. 

To portray their characters to the audience more convincingly, actors should research their characteristics and situation extensively.

One of the most crucial things is enrolling in acting classes; if you’re unsure where to start, we recommend joining the SA Film Academy. 

The SA FILM Academy is a recognized non-profit trainer and facilitator of human capital development.

It’s crucial to get the audition procedure right. Make sure your portfolio is vital before you start, and spend money on excellent headshots. 

Your best branding and marketing tool is a headshot, and using one can help you stand out for the audition.

Even if they don’t pay much, don’t be hesitant to take on minor roles to assist you in improving your résumé.

Upskilling is a further suggestion. Work on your accent and multilingual abilities.

Finally, you ought to think about hiring an agent. We are aware of how challenging it may be to find trustworthy brokers. We advise you to look up the agents of other actors with whom you connect and study them.

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How Long Does it Take to Study Acting in South Africa?

Popular fields include drama, set design, playwriting, film, theater, television, acting, directing, and writing for motion pictures. 

A master’s degree in education typically takes two to three years to complete; however, a master’s degree in the performing arts could take up to four years.

You can pursue employment in the entertainment industry with a master’s in acting. You will initially need to enroll in college foundation classes.

Acting degrees concentrate on subjects that students have already covered in earlier semesters.

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How Much Do Acting Schools in South Africa Cost?

We all understand that attending one of the significant Federation of acting schools is the fastest method to break into the acting business. 

However, the expense of running acting school classes is very high and frequently exceeds the tuition cost (these places also receive additional funding).

Acting classes cost roughly $45 per hour on average for actors.

Depending on your skill level, you should budget between $30 and $60 per lesson for acting instruction.

There is a wide range of costs for acting classes (as well as zip codes).

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What are the Top 10 Best Acting Schools in South Africa?

After thorough research, reviews, rankings, and value offers, we have curated a list of the best acting schools in South Africa.

Below is a list of the best acting schools in South Africa

1. School of Art -Drama Department- University of Pretoria 

The Pretoria Performing Arts School is featured on the University of Pretoria’s logo. The University of Pretoria’s School of Arts offers courses in acting, voice, movement and physical theater, directing and theater-making, applied theater, radio and TV presenting, and writing for stage and screen. 

During the three-year BDram program, students take modules in screen dance, radio, drama, and other multimedia, augmented, and hybrid performance genres. Tuition for the first year is R46 000.

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2. Stellenbosch University Department of Performing Arts

The BA in Drama and Theater Studies is the only undergraduate program available to potential students at Stellenbosch University. 

This three-year selection program’s main objective is to produce well-informed, imaginative, and well-equipped theater students who can significantly contribute to the theater industry and allied subjects. 

Drama and theater in the classic sense of theater as an art form exclusively for the stage are the focus of the program’s first two years. 

The performing arts and the entertainment business, in general, are emphasized during the third year of study. 

At Stellenbosch University, a BA in Drama and Theater Studies costs R44 448 per year.

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3. Helen O’Grady Drama Academy

Helen O’Grady founded the performing arts school, the Helen O’Grady Performing Arts Academy. 

The Helen O’Grady Drama Academy is the most prominent drama school in Africa. Over 100 000 students worldwide attend lessons each week.

The most prestigious drama school in the world is now the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy. A Principal oversees the overall development of each academy, ensuring that instruction is of the highest caliber and that tuition is reasonable. 

Students participate in hour-long, age-appropriate classes that move quickly. During parent days and yearly production, parents and guardians can observe their children’s development firsthand. 

Depending on the length and location of the lesson, their prices change, so you’ll need to contact their office for a more precise estimate. 

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4. Figment Dramatic Arts School 

The Figment School of Dramatic Arts, a private drama school, provides theater classes as an extracurricular activity. 

To provide individualized attention and progress, their classes are small and personal. It is open to all ages, from four to adult, and no prior experience is required. 

Different packages are offered to meet individual needs, and classes are offered in both Afrikaans and English. Online education is an additional alternative.

They want to cover every skill set required for acting, public speaking, movies, TV, radio, social media, and commercials. Package prices per month range from R280 to R1920.

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5. Rhodes University Theater 

One of the top programs in South Africa for studying theater and performing is the Drama program at Rhodes University. 

The drama studies program includes instruction in acting, directing, movement, physical theater, choreography, applied theater, theater design, writing, theater technology, and arts administration. 

Rhodes Drama is the only performing arts college in South Africa with two professional theater companies, The First Physical Theater Company, and UBOM! Eastern Cape Theater Company. 

At Rhodes, annual course costs begin at R36 050. 

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6. Byron Bure Academy of Theater Arts (BRATA)

In the center of Cape Town, a small institution called the Byron Bure Academy of Theater Arts provides instruction to students of all ages and abilities. 

Extracurricular scholar drama and musical theater classes are offered for students in various grades. They allow pupils to collaborate with kids from other schools and backgrounds, a talent essential in the entertainment industry. 

Internationally renowned private dance, musical theater, and drama tuition is available.

Hourly rates start at R300, and packages range from R1250 to R2550.

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7. CityVarsity

CityVarsity is a university with campuses in Johannesburg and Cape Town specializing in media and the creative arts. 

They provide full-time and part-time online courses in the media and creative arts field.

Their part-time online course covers all introductions to screenwriting, video editing, copywriting, digital journalism, and graphic design. 

Also, professional animation, cinema, television, journalism, digital media, make-up for motion pictures, multimedia design and production, new media development, photography, and sound engineering are all offered as full-time studies.

For part-time online courses, CityVarsity course packages start at R4950 and go up to R56 808, or full-time annual courses.

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8. ACT Cape Town – Film Acting Academy

ACT, The innovative curriculum in Cape Town, uses methods created by top trainers in New York and Los Angeles. 

Students receive rigorous practical instruction through experiential classes, preparing them to meet the needs of the entertainment industry.

Small class sizes allow for individualized attention and foster a secure environment for learning and creative expression. 

Act Cape Town offers a range of programs for students of different ages, from three-month full-time courses to shorter programs.

Starting at R2,750.00 to R4,785.00 per term, fees are charged. Courses taken full-time begin at R96 990 per year.

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9. South African Film, Acting, & Theater Academy (SAFATA)

SAFARI is more than just an ordinary academy because of its distinctive approach to learning, excellent faculty, and special celebrity guest speakers. It is a life experience.

SAFATA’s goal is to help students develop their careers and find legitimate employment while studying to have all the skills necessary to graduate. 

They offer four divisions: junior programs, acting for television and film, performing arts, and filmmaking. 

Also, they have a Junior Program for younger students who want to begin training early, get an international diploma while still in school, and develop their professional abilities.

All of their courses offer diplomas and certificates that are internationally recognized. For course pricing, you will need to contact them directly.

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10. Africa Film Drama Art (AFDA)

The Africa Film Drama Art (AFDA) offers fully furnished campuses in Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. 

Some of the best actors, musicians, and creative innovators in South Africa and abroad are AFDA graduates. 

The organization has significantly aided in the growth of a local entertainment sector that is sustainable. 

The AFDA teaches its students how to conceptualize, produce, and develop indigenous goods for domestic and foreign markets.

The AFDA’s course costs begin at R79 615 annually.

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What are the Acting Schools in South Africa Johannesburg?

Although many people view acting as a natural skill, others require a little prodding to come out of their timid little shells. 

Finding the top theater schools for your talented kids is so essential. Find the top acting programs in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Some of the top acting schools in South Africa are located in Johannesburg. Some of them include the following: 

  • AFDA 
  • ADK Drama and Films
  • Actor Spaces
  • Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking 
  • Central Johannesburg College 

What are the Acting Schools in Cape Town?

Below is a list of Cape Town’s acting schools. Today, one of the industries with the fastest growth rates in the film and theater sector. 

This results from the entertainment sector’s ongoing growth to satisfy human demands.

Many institutions in Cape Town are responsible for educating students who want to pursue professions in the industry. Therefore the city is well-equipped in terms of acting schools.

The schools include:

  • ACT Cape Town
  • Helen O’Grady Drama Academy
  • UCT Drama Department
  • Waterfront Theater School
  • Bridgetown Theater Company
  • AFDA Cape Town
  • CityVarsity – Cape Town Campus

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What are the Film Schools in South Africa for International Students?

You should be aware that enrolling in a film school will improve your chances of breaking into the film business if you’re an international student interested in a career as an actor, actress, producer, or in any other function associated with the creation of motion pictures. 

In South Africa, there are approximately 20 film schools.

They include:

  • AFDA The South Africa School Of Motion Picture Medium
  • Auteur School Of Independent Filmmaking (Cape Town, Western Cape)
  • AVEA (Johannesburg)
  • Beyond Borders Film School (Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape)
  • Boston Business College Media Studies
  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology Film School
  • Cityvarsity Film School
  • Durban Institute of Technology Film School

What are the Filmmaking Courses in South Africa?

Some curricula will apply to all job titles, regardless of the film industry you intend to enter. For instance, whether you want to be a post-production editor or a lighting specialist, you’ll take classes like these:

  • Introduction to Digital Filmmaking.
  • Screenwriting.
  • Mathematics.
  • Film History.
  • Film Theory.
  • Cinematography and Lighting.
  • Digital Editing.
  • Music and Soundtrack.
  • Business of FILM

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There is always space for progress and getting better at what you do, regardless of how much or little experience you have. 

Finding a top acting school gives you the professional training you need to increase your chances of becoming an actor. 

I’m confident that after reading this article, you have located a reputable acting school in South Africa that is ideal for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the salary of an Actor in South Africa?

The average salary for an Actor / Actress in South Africa is R249,520.

Do grades matter in South African film schools?

Grades matter in South African film schools, especially in prestigious film schools with high competition. 

Can I get into a South African film school with no experience?

Getting into a South African film school with little or no experience is possible. 

What are the requirements to get into film school in South Africa?

You will likely need the following: cinematic art personal statement, a visual sample, a writing sample for a film school, a creative portfolio list, and a letter of recommendation.


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