Philadelphia acting schools

Looking for good Philadelphia acting schools?

Just browse this guide of acting schools in Philadelphia to find the perfect Philadelphia acting classes for you.

Here you’ll find all the information you need to choose where to study acting in Philadelphia. Each listing includes detailed information such as acting methods taught, performance opportunities, career preparation, degree earned, tuition fees and financial aid opportunities. You can also find out how to apply for each school as well as what are your chances of being accepted into each program.

Featured School

Walnut Street Theatre School

Known as the oldest theater in America, the Walnut produces more then 20 plays each season. Marlon Brando, Katherine Hepburn and Robert Redford are among the countless famous actors who have performed on the Walnut’s stage. This is one of the Philadelphia acting schools that offers acting classes for all levels, from beginning actors to professionals. Classes are usually 2 hours long in the evening or during the weekend and last 8-10 weeks. They include basic acting techniques, improv, voice and speech, movement, scene study, musical theater and acting for the camera. Advanced actors can also take a Shakespeare class and an advanced musical theater class. The school also offers special workshops and seminars.

Performance opportunities: Students and alumni are considered for small roles and understudy parts at the Walnut.

Career preparation: Classes are taught by working professionals and distinguished guest artists. The school offers an auditioning class, an industry showcase, and an Acting Apprenticeship Program specially targeted to help the transition to working in the business. Apprentices audition for mainstage understudy roles and appear in 6 children’s theatre plays and musicals.

Tuition Fee: $200-$250 for regular classes (special discounts are offered to returning students and subscribers and for early registration and referrals). Apprentices get free tuition and a stipend, among other benefits.

What you’ll need to apply: A $20 deposit. An audition is required for advanced classes only. Apprentices must submit an application and statement, plus a picture and resume. If selected, there will be an interview and an audition.

The Wilma Studio School

This Philadelphia acting school is part of the Wilma Theater, a 300-seat space renowned for its staging of new and provocative works. The school offers 10-week long beginning, intermediate and advanced acting classes for 2 hours in the evenings.

Students in the advanced class develop their craft through Meisner and Method acting. The school also offers special classes for children.

Career preparation: Students have access to discounted tickets to shows and post-show Q&A sessions. Actors can take a monologue class to work on their auditioning skills and choose auditioning material.

What you’ll need to apply: A deposit.


Penn University

This is one of the acting schools in Philadelphia where students take classes in all aspects of the theater, from theatre history to acting, directing, set design, lighting and costumes.

Actors can pick elective classes like Voice, Scene Study, Movement, Musical Theater and Shakespeare. They can also take guest-artist workshops to explore specific acting techniques and methods (Suzuki, Viewpoints, etc.) Actors have an opportunity to study in London during the summer.

Performance opportunities: There are a wide-range of performance opportunities, from stage readings and workshop productions to mainstage, plus the possibility of performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland during the summer. Students can appear onstage and work backstage for credit. Seniors can also use their performances as the basis for an Honors Thesis Project.

Degree: BA in Theatre Arts.

Financial Aid: This school is committed to need-based financial aid. Through grants, scholarships, work-study programs and loans, more then half of undergraduates receive some form of aid.

What you’ll need to apply: Transcripts, test scores, 2 essays, school reports and 2 teacher recommendation letters.


The Hedgerow Theatre School

This Pennsylvania acting school just half an hour from Philly is attached to a professional ensemble theatre, the Hedgerow Theatre.

The school offers an acting and a performance class for adults (classes last two and a half hours weekly). The school also offers a Shakespeare summer camp where students rehearse a Shakespeare play with professional ensemble members 4 hours a day during 4 weeks, culminating in performances at the theatre.

This is one of the Philadelphia acting schools that also offers acting classes for children and teens.

Performance opportunities: The Performance class and Shakespeare summer camp allow students to perform scenes and monologues on stage in front of an invited audience.

Career preparation: Actors can work on their auditioning skills by taking a 3-hour audition workshop led by ensemble members of the Hedgerow Theatre. Teens and undergrads can apply for short-term internships, and college graduates can apply for a one year fellowship at the theater.

What you’ll need to apply: All you need is to enroll and pay for the class you’re interested in. To apply for an acting internship or fellowship, you will need to submit a letter of interest, and an acting picture and resume with 2 recommendations (plus an interview and audition for fellowship applicants).


More Philadelphia acting schools

Philadelphia acting schools

Click on the links below to read detailed information on each Philadelphia acting school listed.

Why Go to Acting School in Philadelphia?Philadelphia is one of the most vibrant theater communities in the country. The city is also often used as a filming location for Hollywood movies (The Sixth Sense and Invincible are among several major films shot here). There are 20 casting directors and agents in town, so you’ll be able to learn directly from industry professionals!

Interested in checking out an acting school in Philadelphia?
How about visiting the city in September during the Philly Fringe Festival? It’s a great opportunity to discover Philadelphia’s acting companies, new plays and different approaches to theater.

If you live in Philly, make sure to also check out other acting schools in Pennsylvania. For example, Carnegie Mellon University has an excellent drama program in Pittsburgh. Come back and visit us down the road for more information on acting schools in Pennsylvania.

A lot of Philadelphia acting schools offer great acting classes and theater programs for children and teens. Check out our Kids Acting Classes Guide for listings of Philadelphia acting schools for children.