Virginia Acting Schools

Looking for Virginia acting schools? Below are detailed listings of theater colleges and acting classes in Virginia to get you started.

Shenandoah University

This Virginia acting program offers classes for both actors and musical theater actors. The acting training in grounded in the Stanislavski technique and exploring different acting styles through various periods, including a strong emphasis on Shakespeare’s plays.

Classes and electives include acting techniques, improv, script analysis, scene study, voice, speech, singing, dialects, accent reduction, movement, dance, mime, stage combat, costumes, directing, theater history and theater production classes (lighting, stagecraft, etc.) Musical theater students have additional dance classes (ballet, jazz, tap), a musical theater and sight-singing class, and study dance styles and music, including piano.

Performance opportunities:

All students, including freshmen, audition for mainstage shows. Conservatory students can audition first for one of the four productions of the university’s professional theater company, the Summer Music Theater. Actors can also join the improv troupe on campus.

Career preparation:

Classes are taught by professionals and include presentations on the business of acting by guest speakers. There are opportunities to take workshops and see plays in New York and Washington.

Acting degrees: BFA in Acting, BFA in Musical Theater.

Financial Aid: In addition to other financial aid, there is a Conservatory Scholarship for performance students that can be renewed yearly.

What you’ll need to apply: First, complete the application process for the university, then register for an audition at least 2 weeks prior.


Washington and Lee University

Actors study drama techniques and text analysis, musical theater, modern dance, ballet, costuming, playwriting, lighting, scene design, drama history and directing, among other things.

Performance opportunities:

The Lenfest Center for the Arts houses a 300-seat concert hall, a 415-seat theater and a black box theater, along with rehearsal spaces, dressing rooms, scene and costume shops.

There are plenty of opportunities to perform, including mainstage musicals & plays, one acts directed by students and a playwright festival, as well as studio productions.

All theater majors must work on a school production for at least 50 hours.

Career preparation:

Students have opportunities to work on their craft with guest artists.

Professional internships are available.

Theater majors can study Swedish Theater abroad.

Degree: BA in Theatre.

Financial Aid: Prospective students can apply for merit or need based scholarships, as well as other forms of financial aid.

What you’ll need to apply: Application, test scores and grades, transcripts, report forms, 2 teacher recommendations and school counselor recommendation.


The Actor’s Place

Among Virginia acting schools, this one focuses on teaching screen acting. Acting classes are based on Meisner and include beginner classes, scene study, auditioning for the camera and voice-over technique, as well as acting for kids. The school offers its acting classes in Virginia Beach.

Career preparation:

Classes are taught by experienced/working actors and professionals. Students are taught the business of acting along with acting skills.

More Virginia Acting Schools

  • Hollywood Theater Lab –
    This VA acting school with 2 different locations (Charlottesville and Earlysville) offers classes for adults and kids as young as 5, special workshops and a summer camp.
  • University of Virginia –
    The Department of Drama offers a range of classes for those who want to major in Acting.
  • James Madison University –
    The School of Theatre and Dance offers a Bachelor of Arts program for aspiring actors and musical theatre actors.
  • Emory & Henry College –
    The Theatre Department offers a BA in Acting or Musical Theatre. Students benefit from the Theatre Department’s associating with the Barter Theater, a professional theater in Abingdon, VA.
  • Virginia Tech –
    The School of Performing Arts and Cinema allows actors to get a BA in Theater with an emphasis on Performance.
  • Radford University –
    The College of Visual and Performing Arts offers a BA in Theater with an emphasis on Performance.
  • Richmond University – – Aspiring performers can major in Theater or Dance at this university.