Best Drama Schools in India to Build a Career in Entertainment



Acting and theatre are popular career choices in India and in today’s time, the youth of India are going more towards these fields and considering them as a career option as there are so many job opportunities in this field. Whether it is acting, direction, production, sound, animation, design and graphics or media, people have found these jobs to be more rewarding and creative.

Suggested read – 10 Best Fine Art Schools of India to Build a Career in Visual Arts

There are so many job opportunities in the Indian film industry for artists, actors and performers that many aspiring actors and creative people begin their careers by training and studying the art in drama schools which offer them proper training, knowledge and experience for the industry. Most actors begin their career by performing in local theatres and doing stage plays. Drama schools are a valuable resource for aspiring actors and artists as they help in developing their skills, build their resumes, gain knowledge and experience and provide them with the opportunity to network and make connections in the industry.    

Here are some of the best drama schools in India, that can help your learn the art of acting and build a career in entertainment industry.

1. National School of Drama, New Delhi

Drama Schools in India- National School of Drama
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National School of Drama, New Delhi is one of the most popular and renowned theatre training institutes in India. NSD was established in the year 1959 by the Sangeet Natak Akademi and became an independent academy in 1975. NSD functions under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India with Paresh Rawal as its current Chairperson.  NSD offers undergraduate and post-graduate courses in acting, theatre, direction, stage design and much more. The syllabus and training in NSD is highly intensive and thorough and it covers every aspect of theatre. As part of their training, the students of NSD are required to write and produce plays which are then performed in front of the public. Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher, Neena Gupta, Ratna Pathak, Piyush Mishra, Pankaj Kapur and Ashutosh Rana are some of the notable alumni of NSD.   

Location: New Delhi
Average fees: INR 20,000 – INR40,000

2. Film and Television Institute of India, Pune

Drama Schools in India- Film and Television Institute of India, Pune
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Based in Pune, FTII is another one of the best acting schools in India. It was set up under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India and is aided by the Central Government of India. Established in the year 1960, the institute offers three year post-graduate diploma courses in film direction, cinematography, editing and audiography, two year courses in acting and art direction and a one and a half year course in computer graphics and animation. The institute also offers a one year course in feature film scriptwriting and several other certificate courses in various different fields. FTII offers a total of eleven full-time courses in various disciplines as well as many short term courses. 

Location: Pune, Maharashtra
Average fees: INR 45,000 – INR 1,50,000

3. Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares

Drama Schools in India- Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares
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Founded in the year 2005 by the veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher himself, Actor Prepares is one of India’s finest acting schools for aspiring actors and writers.  It offers professional level courses, workshops and master classes in various fields like acting, scriptwriting, voice and movement, etc. Based in Mumbai, Actor Prepares is believed to be the only institute in the world that is headed by a globally recognized and currently professionally active actor. The founder himself having acted in over 500 films globally and having a career of over 35 years in the film industry, the courses at his school are designed in a way that includes his learnings and immeasurable experience. Some of Actor Prepare’s notable alumni include Deepika Padukone, Preity Zinta, Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan and Kiara Advani. Actor Prepares has had the honor of having many well-known and renowned Indian as well as International celebrities visit the academy such as Robert De Niro, Anil Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Jason Isaacs, Russell Peters, Shoojit Sircar and Imtiaz Ali.  

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra
Average fees: INR 25,000 2, 25,000

4. Whistling Woods International, Mumbai

Drama Schools in India- Whistling Woods International, Mumbai
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Another addition to the list of India’s best drama schools is Whistling Woods International in Mumbai founded by veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai. WWI is a film, communication and creative arts academy that offer undergraduate, postgraduate and diploma programmes in various disciplines and domains like Cinematography, Acting, Direction, Editing, Production, Design, Advertising, Journalism and Scriptwriting. The full-time faculty of WWI includes renowned industry professionals like Ashwini Kaul, Rakesh Ranjan, Mandar Deshpande, Ravi Gupta and the founder himself Subhash Ghai. WWI has affiliated with two universities in India, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Rajiv Gandhi National Institute for Youth Development to offer for all its Bachelors and Masters Degrees and Diploma and Advanced Diploma Programmes. 

Location: Mumbai
Average Fees: INR 4,00,000 – INR 6,00,000

5. Barry John Acting Studio

Drama Schools in India- Barry John Acting Studio
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Founded by renowned actor and director Barry John, this drama school first opened as Imago Acting School in 1997 in Noida, U.P and then near Saket, New Delhi in 2002. Afterwards, they decided to move to Mumbai in 2007, where it was renamed Barry John Acting Studio. Some of the notable alumni of this drama school in Mumbai are Shah Rukh Khan, Manoj Bajpayee, Sushant Singh Rajput, Varun Dhawan, Arjun Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Richa Chadda, Freida Pinto and Rana Daggubati. This drama school offers diploma programmes, intensive training and courses as well as workshops in acting.

Location: New Delhi
Average Fees: INR 2, 50,000 – INR 3,50,00

6. Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata

Drama Schools in India- Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata
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Established in the year 1995 in Kolkata, West Bengal, SRFTI is a film and television institute named after one of the greatest and legendary filmmakers of the 20th century, Satyajit Ray who was showered with respect and admiration. The institute is funded by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India and it is also a part of CILECT, International Association of Film and Television Schools (Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Television) . The institute has various departments in its film wing like Direction and Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Sound Recording, Production and Design. Some of the institute’s notable alumni include Vipin Vijay, Amal Neerad, Sagar Ballary, Namrata Rao and Kanu Behl. 

Location: Kolkata, West Bengal
Average Fees: INR 40,000- INR 50,000

7. Ramesh Sippy Academy of Cinema and Entertainment 

Ramesh Sippy Academy of Cinema and Entertainment 
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Ramesh Sippy, an Indian film director and producer, known for directing one of India’s most iconic cinematic experiences and one of the most influential Indian films ever made – Sholay, founded his academy of Cinema and Entertainment in the year 2017 in Mumbai. RSACE film school has a tie-up with Mumbai University which allows a graduate degree to be awarded to the students that complete their study in the chosen course of filmmaking. Some of the degree and certificate courses offered by the University of Mumbai and RSACE are in Direction, Screenwriting, Film Production and Management, Animation, Visual Effects, Acting and Sound.

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra
Average Fees: 1,75,000 – 14,00,000

8. Asian Academy of Film and Television

Drama Schools in India-Asian Academy of Film and Television
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This acting school has branches across four major cities in India – Noida, Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata. The first one was established in 1993 in Noida by Sandeep Marwah, a film producer and renowned international media personality who is also the founder of Noida Film City and Marwah Studios. He is a recipient of seven world records and various national and international records. He is also the producer of the largest number of short films globally and is associated with various television programs and films. AAFT offers a variety of programs, bachelors, masters, and diploma as well as certificate courses in film, television and media studies. AAFT focuses on practical and experiential learning and so, it gives students an opportunity to work on real-world projects and internships. Anil Kapoor and Boney Kapoor are directors at AAFT and many people from the industry, successful actors and directors have been its alumni like Arjun Kapoor, Gurmeet Singh, Anjali Rana and Akash Mathur. 

Location: Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Average Fees: INR 1,50,000 – INR 3,00,000

9. NINASAM, Karnataka

Drama Schools in India- NINASAM, Karnataka
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Founded in the year 1949 in a small village of Heggodu, Karnataka, NINASAM is a drama school and cultural organization. NINASAM is short for Sri Neelakanteshwara Natyaseva Sangha and is founded by K.V Subbanna, who is a renowned dramatist, Kannada writer and scholar with the goal to promote Kannada theatre and preserve the cultural heritage of Karnataka. Originally, it began as an amateur theatre group which evolved into a many winged cultural institution which is now considered a premier institute for theatre training in India. This drama school offers courses in acting, direction, writing as well as hosting workshops and cultural events. NINASAM also runs a theatre company that stages Kannada plays and has produced over 150 plays till now. Another unique feature of this drama school is that it is located in a rural setting, surrounded by coffee plantations and forests. NINASAM focuses on community involvement and often collaborates with local organizations and also encourages students to participate in various aspects of theatre production like acting, set design and stage management.

Location: Heggodu, Karnataka
Average Fees: INR 8000 – INR 32000


The acting, theater and creative fields as career in India are very dynamic, tough and competitive field, but is one that offers many rewards and opportunities for those who are able to succeed for which, one needs to have a strong passion for their craft, willingness to focus and work hard, dedicate their time and sharpen their skills in their respective fields. For this, many people join drama schools as they help them in reaching their goals and in their personal and professional growth. These drama schools have given birth to a lot of successful, legendary and renowned actors, directors, artists and given them flourishing and prosperous careers. 

Suggested Read – Theatre Art in India – The Journey of an Art Form Through Indian Cultural Landscape   

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