The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts is not affiliated with the Federal Government,
the District of Columbia Government or any other state or
local government. The "National" in the name of the institution refers only to our location.
Hear from Conservatory Graduates



More than 90%* of our graduates find work as actors within six months after graduation.   Conservatory graduates enter the job market with a strong foundation in the craft of acting, the business savvy to be successful in a competitive market and a network of professional contacts. 

Our Graduates Onstage and in Film

Conservatory graduates can be found on stages and and screens all around the DC area and across the country as well.  Click here for a current listing of the activities of our graduates and faculty members.

"Since  graduating from The Conservatory’s Actor's Repertory Program in December, I have been on three auditions and have gotten into all three shows. Before my toughest callback, I was able to go back to The Conservatory for additional guidance; even after graduation, teachers and staff continue to help and support students in countless ways to help us further our careers and find jobs in the performing arts. As I prepare for a role, I use every step of the Job of the Actor that I learned at The Conservatory. This training has given me an edge - I can now walk out on stage and feel confident and prepared in a way no other training has been able to deliver.”- Susan S. Porter, Class of 2011





“I had acted in several productions before, but I wasn’t an actor until I came to the Conservatory.  The program gives you everything you need to be confident and successful once you graduate – as long as you work hard, absorb everything you can from the excellent faculty around you, and be open to exploring your own strengths and weaknesses.  If you do, you’ll be amazed at the ‘Aha!’ moments and insights that allow you to grow.  I use all of the skills that I learned at the Conservatory in each new production I’m in or audition I attend.  The Conservatory nurtures and provides all kinds of support for both students and alumni once they’re out in the ‘real world.’  It’s a wonderful family to be a part of and I am very proud that I’m a graduate of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts!” – Liz Dutton, Class of 2010





"Attending the Conservatory was best decision I have ever made in my life!  They taught me everything I know and, even after graduating, they continue to nurture their alumni and keep them busy.  The Conservatory teaches you everything you can think of when it comes to the business of acting.  I have met and worked with people that I'd never thought I'd meet. I owe every positive experience to the Conservatory! If you're really serious about your career, this is definitely the place for you!" – Patricia Renderos, Class of 2009





"When I decided to return to professional theater after a ten-year hiatus, I knew the Conservatory would help me up my game. What I didn't know was that it would not only give me a process and training and encouragement, but a deep network of professional actors, directors, and friends. The faculty aren't theorists, they're professionals you're as likely to see on stage or screen as in the classroom; and the instruction ranges from creating characters and telling stories to the nuts-and-bolts of auditions and marketing. They say great people stand on the shoulders of giants; stand on NCDA's shoulders. They won't mind." – Zach Brewster-Geisz, Class of 2012






"I was following the American standard and attending college, pursuing a Bachelors degree in theater, until one day I found myself along in my dorm amidst my chemistry books, confused, with no theatrical training yet, and completely unhappy. I struggled with the fact that my path wasn't everyone else's path - that I had to find my own way - and following my path led me to the Conservatory. I am now not confused, a graduate of the Conservatory's two-year program, and third-year program, and finally doing what I love. I am a better actor and, even more importantly, a better person. They nurtured me and the best part is I can come back for nurturing anytime!“ -- Taylor Ann Robinson, Class of 2012




"The Conservatory offers a positive vibe and a warm and welcoming ambience to its students. The training and guidance I received provided me with the tools to understand all aspects of acting - in depth - and to execute those skills successfully on the stage and in film. The school helped me create a strong resume in what is clearly a highly competitive field. In addition, I have been introduced to many professionals who are active in the world of acting and may assist me in my future aspirations and work. The one thing that speaks for itself is that NCDA is the only accredited school in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Enough said." - Steven Soto, Class of 2012






"The faculty at the Conservatory are highly talented, dedicated and nurturing professionals from a variety of backgrounds in the entertainment industry, and people I have grown to love, respect and greatly admire.  Their insight and their knowledge have enriched my learning and understanding of the craft and the business.  The high level of commitment they exercise and the encouraging environment they create for students made my experience richly rewarding. The training and guidance I have received have not only allowed me to develop a firm and extremely solid foundation on which to build my acting career, but have made me even more committed, confident, dedicated and prepared for the life of an actor.” - Frank Britton, Class of 2000




"Attending the Conservatory has brought opportunity and great positive energy into my life. It’s the first school I attended that felt like a home away from home, and I know it will feel the same for future students. When I first came to the Conservatory, I didn't really know what it meant to be an actor, to inhabit a character. The curriculum taught me skills and techniques that have provided me with real opportunities in the acting world. My knowledge, my skills and my ability to perform as part of an ensemble has improved dramatically. Post-graduation, the Conservatory continues to support its students through its active alumni program. - Josh Katz, Class of 2012






“While looking for an acting program, I came across an ad in the paper for a free ‘preview’ workshop at the Conservatory and decided to attend the workshop to learn more.  In that two-hour class, I was convinced that the Conservatory was where I needed to be.  Little did I know then that this would be the best career decision I ever made.  I was privileged to work with an exceptional faculty and fellow students who are now my dearest friends.  I was always eager to come to class because it was such a joy.  Is it hard work?  Yes.  But it is worth it!  Now that I am out in the professional world, I feel well prepared and confident.” – Lynn Ritland, Class of 2007






"I had taken acting classes at several places in the DC area prior to learning about the Conservatory and, while I did learn from those classes, I did not get the comprehensive instruction about acting that you find at the Conservatory. They don’t just provide students with the tools to be an actor, they prepare you with an understanding of the business:  What you need to know and do when you’re not onstage. And it doesn’t stop once you’ve completed the program. They keep you informed of opportunities, and encourage students and friends to see shows featuring alumni.  NCDA truly is a home with an ever-growing family.”- Dane Petersen, Class of 2007  






“My experience training at the Conservatory was one I will treasure all my life.  Only a month after graduation, I was on a national tour, and I spent my first year after school exploring the country and doing shows in over 30 states.  The Conservatory taught me how to be a professional, how to find work and, most importantly, how to act.  There is no better acting school in the mid-Atlantic region, and I would recommend the Conservatory to any aspiring actor.” – Doug Wilder, Class of 2005







"Not being afraid of the audition, not having to wonder what will happen, knowing that you are ready for whatever they throw at you, having a foundation in practically all theatre styles and genres, having a support network all over the city and beyond that, having doors open to you even after you've completed your training - that is what the Conservatory gives you.  It's never just you and the audition – you take it all with you.  It's what puts you ahead of everyone else, every single time.” - Estuardo Minano, Class of 2002

"Without the Conservatory, I wouldn't be where I am today - well trained, motivated and successful as a working actor.  Each time I audition or am cast, everything I learned at the Conservatory is confirmed.   It's a great feeling to know that your time and money were well spent!” - Elizabeth Burke, Class of 2000

"My experience at the Conservatory was better and harder than I ever expected.  The Conservatory helped me utilize strengths I had already and to develop new ones to sharpen my craft.  The program is about learning the craft of acting, not just about performing, which serves me well in the world of film and television.” – Michael Standifer, Class of 1999

"At the age of 26 and having completed my Bachelor's degree, I wanted to pursue a career in acting.  I entered the Conservatory with nothing but a dream, and left with my dream stronger than ever, and something money cannot buy – the skills to make this dream come true.  There is magic within the halls of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.  This magic comes from the commitment of a most qualified and dedicated faculty and staff.” – Jennifer Nall Strale, Class of 1999

*In its most recent report to the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, the Conservatory reported a placement rate of 93% for students attending its two-year training program - based on a cohort of 24 students who trained at and graduated from the Conservatory between April 2009 and March 2010.  The Conservatory reported a placement rate of 100% for students attending its advanced actor-training program – based on a cohort of 8 students who trained and graduated between May 2010 and December 2010.



DC Commission on the Arts & HumanitiesFunded, in part, by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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