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Top Performing Arts Schools in South Africa

What are the top colleges for theatre in South Africa?

South Africa has a number of thriving performing arts institutions with esteemed alumni working on Broadway, touring theatre, local theatre, TV and film! Below, BroadwayWorld rounds up the top performing arts schools in South Africa. Check out the list below!

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School of the Arts

Studying at the School of the Arts: Drama will equip you intellectually and artistically to enter a dynamic and rapidly evolving digital and performing arts world. Our BDram degree combines an in depth training programme in the practical aspects of live and digital performance while offering a solid theoretical foundation to send out artists and cultural practitioners into the arts and culture industry who can respond creatively and think critically.

Our programme includes classes in Acting, Camera Acting, Voice, Movement & Physical Theatre, Directing & Theatre-making, Applied Theatre, Radio & TV Presenting as well as Writing for Stage & Film. While we work with a strong focus on embodiment, we understand the needs of an increasingly mediatized world, and our students are encouraged to apply their knowledge and skills across a variety of digital presentation formats.

In the course of the three-year BDram programme, students will encounter modules in Screendance, Radio drama, and other multimedia, augmented and hybrid performance genres. Our modules in Performing Arts Management contribute actively to the current conversation around developing future models for project management in the South African arts industry.

Artists and cultural practitioners have always been at the forefront of those responding to society's most urgent questions. By studying at the School of the Arts: Drama you will be joining a group of people who have their finger on society's pulse, who are adaptable and resilient, and who respond to the human need to find connection and meaning in life, through creativity.

Learn more here.

University of Cape Town

The programme includes the full academic major in Theatre & Dance Studies and requires students to take courses in other departments in the Humanities faculty. Those who follow the research orientation will be able to major in another Humanities discipline (together with Theatre & Dance Studies) but will have fewer practical hours in the studio. Those who follow one of the professional orientations will only be able to complete a limited number of course in other Humanities disciplines but will have more practical hours in the studio.

Students who complete the research orientation will graduate at the end of third year with a BA degree and can then go on to do Honours as a capping qualification with various professional orientations.

Students who complete the professional orientations will graduate at the end of fourth year with a BA degree that is Honours equivalent.

After four years of study in either case (research/professional) students are qualified to go on to Masters study and, possibly, the PhD.

Admission to this programme is by audition and the programme is capped at 100 students across all orientations in each year. The audition process can be completed online.

Learn more here.

Stellenbosch University

This three-year selection programme is aimed primarily at training well-informed, creative and well-equipped theatre practitioners and scholars, who can make a meaningful contribution to the theatre industry and related fields in the South African context.

In the first two years the programme focuses primarily on drama and theatre in the traditional sense of theatre as an art devoted exclusively to the stage. In the third year the training focuses also on the performing arts and the entertainment industry in the broader sense. We offer two areas of specialisation between which prospective students choose:

-Acting and performance training
-Technical and management training

These practical specialisation areas are underpinned by a strong theoretical basis, including text analysis; principles of theatre research; and basic marketing and business skills.

Learn more here.

University of Witwatersrand

The four-year BA in Theatre & Performance programme covers the historical and theoretical developments in drama and film, as well as the theoretical and practical study of theatre, performance and cognate disciplines.

The degree helps you develop critical insight and imaginative intelligence, so you can become an innovative theatre-maker, performer, director, teacher, writer or designer.

It also gives you real-world experience in all areas of the performing and communicative arts. You will work regularly in the Wits Theatre, a professionally run four-theatre complex with excellent facilities.

Learn more here.

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