The Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique (CNSAD) is France's National Drama Academy. It is a higher education institution administered by the French Ministry of State for Culture.
CNSAD's main function is to provide specialized teaching of dramatic art, in the form of three-year diploma courses and professional training. Its teaching covers all the theory and performance skills required in the acting profession.
Drawing on over two centuries' experience, the school plays a key role in French theatre and cultural life.
The teaching provided by CNSAD is open to a wide range of artistic and conceptual approaches. The curriculum is regularly modified, reflecting the make-up of the faculty – working actors and professionals, all widely recognized in their respective fields – and collaboration with other French or foreign drama schools.
CNSAD accepts around thirty students per year for a full-time, three-year course which will equip them for a career in acting. On completion of the course, they are awarded a special CNSAD diploma (soon to be replaced by a national diploma).
The content of each year of study is designed to ensure students expand their theoretical knowledge, develop their practical and technical skills and express their creative personality.
– During the first year, the teaching comprises weekly classes in a range of subjects and techniques.
– During the second year, the classes are supplemented by specific one to three-week courses.
– During the third year, the teaching is entirely in the form of short intensive courses and workshops run by CNSAD teachers or professional actors. Students give regular public performances.
Go to the Enseignement section of the website for full details (in French) of the teaching programme.
Admission to CNSAD is by competitive examination.
Candidates of any nationality may enter the examination.
Candidates must fulfil the following requirements:
– They must be be aged over 18 and under 24 on 1st October of the examination year.
– They must speak fluent French.
– They must provide proof that they have attended a full-time drama course for at least one year before applying to CNSAD, or that they have considerable semi-professional acting experience.
Go to the Admission section of the website for an admission form and details (in French) of documents to be provided, registration dates and entrance examination rules.
Each year CNSAD accepts a limited number of foreign students for a one-year course. They are enrolled in the first or second year of the full-time diploma course.
Students are selected on the basis of their application.
Candidates must be aged over 20 and under 27 on 1st October of the academic year for which they are applying. They must speak fluent French.
Priority consideration is given to applications from candidates who are already enrolled in (or have recently graduated from) a recognized drama school in their country of origin. Their application must be endorsed by their home drama school. In certain cases the year completed at CNSAD will be given an equivalent rating by their home drama school.
Foreign students completing a one-year course of study at CNSAD may not subsequently enter the CNSAD entrance examination. They are awarded a certificate at the end of their year of study.
Go to the Admission section of the website for an application form, details (in French) of documents to be provided and registration dates.
CNSAD also provides young professional actors and stage directors with specific training tailored to their needs, enabling them to bring a new impetus to their art and acquire new techniques. The training is provided in the framework of their vocational training entitlement.
The programme comprises short courses run by major figures from the theatre world. Courses take place in France or other countries.
Go to the Enseignement section of the website for details (in French) of these courses.
Go to the Admission section of the website for information (in French) on applying for professional training.