There are many high school students who aspire to be professional actors or actresses. For those students and their families, it can be hard finding a great performing arts high school. While a school that specializes in performing arts doesn’t guarantee success, a good school can help bolster your path to a career in acting. Here are some things to look for:
1. A dedicated performing arts space
When touring a school, make sure to ask to view their theater space. At Cheshire Academy, our Black Box Theater was designed to showcase student talent. Other schools may have more traditional stages or other spaces for performances. Get a feel for the equipment, lighting, and space during your tour.
2. Successful alumni actors or actresses
While having a famous alumni who perform successfully isn’t a guarantee a school will have a great performing arts program, it does have some benefits. For example, you might benefit from the school’s alumni network, and sometimes alumni come back to campus to speak to current students. Some alumni even give advice or teach classes in their area of expertise.
3. A flexible schedule with online learning components
Many students who achieve acting success in high school need to find a way to balance their school work and auditions. Schools that offer some flexibility to pursue these outside pursuits can be great schools for students who want to pursue acting. For example, are you able to see a schedule of homework for the semester online, in order to get ahead? Can you submit assignments online? And does your school require after school programs, or are you free to engage in other activities? These are all important questions to ask each potential school.
4. Performing arts classes
Last, but certainly not least, are the actual classes. Look at each school’s online curriculum. At Cheshire Academy, we offer IB Literature and Performance, which asks students to approach texts as actors and directors. Students even have the choice to write an original work! Beyond classes, look into afternoon activities; do students in performances have a set time to meet after school each day, outside of other commitments? This can be important when evaluating boarding school performing arts programs.
Regardless of which school you decide to attend, dedication and hard work will be necessary to achieve the goal of performing professionally. However, finding a great performing arts high school can certainly help along the path to success.