American Academy of Dramatic Arts

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American Academy of Dramatic Arts
AADA Colony Club.jpg
The New York City location in the former Colony Club building
Established 1884
Type Private conservatory
Endowment approx $5million
Academic staff 25
Students Approximately 220 New York Campus, Approximately 180 Los Angeles Campus
Location New York City
Los Angeles
, United States
Campus Urban
Affiliations NAICU, MSA
American Academy of Dramatic Arts (logo).jpg

The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) is a two-year performing arts conservatory with facilities located in Manhattan, New York City – at 120 Madison Avenue, and in Hollywood, California – at 1336 North La Brea Avenue.


The oldest acting school in the English speaking world,[1] the Academy in New York was founded in 1884 to train actors for the stage in a landmark building designed by noted architect Stanford White as the original Colony Club. In 1974, the Academy opened another campus in Pasadena, California, which made it the only professional actor training school in both major centers of American theatrical activity. The Los Angeles campus moved from Pasadena to Hollywood in 2001 in a new building next to the site of the former studios of Charlie Chaplin.


The Academy remains dedicated to training professional actors. It offers a two-year program in which students have to be invited back for the second year. Auditions are held at the end of the second year for the third year company.[2] As well as training for the theatre, it now offers courses in film and television, providing a structured, professionally oriented program that stresses self-discovery, self-discipline and individuality. Students who graduate in New York receive an Associate of Occupational Studies degree; students who graduate in Hollywood receive a Certificate of Completion or an Associate of Arts degree in Acting. Students from New York and Los Angeles can get a Bachelor of Arts degree from selected universities.

Numerous students of the Academy have gone on to distinguished careers throughout the entertainment industry, receiving nominations for Tonys, Oscars and Emmys.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

The Academy has many teachers and faculty who have many professional connections and credits.

Notable faculty includes: David Dean Bottrell, Karen Hensel, Sandy Martin, Ian Ogilvy, and Scott Reiniger.



  1. ^ Nemy, Enid (June 11, 1985). "Oldest acting school fetes its 100th birthday". New York Times. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Academy's Approach" on the AADA website
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an Alleman, Richard. The Movie Lover's Guide to New York. New York: Harper & Row, 1988. ISBN 0060960809 p.165
  4. ^ "Christina Fontanelli sings 'Christmas in Italy' program" The Union City Reporter, November 28, 2010, Page 20

External links[edit]