American Academy of Dramatic Arts

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The American Academy of Dramatic Arts Logo
American Academy of Dramatic Arts
AADA at the Colony Club.jpg
The New York City location in the former Colony Club building
Type Private conservatory
Established 1884
Endowment Approx $5 Million
President Susan Zech
Academic staff
Students Approximately 220 New York Campus / Approximately 180 Los Angeles Campus
Location New York City
Los Angeles
, United States
Campus Urban
Colors Gold and Black
Affiliations NAICU, MSA

The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) is a two-year performing arts conservatory with bi-coastal facilities at 120 Madison Avenue, Manhattan, and at 1336 North La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles.


The oldest acting school in the English-speaking world,[1] the Academy in New York City was founded in 1884 to train actors for the stage. Its first home was the original Lyceum Theatre on what is now Park Avenue South. In 1963, the school moved to its current home, a landmark building designed by noted architect Stanford White as the original Colony Club.[2]

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 entertainment. 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.[3] 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]

The following is a list of notable people who attended the AADA and the year of their graduating class. From their Web site:[4]























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. ^ "History and Heritage". American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "The Academy's Approach" on the AADA website
  4. ^ "Notable Alumni" AADA website
  5. ^ 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 ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dq dr ds dt du dv dw dx dy dz ea eb ec ed ee ef eg eh ei ej ek el em en eo ep eq er es et eu ev ew ex ey ez fa fb fc fd fe ff fg fh fi fj fk fl fm "Notable Past Students". Notable Alumni. American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Alleman, Richard (1988), The Movie Lover's Guide to New York, New York: Harper & Row, ISBN 0060960809  p.165
  7. ^ Ward, Matthew (2015-01-26). "Former Miss Virginia from Suffolk dies". Suffolk News-Herald. Retrieved 2015-02-14. 
  8. ^ "Christina Fontanelli sings 'Christmas in Italy' program" The Union City Reporter, November 28, 2010, Page 20
  9. ^ Collins, Bob (2017-02-01). "Gwen Gillen was much more than the Mary Tyler Moore statue". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  10. ^ Themal, Harry F. “Raters Prune ‘Orange’: True to Hypocritical Oath.” The News Journal (Wilmington, DE). (September 25, 1972): p. 32.
  11. ^ Harry Prescott Hanaford, Dixie Hines, eds., Who's who in Music and Drama (H. P. Hanaford 1914): 311.

External links[edit]