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Break a Leg! Pursue a Career in Drama


The most wonderful aspect about studying drama is the networking opportunities that you get. It might require a lot of discipline & concentrated efforts, but it is equally true that with good practice & skills, you can get ample opportunities to reach your creative peak. This blog talks about how you can pursue a career in drama after 12th in arts stream or any other discipline.

If you think the stage is where you belong, you might want to check out the career options that you have in the field of ‘Drama’. Gone are the days when a career in Drama was looked down upon as something not-so-realistic. Contrary to popular belief, there are plentiful prospects nowadays in the field of drama. So if you are passionate about acting & theatrics, you should not let the naysayers rule off this career for you by claiming it risky or a back-up plan or not-so-practical.

In fact, this is one field where you meet passionate young people every day who are chasing their dreams with utmost determination. There are indeed a lot of option in a career in drama and you just need to find your perfect place either:

  • ‘On the stage’ or
  • ‘In the classroom’ or
  • ‘Behind the curtain’ or
  • ‘At the desk’ or
  • ‘On the sets’.

It is true to the extent that people wanting to be on the center stage might go through extreme highs & lows that this profession has to show. There might be times with no work and there might be brief intervals where you get totally worked up.

While formal training is not a compulsory requirement to pursue a career in drama, a degree might be a good idea to hone your skills and learn tricks of the trade directly from established artists & professional thespians.

The number of schools providing formal education in drama & performing arts is increasing rapidly with industry experts taking a keen interest in nurturing future actors & trade technicians. In India, directors like SubashGhai& actors like Anupam Kher have opened up their own schools for acting & performing arts.

Indian Institutes offering a degree in Theatre

InstituteCoursesFamous AlumniCityWebsite
Film & Television Institute of IndiaGraduation, Post-graduationDanny Denzongpa, John Abraham, Jaya Bachchan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Shabana Azmi, VidhuVinod ChopraPune
National School of DramaGraduation, Post-graduationNaseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Anupam Kher, NawazuddinSiddiqui, Piyush Mishra, Irrfan Khan, Seema BiswasNew Delhi
Barry John Acting StudioCertificate, DiplomaShah Rukh Khan, Manoj Bajpai, Shiney Ahuja, Freida PintoMumbai, New Delhi
Actor PreparesCertificate, DiplomaPrachi Desai, Preity Zinta, Ali Zafar, Varun Dhawan, Deepika Padukone, MugdhaGodseMumbai
Whistling Woods InternationalDiploma, GraduationAbhishek Jain, SamvednaSuwalka, NakulSahdev, Anil Mange, AruVermaMumbai
Asian Academy of Film and Television Certificate, Graduation, Post-graduationArjun Kapoor, Luv Ranjan, Neha Chauhan, HasleenKaur, Ajay Behl,Noida
Roshan Taneja School of Acting CertificateKarishma Kapoor, KimiKatkar, Kiran Kumar, Kunal Kapoor, Manisha Koirala, Madhuri Dixit, Mithun ChakrabortyMumbai

International Institutes offering a degree in Theatre

InstituteTuition Fees(£)Famous AlumniCity, CountryWebsite
Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts14,700Sir Paul McCartney (Patron), Sir Ian McKellen, Alan RickmanLiverpool, UK
Juilliard School22,790Kevin Spacey, Robin Williams, Val KilmerNew York, US
National Institute of Dramatic Art15,610Cate Blanchett, Mel Gibson, Hugo WeavingSydney, Australia
Guildhall School of Music & Drama17,850Ewan McGregor, Daniel Craig, Orlando BloomLondon, UK
Tisch School of the Arts27,350Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alec BaldwinNew York, US
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School18,800Daniel Day-Lewis, Gene Wilder, Patrick StewartBristol, UK
The New School for Drama23,544Marlon Brando, Jesse Eisenberg, Bradley CooperNew York, US
Oxford School of Drama14,925Catherine McCormack, Christina ColeWoodstock, UK
Drama Centre13,800Pierce Brosnan, Colin FirthLondon, UK
California Institute of the Arts27,806Ed Harris, Katey SagalCalifornia, US

Skills Required

It is an established fact that this field requires a lot of hard work & steadfastness. The picture below enlists all the required skills that would help you excel in the theatrical world:

Other talents like singing, dancing or playing musical instruments would be of additional value.

Job Opportunities

India houses a staggering array of different forms of performing arts. Just for theatre, there are more than 40,000 companies nationwide including amateur theatre groups, professional repertory, commercial as well as alternative theatres. A lot of these theatre companies are provided with grants & support from the government. You might get into any of these theatre companies as a fresh graduate.

Opportunities in films, TV serials & Ad industries are also open for acting students. With the advent of the internet, YouTube channels have also opened up massive employment opportunities in this field. Indian theatre companies have recently witnessed increased international tie-ups and exposure. This has resulted in a moderate to a sharp increase in the income of these companies and subsequently that of the artists.

As a graduate in drama, you can get into directly related jobs like:

  • Actor
  • Dancer
  • Theatre Director
  • Musician
  • Community arts worker
  • Producer

Or you can get into jobs where your degree would be more useful, like:

  • Stage Manager
  • Arts Administrator
  • Broadcast Presenter
  • Lecturer
  • Costume Designer
  • Sound Technician
  • Script Writer
  • Choreographer
  • Set Designer
  • Props Manager
  • Wardrobe Technician
  • Stagehand
  • Lighting Technician
  • Special Effects Technician

Or you can also get into alternate career options such as:

  • Announcer
  • Radio Jockey
  • Television Presenter
  • Interviewer
  • Video Jockey
  • Party Anchor

Salary Structure

As fresh graduates, if you are employed in theatre companies, your salary can range from anywhere between INR 10,000 to INR 40,000 depending on your expertise. However, it increases with experience. You can also freelance without actually committing to a particular group. And there are ample entrepreneurial opportunities as well if you wish to set up your own theatre company and produce your own plays. The sky is the limit for good artists.


Dramatics is not just a pastime or an extra-curricular activity anymore. The techniques are being improvised every passing day and even studied in a scientific manner. A number of students who pursue a career in drama usually end up in extremely high-end careers such as TV, Films, etc. Therefore follow a career in drama only if you are passionate about it, as it requires a lot of patience and practice to make it big in this field.

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2 thoughts on “Break a Leg! Pursue a Career in Drama”

  1. Its nice to know that there are still great authors out there that can put wit into knowledgable information. Thanks for your contributions and desire to discuss your thoughts with us.

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