So you’re looking for the best acting schools in Brisbane? Good for you! One of the best investments you can make for yourself as an actor is in education. It’s the best way to improve your actor’s toolkit, make industry connections and get the experience you’ll need in your next rehearsal room or on set. That being said, education can be a big financial and time commitment. This is why it’s vital to choose any course or educational establishment carefully.
For all of my fellow Queensland actors out there, this article outlines the best acting schools in Brisbane. Below, you will find my top picks, and some information on each school to help you make informed choices about where you will study.
If you are looking for some more private acting class recommendations check out: Best Brisbane Acting Classes
Before You Study
Hold your horses. Before you leap into this drama school business, it’s important to think about what you’re getting yourself into. In fact, even before that, it’s worth asking yourself “Should I go to drama school?” in the first place. Depending on your financial situation, your lifestyle and where you are in your career, assess the workload of each course and your goals to determine which will be the best fit for you.
Some courses, such as QUT, do a full time workload for three years. Obviously, this has its advantages (like having a thorough curriculum where you’re training everyday), however it will leave you little time for your other pursuits. Other courses have a smaller time commitment, with classes one day a week or only in the evenings. These courses leave you plenty of time to go and work and pursue other activities.
No option is definitively better than another, but choosing a course that is right for you is something to keep top of mind when applying. Know how to get the most out of your training, and how it can best suit you.
Decided that training is right for you? Let’s look at the best acting schools in Brisbane!
Best Acting Schools in Brisbane
QUT (Queensland University of Technology)
Location: QUT Kelvin Grove campus
Length: 3 years
Price: Est. $11,100 per year ($33,300 for the course)
Applications Close: Late September (through QTAC)
When people talk about Brisbane acting schools, QUT’s acting program is always the first school mentioned in conversation. There are plenty of excellent reasons for this. QUT have been nurturing talent and producing exceptional actors since 1989. You will have access to QUT’s state-of-the-art facilities, along with the beautiful Kelvin Grove campus. There, you’ll learn all you need to know in order to become a fully-fledged actor. The course itself has a great focus on the current climate of the industry and delivers a practical, hands-on approach and industry connection. It’s a full-time course load, so those looking for financial assistance have the chance to apply for student help through MyGov and Centrelink.
Note: despite QUT’s history as a paragon of acting education, they have made some significant changes to their course in recent years. The current yearly intake has now increased and each cohort has around 30 actors. With acting training, the smaller the class size, the better and taking more students is definitely not a positive for the school. They have also reduced contact hours and made a few other changes that have altered the course significantly. Make sure to do some thorough research before applying. This is not to say that it has become a “bad” program, but the significant changes have impacted the training style and it is no longer as intensive as in past years. If you are looking for a full time, conservatoire style training program, this may not be the best option for you.
Griffith University’s Bachelor of Acting
Location: Brisbane, Southbank and Woolloongabba
Length: 3 years
Price: Est. $8,500 per year ($25,500 for the course)
Applications Close: November
One of Brisbane’s most exciting new acting courses has been making waves over at Griffith University. The course is lead by Jacqui Somerville. Jacqui has worked for over 25 years in the UK industry as an actor, theatre director and producer. She brings this industry knowledge and expertise with her following her move to the Sunshine State to deliver Griffith’s acting course. One of the many advantages of this course is that they constantly try to reach out and integrate current industry professionals into the teaching staff to help students prepare their career networks one they have graduated.
They cover all the fundamentals and basics of the acting craft, and will leave you ready to take on the industry. I am genuinely excited to see how this school grows and develops over time (although it looks to be quite great already.)
Similar to the QUT degree, student help via MyGov and Centrelink should be applicable for this full-time course.
Australian Performing Arts Conservatorium
Location: Brisbane CBD
Length: 2 years (full time, trimesters)
Price: Est. $52,800
Applications Close: November
Compared to QUT, NIDA and WAAPA, APAC is one of those lesser-known gems that more aspiring actors should consider when looking to take up a full time acting course. With over 25 years in the business and located right in the heart of the CBD, it presents yet another viable option to help you master your craft. It’s a full-time course but gives students the ability to complete the degree with trimester blocks (meaning that you will complete the course a whole year sooner.)
Their mission is to, “…make our degree accessible to people who have a passion for performing.” They’re intake is small, which gives students an in depth and intimate learning experience. The only downside is that they are currently the most expensive acting course in Brisbane.
StageMilk’s 6 Week Screen Acting Course (Brisbane)
Location: PIP Theatre, Savoir Faire, 20 Park Rd, Milton QLD 4064
Length: 6 weeks
$695 $495 Early Bird Price
Applications: view link above
StageMilk launched their Brisbane acting course in late 2023, and now offer one of the leading classes in the city. This course focuses mainly on screen acting and auditioning, and is an incredible opportunity to work directly with StageMilk founder, Andrew Hearle. The course only accepts a limited amount of students and is one of the most hands on, and practical courses available in Brisbane. It is also incredibly affordable, and aims to make high quality acting training available to all actors.
Bonus Round: NIDA Open
Location: Brisbane, Southbank
Length: Various lengths. Term classes are in 8-week cycles. Studio course is 1 year.
Price: For the yearly course of one day a week, $4885. Smaller courses start at around $350.
Applications Close: Early January
“But Sam! NIDA is in Sydney! Go back to the pond, you silly goose!”
Yes, I know. But hear me out! NIDA Open also has courses right here in Queensland’s capital. They have courses tailored for those just starting out, as well as actors who are looking to engage in more advanced studies. Their main course is the Screen Actors Studio that specifically goes through techniques for on camera and screen craft.
NIDA Brisbane also offer a range of “boot camp”-style courses for those still in school too. Great for any high schoolers looking to explore the possibility of pursuing acting as a career. No matter what level you are in your craft, they have something for everyone.
Bonus, Bonus Round – Gold Coast
The Gold Coast has some fantastic courses that are worth traveling for if you are from Bris-Vegas. Let’s jump in.
Location: Helensvale, Gold Coast
The Warehouse is probably the most prominent acting course that the Gold Coast has ever seen. Which makes, sense considering it is run by the man, the myth, the legend himself Tom McSweeney. There are quite a varied range of classes that you can apply for within The Warehouse. They offer everything from a 30-week-long course to more short term offerings.
NOTE: all course prices are just estimates, and liable to change. For most up to date course fees check with the school.
That’s it, folks: the best acting schools in Brisbane. If you have any specific questions for the school to which you are applying to, remember that it is perfectly acceptable to email or contact them. Learning at an educational institute of any kind is a two-way street. You deserve to know everything that will help you to make the best decision for yourself and your education. If committing to a lengthy course is not quite what you are looking for right now, fear not: Brisbane based actors can still access an abundance of great short courses and coaches to improve their craft.
Finally, remember that if you think acting school is not the path for you, that’s okay! There are plenty of ways to get what you’re looking for in an acting career, or simply the pursuit of your passions. Look at acting books, ways to teach yourself acting, the skills you can develop … not to mention the tonne of resources we’ve collected here on StageMilk. You can even join our Scene Club here on the site, where you’ll have access to coaches, feedback, scripts/plays/materials and a whole community of like-minded individuals.
Good luck and learn well!