The Central Academy of Drama

中央戏剧学院 Zhōngyāng Xìjù Xuéyuàn

The Central Academy of Drama is one of China’s most prestigious institutions for the study of the performing arts. It is unique in that is offers both western arts and traditional Chinese arts. In addition, the academy offers degrees in areas related to stage, film, and TV such as theater pedagogy and theater management. Students seeking a top-tier drama degree in China are sure to find their niche at the Central Academy of Drama.

The Central Academy of Drama was formed in 1950 by the faculty of the Yan’an Lu Xun Art School. The academy’s first president was renowned Peking Opera star, Ouyang Yuqian. Chairman Mao presided at the academy’s inauguration ceremony and even wrote the school’s official name in calligraphy. As the only state-level institution in China with a focus in performing arts, the academy is home to the nation’s highest relevant bodies. The Asian Theater Education Center (ATEC) and the World Theater Education Alliance (WTEA) are both headquartered at the Central Academy of Drama.

The Central Academy of Drama has 12 departments: the acting department, the directing department, the department of stage design, the department of dramatic literature, the department of musical theater, the department of Peking opera, the opera department, the department of dance theater, the department of puppetry theater, the department of theater pedagogy, the department of theater management, and the department of film and TV art. The inclusion of two traditional Chinese specialties is particularly appealing to international students. Chinese puppet theater and Peking Opera can only truly be appreciated in their place of origin—Beijing.

Many of China’s most famous actors and directors graduated from the Central Academy of Drama. The long list of celebrity alumni includes Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi, Jiang Wen, Tang Wei, and Gao Lianwen. These, and other alumni, are among the most influential performers and musicians in China over the last fifty years.

The Central Academy of Drama has two campuses. The main campus is nestled deep within Beijing’s traditional Hutongs in the city center. There is also a larger campus outside the city proper in Changping District.

Students wishing to pursue a career in the performing arts in China—especially those interested in traditional Chinese arts—should consider applying to the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing.

Accommodation on campus double room fee: Double room, US$8 per person per day.