Continent: Europe




École Superieure d'Art Dramatique du Théâtre National de Strasbourg


A national school

The ESAD school of the Théâtre National de Strasbourg was created by Michel Saint- Denis in 1954 under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture and Communication.

It is a state-funded school whose task is to train the future professionals of the performing arts. The school is unique in two ways:
- firstly, being located in the TNS it benefits from the theatre’s infrastructure and facilities;
- secondly, the pedagogical method is grounded on interdisciplinarity: actors, scenographers, costume designers, technicians, stage- directors and playwrights are trained together in the same class (or “group”).

Central in the students’ training is the unique tie that binds the school to a national theatre with a stage director at its head. Indeed, the students’ very presence on the premises of the theatre allows for constant contact with the artistic dynamics of a national theatre as well as with the concrete technical activity that comes with running a theatre on a daily basis. The strong connection between school and theatre is only  strengthened by the presence in the TNS of a permanent troupe of actors, by a permanent technical and administrative staff that is fully engaged in the artistic project of the institution and by the many regular collaborations with visiting directors. Whether it be through formal workshops or through more informal exchanges, every student benefits fully from life in an actual theatre. Conversely, the presence of students within the theatre and the public presentation of their research projects contributes largely to the artistic dynamics and aura of the TNS.

Auditions for new students are held twice in a three year period, which means that two groups of approximately twenty- five students are present in the School on a permanent basis. The full curriculum lasts three years, alternating and combining weekly classes with intensive periods where the students take part in workshops directed by a professional from the world of theatre or film.



In partnership with the Department of the Arts of the University of Strasbourg, the TNS has created a specific curriculum entitled « Theatre and Stage Training for  Actors » designed by Olivier Neveux, Jean Jourdheuil and Julie Brochen. Amongst other modules, this curriculum includes a Master’s degree seminar from Theatre Studies department of the University of Strasbourg on “Teaching and Dramatic Research” open to 2nd year students of the TNS School.

Thanks to this partnership, the TNS School students receive university diplomas at the outcome of their studies (a Bachelor of Arts or a Masters Degree diploma, depending on the student’s academic level when he or she enters the school). The diploma is of course awarded under the condition that students have obtained the required passing grades.

The TNS also grants the Ministry-of-Culture recognized National Diploma for Professional Actors (Diplôme National Supérieur de Comédien).


International Exchange Program

The TNS School, which is already a member of the French A&T (vocational arts) network for continuing education schools (which includes the CFPTS, ENSATT, ISTS, STAFF, is also a member of ENCEPA (European Network Continuing Education in Performing Arts), a European network that brings together seven schools of superior education of Northern Europe (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) with a view to the development of international cooperation in vocational training. One final symposium will take place in Oslo in 2012 on the fourth and fifth of July during the week-long  « Olso International  Acting Festival. »

The “Premières“ Festival, devoted to the promotion of young European stage directors and organised in close partnership with the Maillon Theatre (the 7th edition is due in 2012 from the 7th to the 10th of June) is a further opportunity for new exchanges and sharing of experiences.



Contact Information


Post Address

      1, avenue de la Marseillaise

   67005 Strasbourg Cedex


TEL03 88 24 88 59
Fax : 03 88 24 88 14


Other Information