The Central Academy of Drama was the first theatre higher educational institution of the People's Republic of China. Now it is affiliated to China's Ministry of Education and is ranked as one of the best top-level drama and stage arts institutions in China. The Academy is the headquarter of China Alliance of Theatre Higher Educational Institutes, Asia Theatre Education Centre (ATEC) and Secretariat of Global Alliance of Theatre Schools (GATS). It also acts as the base for the GATS International Theatre Festival. It is a world famous higher educational institute of arts, and holds the UNESCO CHAIR ON THEATRE EDUCATION.
The history of the Academy dates back to more than 70 years, to April 10th, 1938, when Yan An Lu Xun Art College was established. The Academy opened officially in December, 1949 and held the inaugural conference on 2nd of April, 1950. Chairman Mao Zedong inscribed the official name in calligraphy.
The Academy has two campuses, one is located at Dong Mianhua Hutong No. 39, Dongcheng District, and the other new one is located on Hong Fu Middle Rd No.4, Changping District. Area of these two campuses reach 230, 000㎡, and the construction area is about 180,000㎡.
The Academy’s pedagogic programs have been subdivided into Department of Acting, Department of Directing, Department of Stage Design, Department of Dramatic Literature, Department of Musical Theatre, Department of Peking Opera, Department of Western Opera, Department of Dance Drama, Department of Theatre Pedagogy, Department of Theatre Management, Department of Film and TV Arts. Majors offered at the undergraduate level include: Acting, Directing, Art Design for Drama, Film & TV, Literature on Drama, Film & TV, Theater Studies, Public Utilities Management, and Broadcast & Anchoring. The academy has first-class discipline master’s degree and doctor’s degree authorization centers in Studies of Drama (Film & TV), and Theory Studies of Art. The Academy also has post-doctoral research station for art studies.
The Academy has the only state-level teaching team in acting, the only state-level characteristic major in directing, the only national innovative experimental zone for talents cultivation in musical acting, and the only state-level demonstration center for experimental teaching in Drama (Film & TV). The Academy also acts as headquarters of many national and international organizations, including China Drama Art Institute, Committee of Directing Arts of China Theater Association, China Association of Stage Arts, International Stage Arts Network, China Centre of OISTAT, China Centre of International Association of Theatre Critics, Education Committee of China Musical Theatre Association, and China Collaborative Innovation Center for Theatre Arts Management.
In the Academy’s long-term history, it continues to uphold the principle of realism, and inherits Chinese aesthetic traditions and carefully absorbs from other cultures. The Academy constantly consolidates basis and strengthens practice, and pursues the spirit of “genuineness, creation and beauty”. The institution commits itself to training drama, film & TV art talents for the country and the world. A majority of graduates have become world-famous artists, scholars, professors and writers, who have made remarkable contributions to the prosperity and development of Chinese drama, film & TV industry.