Why choose NTS?

Discover the School and its 9 professional training programs 

École nationale de théâtre
Photo: Annie Éthier

An intense and inspiring curriculum, demanding the most of students while respecting their individuality as artists.

  • Practical training: an average of 10 performances are put on each year, created by students from across all NTS professional programs in the English Section.
  • Personalized instruction: classes no bigger than 14 students, individual mentoring, and an overall ratio of two instructors per student.
  • Extraordinary networking opportunities: 99% of instructors are working artists at the top of their field.
  • Exceptional career placement rate: 97% of graduates get professional contracts in their field as soon as they complete their training.
  • State-of-the-art facilities designed specifically for theatre: 5 performance spaces, the Monument-National campus, spacious light-filled rehearsal spaces, a sound studio, a lighting lab, a professional fly system, professional set and costume workshops, and the largest bilingual theatre library in Canada.

Our Programs

Production Design and Technical Arts

Learn to develop innovative solutions, excel in technical and management skills, and create a rigorous and collaborative working environment.

  • Three years, full-time
  • 8 students per year

Learn more

Set and Costume Design

Become a costume and set designer with the skills to work not only in theatre, but also in dance, opera, and the circus arts.

  • Three years, full-time
  • 8 students per year

Learn more


Develop awareness of your own unique artistic process under the guidance of influential artists.

  • Three years, full-time
  • 14 students per year (maximum) 
Learn more


Develop your artistic practice and sharpen your skills as a collaborator and leader. Explore a diversity of professional practices in intensive workshops, scene studies and fully-realized productions.

  • Two years, full-time 
  • 2 students every two years
Learn more


Learn the art of writing for the theatre from Canada’s finest playmakers in the country’s only conservatory-style playwriting programs.

  • Three years, full-time 
  • 2 students per year

Learn more

French programs

The School also offers four professional training programs in French:

  • Création et production
  • Interprétation
  • Écriture dramatique
  • Mise en scène
Learn more

Admission and Auditions

Registration fee for 2023-2024: $85 CAD per program.
Please note that the registration fee is non-refundable.

Please have the following items readily available:

  • A recent digital photo; close-up of your face (in jpg or jpeg, maximum 5 Mo)
  • Your method of payment: credit card (Visa, Mastercard), certified cheque or money order (personal cheques are not accepted)
  • For applicants to the Acting, Directing, Playwriting, Set and Costume Design, or Production Design & Technical Arts programs: 2 references (Teachers and/or Theatre Professionals who know you - names and contact info) 
  • For applicants to the Directing, Production Design & Technical Arts program: your résumé

Can candidates apply to more than one program?

Yes, you can apply to more than one program. Candidates must:

  • Fill out a separate form for each program to which they apply
  • Include a $85 registration fee for each chosen program.

Instructions about the selection process will be sent starting FEBRUARY to all the candidates who have submitted a complete application form and paid the registration fee before the deadline. 

Learn more


There are no grades or report cards given at the School.

The evaluation process is continuous and conducted with the collaboration of the professors and directors. These periodic evaluations give students the guidance, feedback and suggestions they need to improve and evolve their craft.

Students who have met all the requirements and completed their program of study will receive a certificate from the National Theatre School. NTS is accredited by Québec's Ministry of Education (Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur) which recognizes that its training programs are equivalent with that of a college program, but does not issue a collegiate studies diploma in theatre.

School Year

  • The school year is divided into two semesters.
  • The first semester usually begins around Labour Day and ends mid-December. The second semester runs from January until the beginning of May.
  • Classes are generally held from Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Rehearsals, performances and classes are frequently held on Saturdays, Sundays, and in the evening.


NTS offers highly individualized training. As such, the curriculum is subject to change, following the latest development in technology, new artistic practices, and the needs of the unique group of artists making up each class.  

Our training is always practical, supported by the 20 student shows created each year.  


Our students are taught and mentored by working professional artists who have their finger on the pulse of the artistic community.

They share a wealth of theatre experience from across Canada and around the world. NTS has an overall ratio of two instructors per student. Our group of teaching artists varies each year according to student needs.  

A Word from the Artistic Director

"Art can transform. It can transform you and our world. In this era of speed and stimulation with relentless push for impact and results, I dare you to take time, to be present in the moment, to be slow, and explore, and listen to the voices that emerge from inside you, the voices of your own unique imagination. These voices will emerge as you commit to your practice. And practice will allow you to share your imagination, your unique art with the world."

-Alisa Palmer, Artistic Director of the English section of NTS

Meet Alisa Palmer!

Our alumni work on stages and on screens across Canada and all over the world

École nationale de théâtre
Sandra Oh
Photo: Christian Blais

Sandra Oh (Acting, 1993)

École nationale de théâtre
Cliff Cardinal
Photo: Maxime Côté

Cliff Cardinal (Playwriting, 2015)

Colm Feore (Acting, 1980)

Eda Holmes (Directing, 1996)

Blair Brown (Acting, 1969)

École nationale de théâtre
Ann-Marie MacDonald
Photo: Guntar Kravis

Ann-Marie MacDonald (Acting, 1980)

Alumn Testimonial

"My experience at the National Theatre School of Canada was nothing short of life changing. The faculty went above and beyond; pushing me past my perceived limits while nurturing my emerging processes, and above all else respecting me as a unique artist in need of an individualized, personal learning plan."

Jesse Stong (Playwriting, 2013)

Our alumni work with many artistic companies around the globe. Here are a few examples:

  • Canadian Opera Company, Toronto
  • Canadian Stage, Toronto
  • Cirque du Soleil, Montreal
  • Dreamworks, Glendale, United States
  • Metropolitan Opera, New York, United States
  • National Arts Centre, Ottawa
  • Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg
  • Stratford festival, Stratford
  • Shaw festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Soulpepper, Toronto
  • SummerWorks, Toronto
  • Tarragon Theatre, Toronto
  • Universal Pictures, Los Angeles, United States


Applying to NTS is easy!

You can do it online in just a few steps. Check out our application guide to learn more.


Read the FAQ


514-842-7954, ext. 134

Start your application now!

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and learn more about our professional programs, receive invitations to our student shows, discover the School, our residencies...

Want to apply to the School?
Just click here!