Royal Higher College of Performing Arts

Welcome to RESAD, Royal Higher College of Performing Arts, the oldest Spanish theatre training center and one of the most prestigious in the world. Since 1831 RESAD has trained professionals through a specialized educational program and a personalized teaching approach enabling students to excel in all theatrical areas and disciplines. This focus is not only technical, but also artistic and philosophical. A staff of more than 60 professors and a prime location in the center of Madrid near the Retiro Park makes RESAD an excellent place to study acting, directing, playwriting or set, costume or lighting design.

Darse 12
Darse 12. English version
Darse 11
Darse 11. English version
Darse10 English version
Darse 10. English version

A short history of the RESAD

Queen Maria Cristina of the Two Sicilies, wife of King Fernando VII, founded the institution, the first in Spain dedicated to “the interesting and difficult art of declamation or scenic performance” and in 1831 the Royal Conservatory of Music and Declamation opened. With different names over the years the Declamation Division of the Royal Conservatory in 1952 definitively became the Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático (the Royal Higher College of Performing Arts).


  Study programme (doc) / Study programme (xls)

Each degree follows a four-year program.
Stage Direction & Dramaturgy is divided into two options: the first is oriented to directors and the second to playwrights and specialists in theatrical theory, criticism and drama teachers.
Among the subjects studied are: Textual Analysis, History of the Performing Arts, Theory and Practice of Stage Direction, Dramatic Literature, XVII Century Staging, Contemporary Theatre Staging, Illumination, Theory, Critical Practice and Theory, Introduction to Scenic Design, Acting, Sociology in addition to many other course, with involvement with many different productions throughout the year.

Scenography Design is a fairly new degree in Spain, principle courses include: Scenic Space, Perspective and Visual Perception, New Technologies Applied to Design, Stage Techniques, Make-Up, Costume Design, amongst others. Students in this degree program create their own sets and design all the productions at the RESAD.

The degree in Acting has the longest tradition at the RESAD, and has been revitalized through several innovations. Students may choose between the regular acting course, physical theatre, a puppetry theatre course, and Musical Theatre. Among the course topics are: Acrobatics, Voice, Fencing, Dramatic Literature, History of Theatre, Make-Up, Mask Work, Acting, and many others. Students continually participate in performances throughout their education as part of their coursework.


Every June new students are admitted at RESAD after passing our admission exams. To be eligible for the admission exam, the candidates must hold an accredited secondary school degree.


The RESAD library holds more than 60,000 volumes, books and magazines. Its holdings include first editions, videos and all kinds of publications related to the dramatic arts. The library opens daily, and with a capacity for 72 readers, allows students to take advantage of the publications at any time during opening hours.


This department promotes the higher college’s activities as well as publishing texts incorporating the production of workshops and lectures throughout the year. The department also produces dossiers and posters of different activities, also coordinating contact with external press and media.


Production Department organizes and coordinates more than 60 in-house productions yearly, in our two theatre spaces.