Where To Take Acting Classes in St. Louis

best acting classes st louis

As a former music teacher, I will always advocate for high-quality arts education, whether it’s dance, music, visual arts, theater, or acting. Luckily, St. Louis has a thriving arts community with incredible educators who are ready and willing to share their expertise with others. 

If you’re considering taking an acting class in St. Louis, you’ve come to the right place! Here are my picks for the best acting classes in St. Louis. 

Map of the Best Acting Classes in St. Louis

Best all-around: Creative Actors Studio

Whether you want to enjoy acting as a hobby, pursue an acting career, or just want to make some new friends through an acting class, Creative Actors Studio has an option for everyone. These classes are open to anyone 13 and up, and all experience levels are welcome.

Acting students at Creative Actors Studio have the option of in-person or online lessons. Both in-person and virtual training covers camera technique, scene study, improvisation, and commercial acting.

Best variety of classes: Center of Creative Arts (COCA)

The Center of Creative Arts, locally known as COCA, is the fourth-largest multidisciplinary community arts center in the country and is nationally known as a leader in innovative arts education. 

You can find pretty much any fine arts class imaginable at COCA, including acting classes. Classes on introductory acting, screen acting, kid’s theater classes, and private lessons are just a few of COCA’s vast array of theater options. While you’re here, don’t forget to sign up for a ballet, hip-hop, guitar, or cooking class – the possibilities are limitless!

  • Address: 6880 Washington Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63130
  • Website: COCA

Best for kids: Gateway Center for Performing Arts

Gateway Center for Performing Arts offers voice, dance, and acting classes for performers as young as three years old all the way to adults. Adult class options cover acting, improv, musical theater voice, and a wide variety of dance classes. 

Kids’ classes are organized based on age group – the younger classes are centered around movement, creativity, and music, while classes for teens include film acting technique, musical theater education, and improvisation. 

Not only can kids enjoy classes here at Gateway Center, but they can also audition and participate in the GCPA Youth Theater Company. This youth theater is one of the best in St. Louis, and a typical season usually includes several junior arrangements of well-known musicals.

Best in the suburbs: STAGES Performing Arts Academy

With a 22,000-square-foot facility in Chesterfield and another performance space in Kirkwood, STAGES Performing Arts Academy is one of the best places for children’s (and adult!) acting classes in the St. Louis area. STAGES is the only year-round arts school in the region and has a comprehensive curriculum run by a professional theater company.

Classes at STAGES include masterclasses, triple threat classes, musical theater education, and a wide array of dance and voice courses. With a faculty of over 30 professional teaching artists, this academy is a learning hub for all things musical theater. 

STAGES has received several local awards in recent years, including the 2016 Missouri Arts Award from the Missouri Arts Council. This professional theater company also has several mainstage performances every year, hosting auditions in both St. Louis and New York City. Whether you’re attending a class or performance, you won’t be disappointed at STAGES.

  • Address 1: 1023 Chesterfield Parkway East Chesterfield, MO 63017
  • Address 2: 210 E. Monroe Ave. Kirkwood, MO 63122
  • Website: STAGES St. Louis

Best improv classes: The Improv Shop

Not only is The Improv Shop a really fun place to enjoy comedy shows on the weekends, but they also offer several fantastic improv classes. Founded in 2009, The Improv Shop resides in a two-theater venue in The Grove neighborhood. This venue has two stages, a green room, an outdoor patio, indoor lounging, a full bar, and custom murals, making this a lively space for an acting class or a night out. 

The Improv Shop has classes for all skill levels, ranging from entry-level improvisation and long-form improv to scene work education and musical improv. They also offer intensive workshops on acting technique, writing sketches, and improv fundamentals. 

Best private acting lessons: Garret Liam States Vocal and Acting Studio

Garrett Liam States offers private acting and singing lessons to students ten and up. This studio is an excellent option if you’re looking for a teacher with real-world drama and singing experience. 

Garrett Liam States has an impressive resume – he’s taught all over Europe, trained at the MET in NYC, and has held several national and international theater roles in major productions. If you don’t feel comfortable testing your acting chops in front of an entire class of students, taking private lessons is a great alternative.

Best summer programs: The Black Rep

The Black Rep may put on fantastic shows and summer workshops, but its mission is just as impressive. Founded in 1976, this nonprofit theater advocates for the equitable distribution of opportunities and resources for Black theater professionals and students. 

During the summer, The Black Rep hosts an 8-week summer program for students ages 8 through 18. This program gives students the opportunity to express themselves through theater, dance, movement, acting, and playwriting. 

  • Address: 6662 Olive Boulevard University City, MO 63130
  • Website: The Black Rep