Royal School for Performing Arts

(Under construction)

Welcome to the RESAD, Spain’s Royal School for Dramatic Arts, the oldest Spanish theatre school and one of the most prestigious in Europe. Since 1831 the RESAD has trained professionals in the world of theatre through a specialized educational program and 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 faculty of more than 70 professors and a prime location in the center of Madrid near the Retiro Park makes the RESAD an excellent place to study. Our modern building, inaugurated in 1998, has two full theaters: the smaller 100 seat García Lorca for theater in the round, and the 500 seat Valle Inclán for larger productions, in addition to classrooms, rehearsal spaces, a library housing one of Spain’s best collections on theater, a costume collection and many other important spaces.

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 School for Dramatic Arts). 

In the decade of the 1970’s Herman Bonin, García Pavón and Ricardo Doménech introduced the types of theatrical innovation that were already being implemented in the rest of Europe. Since 1992, the RESAD offers three university level degrees: Acting, Stage Direction & Dramaturgy, and Scenographic Design.  Workshops and seminars are also offered; international relations with drama schools and universities across Europe and South America add another dimension to the RESAD.


  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 September following the entrance exams, new students are admitted at RESAD. To be eligible for the entrance exam, the candidates must hold an accredited secondary school degree.

The exams consists of two different parts:
A. Common to all three-degree programs. Analysis of a dramatic text proposed by the tribunal.
B. Varies for each degree.
Stage Direction & Dramaturgy: formalize a proposal for the mise-en-scène of a given play.
Scenography: a set design proposal for a play previously selected.
Acting: the performance of different scenes, also proposed by the tribunal.


The RESAD library holds more than 22,000 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 school hours.


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


The RESAD is planning to include Stage Management as another degree program. At present the Production Department organizes and coordinates more than 45  in-house productions yearly, in the 2 theatre spaces.