Online acting classes teach both basic and advanced acting techniques as well as starting or advancing your acting career. Some are presented live using Skype or Zoom, while others use pre-recorded video or written documents.
The best online acting classes are those that are fun, have qualified and engaging instructors, and fit within your budget. We reviewed a wide variety of online acting classes to find the best ones for your needs.
Best Online Acting Classes of 2021
- Best Overall: StageMilk Drama School
- Best for Beginners: Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute
- Best Free Class: Acting School Stop
- Best for Acting Techniques: Skillshare Acting Techniques Masterclass
- Best for Child Actors: The Barrow Group
- Best for Booking Auditions: Udemy Learn How to Audition for Film and Television
Best Overall : StageMilk Drama School
Why We Chose It: StageMilk Drama School is our choice for the best overall online acting class because of its hands-on approach that offers students personalized feedback and direct access to professional acting coaches.
14-day money-back guarantee
More expensive than other courses
Based in Australia, so many students will contend with a different time zone for communicating
StageMilk Drama School is an eight-week online training program that has helped over 250 students improve their acting skills. The company is based in Australia but provides online acting classes to students all over the world.
We chose StageMilk as our best overall online acting class because of the individual attention it provides to its acting students. Students are given the personal email addresses and phone numbers of their professional acting coaches so they can reach out with any questions or requests. The instructors make themselves available to help anytime students need advice throughout the course.
As of April 2021, the StageMilk Drama School course is sold out. However, you can join the waiting list to register for its upcoming course. The course offers weekly modules which are posted in video format each Monday. Students can watch the content and work at their own pace. The eight modules cover the following topics:
- Acting basics
- Scene breakdown
- Screen basics
- Landing roles
To truly succeed during this eight-week course, students are encouraged to spend approximately two to three hours per week working through the content. If you choose to sign up for the StageMilk course you will get lifetime access to all of the content provided.
As of April 2021, the course was on sale for $399, down from $699. A payment plan is offered for three payments of $149, also on sale from $250. StageMilk also offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Best for Beginners : Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute
Why We Chose It: The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute is our choice for the best online acting course for beginners. Anyone interested in method acting can register with no audition or previous experience required.
Live Zoom classes
No audition or previous experience required
No money-back guarantee
Expensive compared to other courses
The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute was founded in 1969 and has campuses in New York and Los Angeles and an offering of online courses. The Institute teaches method acting and claims to be the only acting school that teaches Lee Strasberg’s work in its complete form.
The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute has three different online course offerings: Method 101, Method in Focus, and a Spanish language version of Method 101. Each course is four weeks in duration and costs $350. The Method 101 course is perfect for adult beginners who want to gain fundamental knowledge and experience in method acting techniques.
Students enrolled in the Method 101 class meet twice per week on Mondays and Wednesdays for two hours in the morning or evening. The class is for anyone over age 18 at any level of acting and no audition or prior experience is required.
Method 101 is taught by experienced method acting teachers live over Zoom allowing teachers to observe students and provide feedback in real time. Each class includes instruction on Lee Strasberg’s techniques in relaxation as well as sense memory exercises.
Best Free Class : Acting School Stop
Why We Chose It: Acting School Stop is our choice for the best free class because it offers a range of online courses for beginner, intermediate, and advanced actors, all at no cost.
Submit video monologues for review
Offers acting tips for auditions
Text only; no video content
Limited hands-on exercises
Acting School Stop offers free online acting classes for actors of all experience levels. It wins as our choice for the best free online acting class because of the breadth of resources it provides. In addition to teaching acting skills and methods, Acting School Stop also offers tips for becoming an actor, auditioning and building a career, and an actor resource library with sample monologues and resumes.
The school offers a range of online acting classes you can choose from covering different acting techniques, the business of acting, and how to prepare for auditions. You can even submit your monologues for review and get feedback.
Course content is offered in written form on the Acting School Stop website which can be downloaded in e-book form. You can also choose to take private Skype acting classes but these come with a fee. Some of the course content covered in the free classes include:
- Basic acting techniques
- How to become an actor
- How to learn your lines
- How to work on your first monologue
- Commercial auditions
- Shakespearean acting
- Character development
Because the course is free there is no trial period or guarantee offered. You can read through all of the course materials at your own pace free of charge.
Best for Acting Techniques : Skillshare Acting Techniques Masterclass
Why We Chose It: Our choice for the best online acting class for the full range of techniques is Skillshare’s Acting Techniques Masterclass. With access to nine different acting techniques, you are sure to gain an understanding of the techniques available and which ones you want to further explore.
Breadth of content
Collaborative project work
No video content
Skillshare is an online learning community offering education videos on a huge array of topics. We chose Skillshare’s Acting Techniques Masterclass as our choice for the best online class for acting techniques because of the sheer number of acting styles it covers.
Skillshare’s course is delivered using pre-recorded videos and introduces nine different techniques from nine different teachers. The goal of the course is to give you an understanding of the various acting techniques available so you can then focus on the ones that interest you. The techniques covered in the course include:
- The Stanislavsky Technique
- The Strasberg Method
- The Adler Technique
- The Meisner Technique
- The Uta Hagen Technique
- Practical Aesthetics
- The Viola Spolin Technique
- The Actor’s Foundry Technique
During the class on the Meisner Technique, students are asked to complete a class project. You are asked to film an exercise with a partner and send it to the instructor for personalized feedback.
The cost of the course is based on the Skillshare payment plan that you choose. Before committing, you can see if you like the course using Skillshare’s seven-day trial period. You will need to provide a credit card number to sign up, but you can cancel with no commitment during the seven days. Payment plans are available annually for $99 or monthly for $8.25.
As of April 2021, you can receive a 30% discount if you pay your annual membership up front for $69.30. This amount will be billed in full on the day of purchase. Subscriptions are also available for $19 per month.
Best for Child Actors : The Barrow Group
Why We Chose It: The Barrow Group wins as our top pick for the best online acting class for child actors because of its focus on storytelling, play, and creating a relaxed and positive atmosphere so up-and-coming child actors can thrive.
Focus is on fun and play
Variety of course offerings
Not a good fit for technical actors
More expensive than other courses
The Barrow Group was founded in 1986 by a group of actors and directors and is located in Midtown Manhattan. It offers training in acting, directing, playwriting, and screenwriting for youth and adults at the beginner and professional levels.
The Barrow Group tops our list as the best online acting class for children because of the wide selection of online course offerings geared at youth actors from ages six to 18. The six-to-nine-year-old class and the teen class for those ages 13 to 18 meet for 90 minutes once a week for six weeks and cost $225. The 10-to-13-year-old program offers a two-hour class once per week for six weeks or a 90-minute session once per week for eight weeks for $275.
All classes are taught by experienced teachers who have undergone intensive training at The Barrow Group using its specific approach. There are no prerequisites or experience required to enter into these classes, and the overall goal is for kids to be spontaneous, playful, and have fun.
Some example classes include:
- Self-generated story theater where kids create and tell their own stories
- Theater games and ensemble building
- Intro to improvisation
Best for Booking Auditions : Udemy Learn How to Audition for Film and Television
Why We Chose It: Our best online acting class for auditioning is aptly titled Learn How to Audition for Film and Television. In this class, you can learn everything you need to know about auditioning, such as how to prep, tips for what you shouldn’t do, and even what to wear.
Wide range of content
30-day money-back guarantee
Limited video content
Too basic for experienced actors
Udemy was founded in May 2010 and offers online courses aimed at adult working professionals as well as students. Its Learn How to Audition for Film and Television is taught by Marci Liroff, a veteran casting director and producer who has credits in more than 50 films.
There are no requirements or experience necessary to take this course. In this class, Marci will take you through her step-by-step instructions for the auditioning process. You will get lifetime access to a one-hour on-demand video as well as 23 articles and one downloadable resource. You can access the course online or on your mobile device and you will receive a certificate of completion.
The course is very affordable at just $24. You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee, so, if you aren’t completely happy with the course, you can request a refund.
If you want an online acting class that offers live online sessions, consider the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. If you are looking for something more self-paced that offers personalization and one-on-one feedback as well as the opportunity to ask the instructors questions, then StageMilk Drama School might be the best choice for you.
Compare the Best Online Acting Classes
|StageMilk Drama School Best Overall||$399 to $447||8 weeks||Personalized feedback|
|Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute Best for Beginners||$399||4 weeks||Focused on method acting|
|Acting School Stop Best Free Class||Free||Self-paced with unlimited access||Personalized acting courses available over Skype for a fee|
|Skillshare Acting Techniques Masterclass Best for Acting Techniques||$19/month $99/year||Based on length of subscription||7-day free trial|
|Barrow Group Best for Child Actors||$225 to $275||6–8 weeks||Focus on play and fun|
|Udemy Best for Booking Auditions||$24.99||Lifetime access||Taught by a 35-year veteran casting director|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do Online Acting Classes Teach?
Online acting classes teach everything from acting 101 for beginners to advanced techniques for experienced actors. An acting course can also teach you how to audition for a television or movie, how to move across a stage, or how to analyze a script. You can find an online acting course for pretty much any acting-related skill that you want to learn or improve.
Additionally, an online acting class can also help you to improve your public speaking skills, your spontaneity, and can even help you deal with your anxiety and stress.
How Long Are Online Acting Classes?
The length of an online acting class can vary greatly. Some courses on learning websites like Skillshare or Udemy often offer lifetime access to the online acting class.
Live classes like those taught at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute or The Barrow Group follow a more set schedule that usually ranges from six to eight weeks in length with classes being held once per week for one and a half to two hours.
How Much Do Online Acting Classes Cost?
The cost of an online acting class will vary based on the length of the course, the type of instruction (live vs. pre-recorded video), and the content being taught.
You can find free online acting classes through companies like the Acting School Stop or you can pay hundreds of dollars for an online class like the StageMilk Drama School, which offers more personalization and one-on-one feedback.
Are Online Acting Classes Worth It?
The worthiness of an online acting class will largely depend on how much time and effort you devote to mastering the content as well as how engaging your instructor is. It’s important that you seek out an online acting class that matches your learning style.
With courses ranging from free to hundreds of dollars and beyond, whether or not an online class is worth it will also depend on what you can afford. If you start an online acting class and find you are not satisfied, many classes offer money-back guarantees.
We reviewed over a dozen online acting classes for this review. We considered the cost and length of the course, how the course was delivered (live, pre-recorded video, written content), as well as the instructor’s experience and qualifications. Finally, we looked at consumer reviews and testimonials.
All of our top choices offer online access, useful content, and useful tips for those at different stages of their acting journeys.