The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art is the oldest in Poland (over 200 years of tradition) and unique state drama school located in Warsaw, which also educates within the area of film and television. Thanks to its intimate atmosphere (4 departments, around 400 students), the Academy retains the character of a prestigious college. At the same time, thanks to the state’s support and close ties with leading cultural institutions (the National, Polish, Lalka, Studio theatres, The Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, among other ones) it accomplishes the educational mission in respect to training actors, directors, theatrologists and puppeteers, who in the future will constitute the artistic and scientific elite of the country.
As an organiser of the International Theatre School Festival, which is held every two years, operating within the area of rich, Polish theatre culture (impact of works by Tadeusz Kantor and Jerzy Grotowski), as well as neighbouring cultures (including the Scandinavian, Lithuanian, Russian, Czech, German ones), the Academy is an institution situated right at the heart of a dynamic artistic dialogue. Its ambition is to take a stand on contemporary artistic trends and modern methods of theatre education. Consequently, the Academy organises overviews of final performances, international scientific conferences (e.g. ‘Ryszard Bolesławski, his work and times’ in 2016, ‘Giessen and others’ in 2017), engages in publishing, organises students exchange (along with the Moscow GITIS), as well as contributes to students and teachers’ mobility (the Madrid Ensad, the UCLA and Emerson College in the USA, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, Folkwang Universität der Künste in Essen). It is a member of international organisations, which bring together art schools (PLETA, EUTSA, WTEA) and participates in theatre festivals (Singing Mask in Petersburg, Sam Wanamaker in London, Beijing and Rabat Festivals.
Its activities include television drama, and by co-organising the Teatroteka programme result in presentation of performances of its students at international film festivals (e.g. WORLDFEST-Houston International Film Festival, the USA) as well as awards in opera (Pizzicato Supersonic Award in 2019).
In the current term, the Academy authorities consider internationality as one of their priorities.