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The EAMT Department of Drama

Toom-Kooli 4, 10130 Tallinn

The Department of Drama of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, i.e. the drama school, is the longest-standing theatre school in Estonia, which has been the primary institution to provide higher education to actors, but most of the significant directors in contemporary Estonian theatres have also started out here.

The Higher Theatre School was established at the Tallinn State Conservatory in 1938. The first head of the Drama Faculty (1957-1977) was Voldemar Panso, who graduated from the Higher Theatre School as an actor and received a degree in directing from the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts in Moscow, where he studied under Maria Knebel and Aleksander Popov, both of them students of Stanislavski. The I class graduated from the Drama Faculty under his instruction in 1961. After Panso passed away, a number of his students have led the Department and taught there. The teaching methods of the Drama Department derive from the traditions of Estonian theatre and those of Stanislavski, while also incorporating new elements from other European theatre schools, especially in recent years.

Since 1978, the best student receives the Panso Award on Voldemar Panso’s anniversary.

The Drama Department educates actors, directors and dramaturgs with diverse practical skills and broad theoretical knowledge to work in professional theatre and different fields of performing arts.

The bachelor level studies are based on a strong tradition of psychological spoken theatre in conjunction with contemporary developments in theatre. Master’s studies allow for deepening knowledge of theatre, learning about different methods of contemporary theatre and acquiring the skills to work as a theatre teacher. Theatre professionals can also do creative research doctoral studies organised by EAMT’s Centre of Doctoral Studies.

Student exchanges and international workshops have been funded by the Erasmus+ programme, the Norteas network, the Estonian National Culture Foundation and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Additional information on the international cooperation of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre is available here.

The Drama Department is located in a centuries-old building in Toompea, Toom-Kooli 4. Studies and performances also take place in the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre concert and theatre building’s black box hall at Tatari 13.