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Welcome to the future of performing arts training.

The Trade School at Downstage Arts is a three year, post-high school program that takes a holistic approach to performing arts education. 

As individual artists, we know first hand that our students need individual attention, instruction, and curriculum tailored to their goals. Our post-high school program offers daily private lessons in singing, acting, and dancing to ensure each student gets the care and attention they deserve.

The other classes we offer are directly tied to our student's future, such as career planning and job exploration, managing finances and taxes as an actor, physical and vocal health, and even classes that will discuss more life skills topics, such as how to change tires or fix simple plumbing issues. 

When students complete our program, they will be more confident in their skills, artistry, and knowledge of the industry so they may conquer any avenue of the performing arts they wish to explore.

The time you pay to be in school is crucial, and we want optimize your time with us to ensure you are getting the most for your money. We understand this is an investment, and we are here to serve each student who walks through our doors with an invaluable suite of services.

We will connect our students with local theatres, directors, and agents after their first year of our program so they can start building relationships with working professionals while enrolled. With the possibility of professional engagements, we ensure that classes end early to accommodate evening rehearsal schedules—enabling students to work with industry professionals and companies during the academic year, as well as during the summer seasons. Students will be taught by professionals who are currently working in the industry, making sure they are up-to-date with all industry trends.

Downstage Arts Trade School maintains a unique competitive advantage over other existing performing arts training programs in several categories. Our biggest differentiators include:

Private Instruction

Students receive private instruction daily. This individualized attention helps the teacher meet each student at their skill level and in partnership with their learning style—to completely master their craft.

Lower Cost

Our program costs less than the average price of our competitors.

Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

Chicago is an extremely diverse city, and we believe art should always reflect its community. We will focus on admitting students that reflect our community's diversity.

Focus on Holistic Arts Education

Not only will you learn the skills of your desired trade, but you'll learn what it means to take charge of your career path.

Focus on Mental and Physical Well-Being

We reject the unrealistic standards of the past and want to create healthy artists that recognize their self-worth, by utilizing the skills to take care of themselves and their communities.

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