School of Drama and Fine Arts
Since 1977
SDFA Profile
"where story tellers are learning" 

School of Drama and Fine Arts Thrissur

In the annals of Kerala's theatrical history, the Natakai Kalari movement emerged as a harbinger of a novel vision for theatre education—a vision that envisioned the formalized instruction of theatre within the structured confines of an educational institution. Guided by the sagacious leadership of Professor G. Shankarapillai, and subsequently Dr. Vayala Vasudevan Pillai, the inception of the School of Drama marked a transformative juncture in the realm of theatre training in Kerala. Established in the year 1977, the School of Drama stands tall as one of India's preeminent institutions, dedicated to imparting comprehensive academic training encompassing both the practical and theoretical facets of drama and theatre. The array of programs on offer includes the Bachelor of Theatre Arts (B.T.A), the Master of Theatre Arts (M.T.A), the Master of Arts in Music, and Ph.D. programs in Theatre and Drama. Additionally, the school provides diploma courses in Music Therapy and Mridangam. Within the hallowed halls of our institution, students are afforded ample opportunities to delve into the rich tapestry of theatre's illustrious history and explore diverse schools of thought. The meticulously designed curriculum unfurls the creative dimensions of performing arts, spanning playwriting, acting, directing, technical design, and, in the realm of music, it centers on Karnatic Music, encompassing everything from vocal performance to composition. Our pedagogical approach seamlessly interweaves classical and folk traditions with the contemporary global trends in the theatrical and musical spheres. Recognizing theatre as an art form that assimilates and transcends boundaries, our courses extend their purview to encompass allied disciplines such as yoga, martial arts, cinema, and television. Eminent experts from the world over grace our institution, delivering enlightening lectures, captivating demonstrations, and hands-on practical classes that enrich our students' learning experiences beyond the ordinary confines of routine classroom sessions. Regularly, our faculty, guest directors, and enterprising students collaborate to produce captivating play productions and short films, further nurturing the creative talents of our aspiring artists. Furthermore, the school actively engages in students' placement initiatives, seminars, and workshops, often in partnership with esteemed international universities. The illustrious alumni of our institution have ventured forth into diverse arenas, leaving their indelible mark in the fields of drama, film, music, and various mass media outlets, both in India and abroad, as well as within government cultural organizations. In alignment with the ever-evolving landscape of theatre studies, our postgraduate syllabus also encompasses emerging disciplines such as Performance Studies, Theatre Therapy, Media Studies, Communication Studies, Folklore, and Post-Media Studies. In the realm of music, our school conducts a comprehensive faculty training program in Music Therapy, furthering our commitment to fostering holistic artistic development. The year 2000 witnessed the establishment of the Music Department, which began offering Master of Arts in Music and Ph.D. programs. The University of Calicut, recognizing our excellence, introduced the Master of Theatre Arts (M.T.A) program in the same year. This expansion afforded students a deeper exploration of theatre's historical legacy and multifaceted schools of thought, while also nurturing their creativity in areas such as playwriting, acting, directing, and design technology. As we navigate the ever-expanding landscape of contemporary world theatre, our institution remains steadfast in preserving and transmitting the rich heritage of classical and folk traditions. We believe in theatre's ability to assimilate and harmonize with other art forms, and our curriculum thoughtfully reflects this philosophy, embracing allied arts such as yoga, martial arts, cinema, and television. At the heart of our educational endeavor lies a commitment to global enrichment. We regularly host distinguished luminaries from diverse artistic domains, who share their wisdom with our eager learners through lectures and interactions. Moreover, our dynamic productions, both on stage and in the realm of short films, are a testament to the creative synergy that thrives within our academic community. The School of Drama has proudly represented India on numerous occasions, including a memorable tour to Japan in February 2001, where we enthralled audiences with our rendition of "Saketham," a play based on the epic Ramayana, in Tokyo and Fukuoka. We have also actively participated in prestigious national and international theatre festivals. Our commitment to fostering global connections culminated in an Exchange Program with St. Martin's College, London, during the academic year 2005-2006. As we stand on the cusp of a new era, our illustrious alumni continue to illuminate the world with their contributions to drama, film, mass media, and academia, both within India and on the international stage. They are a testament to the enduring legacy of the School of Drama. In short, the School of Drama, Kerala, remains dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the arts, perpetuating the legacy of theatre and music while embracing the ever-evolving contours of contemporary performance. We extend our hand in welcome to all aspiring artists and seekers of knowledge, inviting you to embark on a transformative journey within our hallowed institution, where the stage is set for creativity, learning, and boundless artistic exploration.

Location of the School

The school is situated in Thrissur, renowned as the cultural capital of Kerala, the southernmost state in India. Thrissur distinguishes itself in the cultural landscape of both the state and the nation, primarily owing to several prominent elements. These include the grand festival performance known as 'Pooram,' the exquisite architectural marvel of classical theatre represented by the 'Kootambalam,' and the presence of numerous other cultural institutions, such as the Fine Arts College, Thrissur Museum, Vadakkum Nathan Temple, Kerala Kalamandalam; the prestigious institution for traditional and classical performing arts, Kerala Sahitya Akademi, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, Kerala Lalithakala Akademi, and more. This vibrant cultural milieu renders Thrissur a genuine haven for both practitioners and enthusiasts of the arts.