We are an intellectual academic community that, combining educational, artistic and social goals, is committed to shaping a world in which independent thought, sensitivity and empathy are promoted to spread knowledge and beauty.

Our mission is to foster attitudes of responsibility for culture and to teach these to future generations by creating ethical role models, respecting the accepted value system and freedom of artistic and scientific activity. AST strives for wide recognition at home and abroad.

The history of the AST National Academy of Theatre Arts in Krakow (AST) – former the Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Cracow (PWST) dates back to 1946. For more than seventy years the academy has been educating actors of various specializations, directors, and playwrights.

The extensive list of graduates of the Academy includes several thousand names of actresses, actors, and directors well-known to audiences in Poland and abroad such, as Jerzy Grotowski, Krystian Lupa, Jerzy Jarocki, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Remigiusz Brzyk, Michał Zadara, Jerzy Stuhr, Jerzy Trela, Anna Dymna, Dorota Segda, Magdalena Cielecka, Maja Ostaszewska, Magdalena Boczarska, Tomasz Kot, Robert Więckiewicz, Joanna Kulig, Dawid Ogrodnik, Sandra Drzymalska.

Thanks to its excellent educators, AST continues to develop the Polish formula of teaching performing art, which stems from the deep cultural and literary traditions, and at the same time enters into a creative dialogue with the contemporary times and the latest trends in culture.

AST operates in three cities in southern Poland: Kraków, Bytom, and Wrocław.

The Academy educates actors in four majors (dramatic and vocal acting, dance, theatre, puppetry) and directors (drama and puppetry theatre, dramaturgy). The long-cycle programme ends with a graduate dissertation and a diploma performance, which leads to a Master of Arts degree.

AST National Academy of Theatre Arts in Krakow has five faculties, where there are 500 students, taught by 140 academic teachers. The Academy’s lecturers include those who are outstanding, artistically active creators of the Polish theatre. The proprietary curricula of the academic teachers are based on the individual master-student relationship. The Academy’s mission statement provides for the education of humanists, as well as theatre craftsmen. Students not only acquire solid professional skills, but also complete their studies as enlightened, open, curious, tolerant, and creative people.


Rector: prof. dr hab. Dorota Segda
Vice-rector: dr hab. Beata Guczalska
Vice-rector for Wrocław Branch: prof. dr hab. Elżbieta Czaplińska-Mrozek
Chancellor: Leszek Bednarz


Our Academy initiated a special programme called AST OPEN. The main objective of the project is to improve accessibility of AST for students with special needs by implementing organizational, architectural, technological, and educational changes, as well as raising awareness and competencies of the Academy’s staff in the area of disability. The desired result of this project is a broad action plan to overcome difficulties in perceiving and thinking about people with disabilities, their place in an accessible theatre academy, and consequently in theatre.

The Academy is committed to developing the accessibility of performances presented at AST Theatre for audiences with disabilities. Accessibility of the website, subtitles and audio description during performances, induction loops, platform stair lift, braille signage, tactile maps – these are examples of tools implemented by AST to prevent the exclusion of people with special needs from active participation in culture.

From the Rector
We wish our students to learn a solid professional craft, but we also want them to graduate as enlightened, open-minded, curious, tolerant 
and creative people. Artists of the future, but aware of the tradition of their culture. Artists in constant dialogue - with each other, with the authors, with the audience, with the present.  Asking bold questions and daring bold, non-stereotypical interpretations. Courageous but empathetic - who understand and respect the problems of others. Aware of the power of words, but also of the responsibility for them... 
Only then will our voice be heard and meaningful.
prof. dr hab. Dorota Segda
The students’ voice
We question, we explore, we doubt in order to make sense of the world and then build something new. We become artists and creators - armed with the power of images, feelings, words, and ideas to share our vision. We set the bar high and know the way to reach it - through talent, work, creative ability and the guidance of mentors. We believe that where there is imagination and determination even the sky is not the limit.