The idea to set up an institution in theatre first germinated
in a seminar on ‘Education’ organized by the Sangeet
Natak Akademi in 1956.With the financial help of UNESCO and
committed to the cause of helping students realize their aspirations
in the field of theatre, the theatre institute itself, finally
came into existence two years later on the 20th of January 1958.
In July 1958, the ‘Asian Theatre Institute’ (ATI)
was taken over by the Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) - India’s
premier institute of music, dance and drama – to meet
the growing needs for developing a National Theatre in the country.
A year later, in April 1959, the ‘National School of Drama’
(NSD) came into being physically and was housed at 25/A, Nizamuddin
West, New Delhi, from where it functioned under the supervision
of SNA. At this time it was called the ‘The National School
of Drama and Theatre Institute’, the latter half of the
name being dropped eventually, when the two were merged to form
single entity. The Institute was officially recognized in December
1975 under the erstwhile Ministry of Culture and Education,
Department of Culture.
The School has two performing wings –the Repertory Company
and Theatre-in Education. In addition to these it also has an
active Extension Program, a Publications department and a Literary