AMDA FACULTY

Since 1964, AMDA has provided an ideal environment for performers to thrive. To realize its vision, the College and Conservatory opened its doors to the best and the brightest performing arts professionals in the world. The unrivaled access and industry insight our faculty members provide produces year after year of well-rounded, business-savvy, working professionals.

Featured Faculty

Casey Colgan

Dance
As a director, choreographer and performer, Casey has accumulated a substantial list of credits spanning Broadway productions, regional theatre and international tours. From playing the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz at Madison Square Garden, to performing in European tours of A Chorus Line and My Fair Lady, to directing productions of Aida, Les Miserables and Evita, Casey has done it all. Some of his favorite roles include Edna in Hairspray, Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, Rum Tum Tugger in Cats and both Roger and Carmen in The Producers.

Cate Smit

Acting, Acting for Film and TV
A versatile performer, Cate honed her craft in many Off-Broadway and regional theatres, including the Mint Theatre Company, Jose Quintero Theatre, Kings County Shakespeare and the Westbeth Theatre Center. Cate is also a talented improv artist, having performed with Theatresports, Gotham City Improv and Carolines, and was an original member of The Heartless Floozies. Additionally, Cate has directed over 200 short films and has appeared in several movies including Happy Hour, Going the Distance, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and Everyday People.

Michael Perilstein

Acting
Michael has been acting professionally on stage since the age of eight, having appeared in numerous Broadway and regional productions, as well as the television shows New York Undercover and The Guiding Light. Michael is also a committed educator, having co-founded Build a Better Actor, an educational workshop for artists, and co-authoring The Complete Professional Audition: A Commonsense Guide to Auditioning for Musicals and Plays. Additionally, Michael designs and facilitates doctor/patient simulations with Columbia University, "The Doctor Oz" show and neurologists and doctors around the country.

Jason Chaet

Acting for Film and TV, Acting
As a writer, director and producer, Jason has had a hand in shaping hundreds of film and theater projects, including the award-winning independent film Kissing Jessica Stein, the films Remember, Putzeland The Suzy Prophecy, and the plays Talk Radio and Acapulco. Additionally, Jason worked on a development deal for HBO and collaborated with legendary artistic director Curt Dempster at New York’s famed Ensemble Studio Theatre, where he worked with David Mamet on No One Will Be Immune and Arthur Miller’s Elegy For A Lady.

Gail Dennison

Musical Theatre, Acting
An accomplished actress, mezzo-soprano, writer and improviser, Gail wrote and performed in her one-woman show That Gail, has appeared on television in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and is a founding member of two all-female sketch-comedy troupes: Womedy and The Heartless Floozies. Gail has also performed with the ForPlay Improvised Theatre in performances of Off-The-Cuff, The Pollyannas and The Sunday Night Improv Jam, in addition to writing, producing and performing in Judy’s House, a comedy/variety show at New York’s Abingdon Theatre.

Elaine Petricoff

Musical Theatre
An accomplished actress, singer and director, Elaine has dedicated the past 20 years to developing the curriculum and teaching methods of AMDA’s Musical Theatre Department. Her Broadway credits include Grease, The Me Nobody Knows and End of the World, while off-Broadway she’s performed with the Roundabout Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club and Westside Arts Center. Additionally, Elaine has directed at NYU and the Skylight Opera Company, and has taught, directed and choreographed at the Unicorn Stage at Berkshire Theatre Festival.

Dan Daily

Acting
Theatre credits: The Pearl Theatre Company at City Center: Henry IV Part I (Falstaff), You Never Can Tell (Waiter), The Philanderer, The Bald Soprano, Romersholm, Misalliance, The Subject Was Roses, Richard III, The Master Builder, Angel Street, The Gentleman Dancing Master, Heartbreak House, I Have Been Here Before, The Oresteia, The Country Wife, The Cherry Orchard and others; Keen Company: The Dining Room (Drama Desk Award), In The Matter Of J. Robert Oppenheimer; The New Group: Sin: A Cardinal Deposed (Obie Award); Lincoln Center Theatre Company: The Tenth Man; CSC: The Scarlet Letter. Film: The Wolf of Wall Street, Mr. Bear, Duplicity, Blood and Wine, Seabiscuit, Daylight. TV: Boardwalk Empire (HBO), Law & Order: CI (USA), Ed (NBC), The Prosecutors, Pete & Pete and all NY soaps. Acting instructor: Notre Dame, University of Washington, Pearl Theatre Company, private coaching.

Jacklyn Schneider

Individual Voice/Director American Opera Lab
An accomplished Soprano, Jacklyn Schneider has performed lead roles in Tosca, Albert Herring, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Belisario, among others. She has received numerous awards and grants, including those from the Corbett, Kaufmann-Ruud, and Sullivan foundations, a Metropolitan Opera award and first prizewinner of the Joy in Singing Award. Her successes as a teacher and vocal coach are apparent in the accomplishments of her students, many of whom have gone on to win vocal competitions while launching flourishing careers as performers.

Chris Neher

Voice Production and Speech
Chris brings over a decade of teaching experience and voice performance to the classroom, having taught both students and professional actors the art of voice, speech and dialects for microphone, film, television and stage. In addition to instructing students at AMDA, his other teaching credits have included Marymount Manhattan College, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and ABC Studios. Chris earned his BFA in Acting from SUNY Fredonia and his MFA in Acting from Ohio State University.

Marina Benedict

Dance, Musical Theatre
Marina is currently staring as Toni Cannava on the new STARZ series Flesh and Bone. Marina has worked extensively on stage and screen as a professional actor, dancer and recording artist. Recent credits include: True Blood (Alan Ball- HBO), The Advocates (David Nutter-CBS), Burn Notice (20th Century Fox), Perception (ABC and TNT), ER (John Wells- Warner Bros), Torchwood (BBC and STARZ), and Southland (CBS and TNT). Other guest star roles: Bones, CSI Miami, Desperate Housewives, Without a Trace, Wheels of Justice and The Ghost Whisperer. Marina played a central character in American Town (pilot-Fox), a series regular on Lefty (pilot-Brad Grey for CBS), and was a series regular on the half-hour comedy series Nikki (Bruce Helford- Drew Carrey and Roseanne). Marina was classically trained as a dancer, studying ballet, modern and theatre dance at Cornish College of the Arts. Marina has recorded a top-40 album on the BMG label and danced professionally throughout the world in musical theatre, film and television.

Our programs

How to know which program is right for you

Each of our unique programs is designed with the performer in mind. If you need help choosing the right program, please talk to one of our admissions advisor.

Call AMDA: 1-800-367-7908

tour our Campuses


NY Campus

LA Campus