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

Ray Virta

Acting
Recipient of the 2002 St. Clair Bayfield Award for Outstanding Shakespearean Performance, Ray brings a wealth of experience as an actor, director and instructor. His many Broadway credits include Arcadia,  Hedda Gabler, A Man for All Seasons, Boeing-Boeing, The Real Thing and Inherit the Wind, and recurring television roles include As the World Turns, All My Children and The Guiding Light. Additionally, Ray boasts over 40 lead or featured roles in regional and off-Broadway productions, and directing experience includes Way of the World, The Comedy of Errors and As You Like It.

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.

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.

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.

Evan Pappas

Musical Theatre
With a long list of credits as an actor and director, Evan offers a wealth of knowledge and experience to his students. In addition to many regional and touring productions, he’s appeared on Broadway in My Favorite Year, Parade, Putting It Together and A Chorus Line, Off-Broadway in I Can Get It for You Wholesale, The Immigrant and Pera Palas, and in West End productions of Merrily We Roll Along and Follies. Evan’s directing credits include Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Funny Girl, Parallel Lives, Daily Sounds and A Man of No Importance.

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.

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.

Ramon Galindo

Dance
An accomplished dancer, Ramon has performed in and choreographed numerous Broadway shows, including Cats, The Most Happy Fella, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Carmelina, Merlin and Song and Dance starring Bernadette Peters. He’s also appeared Off-Broadway in the musical Funny Feet, and has performed in the national tour of Bob Fosse’s Dancin’. His list of choreography credits include numerous shows at the Media Theater in Pennsylvania and at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater.

Charles Currier

Stage Combat
With more than 20 years of experience coordinating sword and stunt sequences, Charles is one of the industry’s foremost authorities on the art of combat. During the course of his impressive film and theatre career, he’s worked as the military technical advisor on HBO’s award-winning miniseries The Pacific, conceptualized complex military formations for Oliver Stone’s Alexander, and choreographed fight scenes featuring Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil: Extinction.

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.

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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.

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