AMDA FACULTY

Since 1964, AMDA’s mission has been to provide an ideal environment for performers to thrive. To realize that goal, the school 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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Marina Benedict

Dance, Musical Theatre
Marina Benedict has worked extensively on stage and screen as a professional actor, dancer and recording artist. She has worked with some of the best and most creative producers and directors in Hollywood. Her recent television credits include: True Blood for HBO, The Advocates pilot directed by David Nutter for CBS, Burn Notice for 20th Century Fox, a guest lead on Perception for ABC and TNT, an award nominated guest lead on ER for Warner Bros and John Wells, a recurring role on Torchwood for the STARZ network, and a recurring role on Southland for CBS and TNT. Marina’s other television guest star roles include: CSI MiamiDesperate HousewivesWithout a TraceWheels of Justice and The Ghost Whisperer. She performed as a central character in the American Town pilot for Fox, and played a female lead on the Lefty pilot that Brad Grey produced for CBS. Marina was a series regular on the half hour comedy Nikki created and produced by Bruce Helford.

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.

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.

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.

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