AMDA alumni create. They are artists, professionals in every performance medium. They are creators, inspirers. They're Broadway's side-splitting comedians and Hollywood's up-and-coming action heroes. Watched by the eyes of millions, our alumni take the world's stages, film sets, and movie screens, changing the way we think about art and its intertwining with human nature. To read about our alumni's most recent accomplishments, check out AMDA News.
From charities to platinum-selling records, Broadway veterans to rising stars, our alumni have established themselves among the world's most accomplished artists in their respective fields. Below are just a few highlights of our alumni's incredible careers and achievements, from philanthropy and social awareness to garnering entertainment's most prestigious awards and honors.
They started with a dream. With AMDA, those passions became careers to be celebrated.
Featured AMDA Alumni
Lee Tergesen has over 100 television, film and stage credits under his belt, including Point Break (starring Keanu Reeve and Patrick Swayze) and cult-classic Wayne’s World films (Terry). Lee’s prominent TV roles have included such shows as “Desperate Housewives,” “Generation Kill,” “Army Wives,” “The Big C” and “Copper.” In 2013, he starred in ABC’s “Red Widow” as Mike Tomlin, “Longmire” as Ed Gorski, and made appearances in “Person of Interest” and “Drop Dead Diva.” His first regular parts included Weird Science and the role of Officer Chris Thormann on the Fontana-produced Homicide: Life on the Street. Lee’s friendship with Fontana would pay off again when the writer created the celebrated role of Tobias Beecher in his groundbreaking HBO series “Oz” specifically for him. Recently, Lee’s starring roles in television have included such acclaimed hits as “The Americans” (Andrew Larrick), “American Horror Story” (Vince), “Castle” (Marcus Gates), and Syfy’s future dystopia “Defiance” (General Rahm Tak).
Six-time Emmy winner, Tony Award winner and American Theatre Hall of Fame inductee Tyne Daly recently starred as Evelyn in the romantic comedy Basmati Blues. With a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Tyne’s previous Broadway roles include Mothers and Sons (Katharine Gerard), Master Class (Maria Callas), Rabbit Hole (Nat), Angele Lansbury—A Celebration, The Seagull (Madame Arkadina), Gypsy (Rose), and That Summer—That Fall (1967). She won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Gypsy, and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for Rabbit Hole. With over 97 film and TV credits to her name, Tyne won four Emmy Awards for her role in the 1980’s series “Cagney & Lacey,” as well as an Emmy Award for her performances in both CBS’ “Christy” (Alice Henderson) and “Judging Amy” (Maxine Gray).
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Best known for his role as Mitchell Pritchett, Jesse Tyler Ferguson starred in ABC’s award-winning comedy “Modern Family,” receiving five Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. In 2016, Jesse won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance in the one-man show Fully Committed on Broadway, where he played 40 different characters. His other Broadway credits include On the Town (Chip), On the Twentieth Century (Max Jacobs) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Leaf Coneybear). Off-Broadway, Jesse starred in On the Town (Chip), Kean (Christie/Narrator), Hair, Little Fish (Marco), Where Do We Live? and Log Cabin (Ezra)
. Jesse has also performed in several Shakespearean comedies including The Tempest, Winter’s Tale, The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Jesse recently voiced the character Shangri Llama in "Ice Age: Collision Course." In 2012, Jesse and his husband Justin Mikita founded the organization Tie the Knot, which creates high-fashion bow ties and gives its proceeds to various organizations supporting LGBT equality.
Advancing his dancing career on both coasts, Ryan Ruiz recently performed at the David H. Koch Theater in New York City’s renowned Lincoln Center for the world premiere of PEARL, a Chinese-American theatrical dance tribute inspired by the life of author Pearl S. Buck, the first woman to receive both the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize. Moving to the heart of Hollywood, Ruiz now dances professionally as a member of the LA Contemporary Dance Company and has worked with the Invertigo Dance Theatre, Hart Pulse Dance Company, Atlas Obscura and Core Contemporary Dance. “It was time for me to go off into the ‘real’ world, which I was prepared to take on because of my training and education from AMDA.”
Best known for her roles as Janine in Hulu's Emmy-Award winning "The Handmaid's Tale," and as prison inmate Tricia Miller in Netflix’s mega-series “Orange is the New Black,” Madeline Brewer started her career immediately after graduating from AMDA with the lead role in the musical Liberty under director Igor Goldin. Since then, she’s acquired a penchant for playing dark roles on some of television’s hottest shows: Madeline’s played a junkie prison inmate (Tricia, “OITNB”), a paranoid schizophrenic (“Stalker”), a conflicted runaway nursing someone else’s child (Miranda Cates, “Hemlock Grove”) and a reptilian gang member hell-bent on dominance (Billie Trump, “Grimm”). Critics and fans praised Brewer’s performance throughout the entire “OITNB” season, expressing devastation at Tricia’s tragic death. Now shifting to film, Madeline is also starring in her first feature film Hedgehog as Ali, a wannabe comedian struggling with anxiety, in addition to Mark Webber’s drama Flesh and Blood.
Currently recognized as Andre Lyon, the bi-polar CFO in Fox’s hit drama series “Empire,” Trai Byers completed AMDA’s Studio Conservatory Program and obtained his Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama. “Empire” tells the story of hip-hop recording company Empire Enterprises, where Trai plays Andre Lyon, the business-savvy CFO of his father’s company. Trai also appeared in the powerful film Selma, which received four Golden Globe Award nominations as well an Academy Award for Best Original Song (“Glory”). Trai played executive officer of the SNCC James Forman, who worked with the black community in Selma for two years prior to Martin Luther King’s arrival. Trai’s other film credits include Americons and Jayhawkers, with television roles including “All My Children” (Mookie) and “90210” (Alec Martin).
Sam Underwood is widely recognized for his portrayal of such sinister roles as militiaman Jake Otto in AMC's "Fear the Walking Dead," serial killer Zach Hamilton in Showtime’s “Dexter,” mentally unstable rehab patient Leo in “Homeland,” and murderous twin brothers Mark and Luke in Fox’s ”The Following.” After moving to the US from his hometown of Woking, Surrey in England, Sam starred as Alan Strang in Equus alongside Alec Baldwin. His other notable roles onstage include the title role in the Off-Broadway adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, Hamlet (title role) alongside Alec Baldwin and Kate Mulgrew, Five Finger Exercise directed by Shirley Knight, Candida at Irish Rep, American Soldier by James Rado, and working with Dana Moore on Gotta Dance. Sam also joined other AMDA alumni to cofound and become the Artistic Director of The Fundamental Theater Project, a transatlantic arts organization based in New York City dedicated to cultivating artistic collaborations and exploring diverse material.
Multi-platinum selling recording singer, songwriter and dancer Jason Derulo has sold over 50 million singles, having written songs for such international artists as Lil Wayne, Pitbull, Diddy and Sean Kingston. He is a five-time award recipient at the BMI Pop Awards, was crowned Songwriter of the Year in 2011, won three Teen Choice Awards, and was nominated for an iHeart Radio Music Award for his collaboration with 2 Chainz on the song “Talk Dirty.” He released his fourth studio album through Warner Bros. Records, Everything is 4, whose single “Want To Want Me” immediately went platinum. “Want to Want Me” broke the world record for most-added track in Top 40 radio, winning the 2017 Performance of the Year with Luke Bryan at the Country Music Television Music Awards. In 2015, Derulo joined Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” as a judge, sharing his knowledge and passion for dance with young talent.
Alumni BFA Programs
Do you want to apply your AMDA two-year experience toward a new BFA? An AMDA Bachelor of Fine Arts degree provides you with additional tools to help you master your craft and technique, giving you the artistic foundation to open new doors. It's easy to get started, and we streamline the acceptance process, ensuring that all of your AMDA credits transfer to your new BFA program.
How To Apply
AMDA offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Acting, Musical Theatre, Dance Theatre and Performing Arts, all of which are offered at AMDA College of the Performing Arts, LA. Get more information on each of these programs.
The Benefits of the AMDA BFA
As a graduate of one of our prestigious AOS or Certificate Programs in New York City or Los Angeles, you'll enter with 60 out of the 120 credits required for graduation. You'll begin your BFA curriculum at the Performance Immersion level combined with concentrated General Education courses designed to be immediately relevant to the working performer. You'll work directly with AMDA's acclaimed faculty of professional performing artists and experienced educators in an environment that inspires creativity, demands active participation and provides the foundation for lifelong learning and achievement.
Transfer other Credits
Have you completed additional education at another institution since graduating from your AMDA AOS or Certificate Program? If so, you may submit up to 30 General Education credits for consideration toward the AMDA Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Since 1964, AMDA's mission has been to fully educate students in all aspects of the performing arts. To realize this goal, AMDA has opened its doors to the best and the brightest performing arts professionals to train our students in acting, voice and dance.
What truly sets AMDA graduates apart is that their training goes beyond performance. BFA students spend their senior year immersed in advanced courses educating them in entertainment administration, production, budgeting and entrepreneurship. This specialized curriculum transforms our students into business-savvy professionals, who possess the knowledge, poise and work ethic to confidently face the demands of the entertainment industry.
AMDA Legacy Scholarship Program
AMDA is so pleased to announce the AMDA Legacy Scholarship Program which will offer special tuition scholarships for the children and grandchildren of AMDA Alumni.
For further information, contact AMDA's Legacy Scholarship Advisor, MaryAnn Saenz, at 323-603-5941 or email@example.com.
Note: the amount of the AMDA Legacy Scholarship award will vary based upon a number of factors including the student’s audition, application, letters of recommendation, and financial need.
Generations of outstanding alumni have proven that success is the rule at AMDA, so you're in great company. From the silver screen to the stage and beyond, the possibilities for your future are boundless. As a member of the AMDA alumni community, you are also eligible for a number of specific benefits that will help you as a professional performing artist.
Get More Exposure Through the Alumni Directory
By registering for an AMDA 360Alumni Account, you will make yourself more visible to casting directors, agents and other industry professionals, giving them one more way to find you.
Network Through Our Social Media Community
Through AMDA's official Twitter Alumni and Facebook Alumni accounts, you can connect with your fellow alumni across the country and world, and learn about their most recent updates and career moves.
Attend Alumni Workshops
Through these intensive one-day workshops sponsored by the Alumni Relations department, you can return to AMDA for performance instructions to refresh your skills and take classes in additional specialty areas, increasing your versatility as a performer.
Access to Practice Space
Frequently, AMDA is able to provide practice space for alumni to prepare for auditions. Alumni with valid Alumni ID may visit campus on the day-of to find out if space is available. Reserve space and view on-campus policies.
Alumni ID Request
Obtaining a Transcript
Your Student Portal can be used to print unofficial transcripts of your coursework and grades. For an official transcript from AMDA, please submit a Transcript Request form to the Education Department as directed on the form.
Get Career Guidance When You Need It
As you begin to transform your unique talents into a rewarding career as an AMDA graduate, we'll be there for you every step of the way. On our website, you can find many career resource links to help you make the most of the artistic foundation you worked so hard to build at AMDA.
Young Adult Health Insurance Benefits
Previously, graduation day was the day when millions of young adults lost their health insurance, making them one of the most vulnerable groups of Americans in the health insurance market. The new health reform law allows most young adults to join or remain on their parents' health care plan until their 26th birthday. Learn more at HealthCare.gov.
Broadway, Off B'way, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, comedy, dance, drama, concerts, and more for only $4.50 a ticket. How? Theaters and producers need to fill up seats with excellent, attentive audiences to help build buzz and word of mouth. Theatermania's Gold Club proudly offers the AMDA community an exclusive 40% discount to join: $59 for an entire year! (regularly $99). For more information, and to join, log on or call 212-352-0255, ext. 105, for more information.
Take advantage of this offer and redeem the special rate.
AMDA NY Performance Request
You may request a digital link to your desired performance video.
AMDA NY Library
- Alumni may visit the library during the following days/times. The library is subject to close during school breaks and holidays. You can call the library at (212) 957-3315 to check current times.
- Monday - Thursday: 9am - 9:30pm
- Friday: 9am - 7pm
- Saturday and Sunday: 12pm - 7pm
Please note, only current AMDA students are eligible for circulation privileges.
The library also underwent a major renovation in Summer 2016 and any new guests or visitors should allow adequate time to familiarize themselves with new policies and procedures. AMDA NY now uses the Papercut ID system for current students and alumni. Alumni must obtain and bring this new ID card to the library in order to print or copy material in the collection. The new pricing for printer and copier services is $0.05/page in B&W and $0.10/page in Color. To request a Papercut ID for use at the AMDA NY Library, please email Stephanie Andersen one week in advance of visiting the library. In the email include 1) term and year of graduation, 2) current address, and 3) a recent headshot.
AMDA LA Library
- Alumni may visit the library during the following days/times. The library is subject to close during school breaks and holidays. You can call the library at (323) 603-5924to check current times.
- Monday - Thursday: 8am - 9pm
- Friday: 8am - 7pm
- Saturday and Sunday: 1pm - 6pm
Please note, only current AMDA students are eligible for circulation privileges.