AMDA alumni do. 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, visit the AMDA blog.
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
Brian Beach is no stranger to national tours and large-scale musical theatre productions. He recently completed a four-year run on Broadway and is currently starring in the First National Tour as Elder McKinley in the nine-time Tony Award-winning musical The Book of Mormon, a comedy sensation that has rapidly garnered a huge fan base all over the United States. His past Broadway and national tour credits include 9 to 5 and Disney’s High School Musical, as well as regional productions of The Drowsy Chaperone, White Christmas, West Side Story, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Tommy and 42nd Street.
AMDA Graduation Year: 2005
Hailing from Ontario, Canada, Rizwan Manji is best known for his role on NBC’s “Outsourced” as Rajiv, the tyrannical manager of a call center in India. He’s appeared in such acclaimed films as The Wolf of Wall Street (Kalil), Transformers (Akram), The Dictator, Don Jon, Charlie Wilson’s War (Colonel Mahmood), and The Citizen (Mo). He appeared in the 2015 films The Tiger Hunter (Babu) and Equals (Gilead), and 2016 films The Bounce Back and Writer’s Block. Rizwan’s prolific television career includes “Three Rivers” (Dr. Dev), “24” (Ahman), “Flash Forward” (Maneesh), “Squad 85” (Cubby), “Schitt’s Creek” (Ray Butani), “Backstrom” (Dr. Deb Chaman), and “Better Off Ted” (Rick). Other appearances include “Glee,” “Arrested Development,” “Anger Management,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Mind of Mencia,” “Without a Trace,” “NCIS,” and “Bones.” Rizwan’s illustrious career also extends to producing, directing, and writing such works as Fillum Star: The Peter Patel Story and …Or Die.
AMDA Graduation Year: 1994
Caissie Levy has emerged as one of Broadway’s brightest stars, taking on starring roles in four of the biggest hits in Broadway history: Les Misérables, Hair, Wicked and Hairspray. Just one week after graduating from AMDA in New York, Caissie secured her role as Maureen in the national tour of the powerhouse musical Rent. She originated the roles of Molly in Ghost the Musical (Broadway, West End, cast album) and Sheila in the Tony Award-winning revival of Hair (Broadway, West End, cast album). Her other Broadway credits include Fantine in Les Misérables, Elphaba in Wicked (Broadway, Los Angeles), Penny Pingleton in Hairspray (Broadway, first national tour, Toronto), and Sara in Murder Ballad (Off-Broadway). Recently, Caissie joined an all-star female cast in the world premiere of First Daughter Suite by Tony-nominated composer Michael John LaChiusa.
AMDA Graduation Year: 2002
Best known for her role 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.
AMDA Graduation Year: 2012
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).
AMDA Graduation Year: 1980
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.”
AMDA Graduation Year: 2013
Krystal Joy Brown
Krystal Joy Brown recently completed her starring role on Broadway as Diana Ross in Motown the Musical, receiving an Astaire Award nomination for Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show. Previous Broadway credits include Big Fish (Josephine Bloom), Leap of Faith (Astaire Award nomination), and Hair (Dionne, Abe Lincoln). She appeared Off-Broadway in Falling for Eve (Eve), the national tour of Rent (Mimi), and regionally in Calvin Berger (Rosanna), Little Shop of Horrors (Crystal), and High School Musical (Taylor at Paper Mill Playhouse). On television, she can be seen in “Law & Order: SVU,” “Deadbeat,” “Storyforia!” (Nickelodeon), “Castle” (ABC) and the 68th Annual Tony Awards. As a songwriter, Krystal released her track “Shuffling and Looking Dumb,” and has had two of her works appear in NBC’s shows “The Neighbors” and “Mistresses.”
AMDA Graduation Year: 2004
Known for her Tony Award-winning performance as Vanda (Best Actress in a Leading Role) in the 2012 Broadway production of Venus in Fur, Nina Arianda also received a Tony nomination in 2011 for her portrayal of Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday. Recently, Nina received rave reviews as May in the Broadway production of Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love, after which she starred in numerous films including You Were Never Here and Florence Foster Jenkins. Additionally, she landed a role in The Humbling featuring Al Pacino as well as Lucky Them and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him, Her, and Them. Her other film credits include Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, Tower Heist starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, Win Win, and the upcoming animated comedy The Adventures of Drunky. Her television credits include “Trial” (Patty Solis-Papagian), NBC’s “Hannibal” (Molly Graham), ABC’s hit TV series “The Good Wife,” “30 Rock” and “Hostages.”
AMDA Graduation Year: 2004
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 our Los Angeles campus. Get more information on each of these programs.
The Benefits of the AMDA BFA
As a graduate of one of our prestigious Conservatory 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 Critical Studies 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 Conservatory Program? If so, you may submit up to 30 Critical Studies 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’s Career Placement Center identifies the most promising of these candidates and matches them with challenging positions where they can excel and grow. We understand that every business has specific needs and would welcome the chance to provide you with the resumes of particular candidates who would be well suited to your entry-level positions ranging from production, to casting, to administration.
Career Resource Links
You may have left the AMDA classroom, but we'll still serve as one of your educational resources throughout your performing arts career. By following the links below you can get connected with unions and guilds, find casting resources and explore other resources relevant to the performing artist.
Unions And Guilds
Other Performing Arts Resources
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 a free AMDA Alumni Account and having your profile added to our alumni directory database, 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.
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. For those looking for non-performance jobs, please sign up with our Career Services department. AMDA's Career Services will post upcoming career opportunities that you may wish to apply for.
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. Download the informational PDF or 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 Library
- Alumni may visit the library during the following days/times. Note: The library is subject to close during school breaks and holidays. You can call the library at 212-957-3315 to check current times. 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.
- Monday - Thursday: 9am - 9:30pm
- Friday: 9am - 7pm
- Saturday & Sunday: 12pm - 7pm
The NY Campus 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 NY Campus Library, please email Stephanie Andersen one week in advance of visiting the library. In the email include 1) semester 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. Note: The library is subject to close during school breaks and holidays:
- Monday - Thursday: 8am - 10pm
- Friday: 8am - 7pm
- Saturday & Sunday: 1pm - 6pm
Alumni ID Card Request
ID Card Request
New York Campus Performance DVD Request