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
Emmy-winning actor/composer Christopher Jackson is currently known for his Tony-nominated starring role as George Washington in Broadway sensation Hamilton. He has performed leading roles in several more Broadway musicals and plays, including After Midnight, Bronx Bombers, Holler If Ya Hear Me, and Memphis. Christopher was nominated for a Tony Award for his role of Benny in Lin Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights. He later collaborated with Miranda on the Disney film Moana, voicing the character of Chief Tsui. Other film projects include roles in After Life and Tracers. As a composer, he was nominated for his 3rd Daytime Emmy Award for Best Original Song for “Queen of Nacho Picchu” for Sesame Street. Chris took home the 2011 Emmy for writing “What I Am,” also for Sesame Street. Chris released a R&B solo album In the Name of Love that same year and has written music for LL Cool J, Ne-Yo, Mario and Sean Kingston. Christopher currently stars as Chunk Palmer in the CBS drama Bull. His other television work includes roles in the HBO drama Oz and guest appearances on Fringe, Gossip Girl, Nurse Jackie, The Good Wife and White Collar.
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,” “Bones," and "Mr. Robot." Rizwan’s illustrious career also extends to producing, directing, and writing such works as Fillum Star: The Peter Patel Story and …Or Die.
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.
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” “Hostages.” and "Goliath" (Patty) at Amazon Studios.
Kyle Scatliffe’s Broadway debut in Les Misérables garnered critical praise for his powerful portrayal of Enjolras, who sings the iconic anthem “Do You Hear the People Sing?” Critics remarked that Kyle struck “an extraordinarily imposing figure” (Variety) and that his performance made “an intense and persuasive Enjolras” (New York Theater). He has won a Lys Symonette Award for Extraordinary Promise and earned an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical in 2014. Kyle was in the Broadway revival of The Color Purple (Harpo) and is currently starring in the the national tour of Hamilton (Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson). In addition to entertaining on Disney Cruise ships, Kyle’s previous credits include Ragtime (Coalhouse Walker, Jr.), Oklahoma! (Jud Fry) and his role as Haywood Patterson in London’s The Scottsboro Boys, centered on African American youth in their fight during the American civil rights movement. His television credits include “A Christmas Carol: The Concert” on PBS.
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).
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).
Best known for portraying serious, powerful roles, Paul is remembered for his standout performances as Henry Kissinger in the 1995 film Nixon and as mafia leader Paul Cicero in Goodfellas. With over 220 credits to his name, Paul began his professional career in the 1960s working on the Broadway productions of Bajour, Mating Dance, That Champion Season, An American Millionaire and Wheelbarrow Closers (which Sorvino directed in 1976). Among his numerous television credits, he has appeared in “Bert D’Angelo/Superstar,” NBC’s “Law & Order,” “Still Standing,” and “The Oldest Rookie.” Noted film credits include Romeo + Juliet; I, the Jury; and The Cooler. With his prolific career encompassing directing and producing, Paul has garnered numerous accolades, including two Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Ft. Lauderdale and Rhode Island International Film Festivals.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 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.