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
Currently in the Tony-nominated Broadway musical Bright Star, Emily Padgett also starred in the Broadway revival of Side Show, where she shared the stage as conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton. Bright Star marks Emily’s fifth Broadway show, with previous Broadway credits including the role of Sherrie in Rock of Ages, Grease (u/s Sandy Dumbrowski) and Legally Blonde (Cece; u/s Brooke Wyndham). Emily has also performed in the national tours for Flashdance the Musical, Grease and Cats. Emily was nominated for an Astaire Award for Best Female Dance (Side Show), and starred as the lead role in the premiere of musical Waterfall, a story of forbidden love in 1930s Thailand. In addition to her many theatrical credits, she has appeared on television in “Louie,” Shall We Dance On Ice? and the television series “Step It Up and Dance.”
AMDA Graduation Year: 2005
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).
AMDA Graduation Year: 1965
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
Tony Award-nominated Sarah Stiles has built her Broadway career around puppets and hilarity. On Broadway, Sarah featured for six years as Kate Monster, Lucy the Slut and other characters in Avenue Q, a show that has more puppets than human characters in its cast. Sarah also performed in Broadway’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, as well as taking on the role of Muriel Bunson in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever. She recently completed her run in the five-time Tony-nominated comedy Hand to God, marking her fourth Broadway production and earning her a Tony nomination. Her Off-Broadway productions include her roles in Captain Louie, Vanities, Avenue Q and The Road to Qatar, with US tours under her belt for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and as a puppeteer in Doctor Dolittle. Her regional productions include The Full Monty (Estelle Genovese) and Grease (Frenchy).
AMDA Graduation Year: 2000
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
Sam Underwood is widely recognized for his portrayal of such sinister roles as 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.
AMDA Graduation Year: 2008
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 and can be heard on radio stations all over the world. 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.
AMDA Graduation Year: 2006
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. Eight years later, Jesse stars on Broadway in the one-man show Fully Committed, playing 40 different characters in a single 90-minute performance. 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) and Where Do We Live? Jesse has also performed in several Shakespearean comedies including The Tempest, Winter’s Tale, The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 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.
AMDA Graduation Year: 1995
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