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.” 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. Fontana would go on to create the celebrated role of Tobias Beecher in the groundbreaking HBO series “Oz” specifically for Lee. Lee has also starred roles in acclaimed television series like “The Americans” (Andrew Larrick), “American Horror Story” (Vince), “Castle” (Marcus Gates), and “The Purge” (Joe Owens.) He plays “Agent Don McCorkle” in the new HBO mini-series, The Plot Against America.
Currently recognized as Andre Lyon, the bi-polar CFO in Fox’s hit drama series “Empire.” “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). Trai stars as Boston in The 24th.
Six-time Emmy winner, Tony Award winner and American Theatre Hall of Fame inductee Tyne Daly recently played recurring character “Phyllis” in the Murphy Brown reboot, and 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).
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. 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 “Billions” (Rebecca Cantu), NBC’s “Hannibal” (Molly Graham), ABC’s hit TV series “The Good Wife,” “30 Rock,” and “Hostages.” Nina currently plays Patty Solis-Papagian in Amazon Studios’ "Goliath,” which was renewed for its fourth and final season.
Multi-platinum selling recording singer, songwriter, dancer, and Tik-Tok sensation 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 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 2020, Jason guest hosted “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and headlined the 2020 Wawa Welcome America Concert. Jason’s latest hit "Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)" with Jawsh 685 and BTS soared to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Jason recently made his movie musical debut as Rum Tug Tugger in the film adaptation of Cats.
Emily Padgett starred in the Tony-nominated Broadway musical Bright Star (Lucy Grant), and in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Mrs. Bucket). She also starred in the Broadway revival of Side Show, where she shared the stage as conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton. Other 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.” Emily recently starred in the world premiere of the musical Last Days of Summer at Kansas City Repertory Theatre and performed in the virtual concert, Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
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 joined other AMDA alumni to co-found and be 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. Sam currently stars as “Adam Carrington” in Dynasty on The CW.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Jesse Tyler Ferguson received five Emmy nominations for his role as Mitchell Pritchett in ABC’s celebrated sitcom “Modern Family.” 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 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 gives its proceeds to various organizations supporting LGBT equality. Jesse hosts the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition reboot and will star in upcoming Broadway revival of Take Me Out. He is also writing a cookbook, to be released in 2021.
Continuing Education for AMDA Alumni
Looking to continue your education at AMDA? The Los Angeles campus offers the following options:
AMDA Bachelor’s Degree Graduates have the opportunity to earn a Master of Arts in Theatre or Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Theatre and Media degree.
Apply for Graduate Degree
Bachelor of Fine Arts Programs
AMDA Associate of Occupational Studies Degree and Certificate Graduates are eligible to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting, Music Theatre, Dance Theatre or Performing Arts by transferring in 60 performance credits and completing 30 performance and 30 general education credits.
Note: Additional coursework may be required if you are applying for a BFA Program outside of your AOS or Conservatory discipline.
Apply for BFA Degree
Associate of Occupational Studies Programs
AMDA Certificate Graduates are eligible to earn an Associate of Occupational Studies degree in Acting, Musical Theatre or Dance Theatre by transferring in 60 performance credits and completing the general education requirements.
Note: Additional coursework may be required as per current degree completion requirements and/or if applying for an AOS Program outside of the original discipline.
Apply for AOS Degree
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.
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 AND CLASSES
Through these intensive workshops sponsored by the Alumni department, you can return to AMDA virtually and in-person (when applicable) to refresh your skills and take classes in additional specialty areas, increasing your versatility as a performer. Workshop opportunities will be released via email throughout the year.
Access a newly expanded library of video content created exclusively for AMDA students and alumni. The AMDA On-Demand library includes content regarding athletic performance, mental health, open fitness, open dance, and vocal heath. New videos will be uploaded weekly, so check back regularly.
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. Official transcripts may be ordered through Parchment and received by mail or electronically.
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.
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.
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) 603-5924 to 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.