American Musical and Dramatic Academy
|Location||New York City and Los Angeles, USA|
The Conservatory offers both Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees and two-year Certificates in Professional Performance. Programs are offered in Acting, Musical Theatre, Dance and Performing Arts.
AMDA is an accredited institution of the National Association of Schools of Theatre.
AMDA was founded in 1964 by Philip Burton along with other prominent people from the New York theatre community to provide practical training by professional performers, for performers. Burton was an acting teacher and is best known as having trained and launched the career of his adopted son, Richard Burton. Emerging from the vibrant arts scene of 1960s Manhattan, the school established itself as a part of the New York performing arts community and garnered early support from members of the Broadway theatre elite such as Sammy Davis Jr., Dina Merrill and Carol Channing.
By 1970, the school had outgrown its original location on East 23rd Street and moved into a new building on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. A few years later, further growth prompted another move, this time to the historic Ansonia Building on the Upper West Side. Continued success in the '90s led to the opening of a second building near Lincoln Center, which is now the principal location of AMDA New York.
In 2003 the school expanded west by opening AMDA Los Angeles in the historic Vine Tower Building, one block north of the legendary intersection of Hollywood and Vine in the heart of the Hollywood Entertainment District.
AMDA's programs are designed to prepare students to work professionally as an actor in theatre, musical theatre, dance, film and television, and stage combat. AMDA is the only BFA-granting performing arts college with campuses in both New York and Los Angeles.
The New York City campus is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The principal facility is located at 211 West 61st Street, directly behind Lincoln Center. The other half of the campus is located at the historical Ansonia building, where Ziegfeld once lived, on West 73rd Street.
AMDA's New York campus features a theatre for learning, skill development and performance. The Ansonia Building features a 100-seat, black box–style theatre equipped with two dressing rooms, a costume shop, a workshop, and backstage space and prop storage. AMDA's New York performing arts library holds an expansive collection of scripts, scores, DVDs and other research material. Students also have access to the extensive library facilities in New York City including the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, which houses some of the finest theatre script collections in the world and is located just a few blocks away from the AMDA campus. Additional facilities include rehearsal space, film, TV and editing facilities, computer labs and the AMDA Student Store.
The Los Angeles campus is located in the heart of the Hollywood Entertainment District, one block north of Hollywood Blvd. and Vine Street, adjacent to the Capitol Records Tower, with its principal facility in the historic Vine Tower Building.
AMDA's Los Angeles campus features four main theatres for learning, skill development and performance including a black box theatre, two laboratory theatres, and an outdoor amphitheater. AMDA's Los Angeles performing arts library offers a wide range of entertainment reference materials and is also located near the city's extensive public library facilities and Hollywood's famous performing arts bookstores. Other facilities include rehearsal space, film, TV and editing facilities, the AMDA Café, and the campus piazza.
AMDA has a distinguished record of training students for careers in the performing arts. Among its most notable graduates are:
- Matt Barber (Dance Professional and Writer)
- Angela Bettis (Girl, Interrupted, Bless the Child)
- Krystal Joy Brown ("Leap of Faith" musical, "Big Fish", "Hair")
- Tyne Daly (Grey's Anatomy, Cagney & Lacey, Judging Amy, Gypsy)
- Tiffany Engen (Legally Blonde (musical))
- Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family,The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Class)
- Rose Freymuth-Frazier (Undressed)
- Jason Wise
- Caissie Levy (Hair, Wicked, Rent, Hairspray)
- Gretchen Mol (3:10 to Yuma, Life on Mars, The Shape of Things, Boardwalk Empire)
- Meredith Patterson (All My Children, 42nd Street)
- Soara-Joye Ross (Les Misérables)
- Christopher Sieber (Shrek the Musical, Spamalot, Chicago)
- James Stevenson (Guiding Light, Passions)
- Kai Soremekun
- Paul Sorvino (GoodFellas, Law & Order)
- Lee Tergesen (Royal Pains, Life on Mars, Oz, Generation Kill, Weird Science)
- Michelle Visage (Judge on Ru-Paul's Drag Race, Radio DJ, Singer)
- Chryssie Whitehead (Every Little Step, A Chorus Line, Grey's Anatomy)
- Marissa Jaret Winokur (Hairspray, Stacked)
- Natalie Zea (Dirty Sexy Money, Boys Don't Cry)
- Clara Campi (NoMansLand, Full Masti)
- Jason Derulo (Multi-Platinum recording artist and dancer)
- Janelle Monáe
- Will Blunderfield (Nettwerk recording artist)
- Paul Louis (S Club 7 in Miami, Creator of children's syndicated series, "Jelly Bean Jungle") Author - Off Broadway's "Real Men: The Musical"
- Becca Tobin (Glee)
- Katherine Helmond (Who's the Boss, Brazil)
- Brett Davern (Awkward)
- David de Lautour (Westside)
- Bailey Buntain (Bunheads, Faking It)
- Anthony Ramos (Hamilton)
- Christopher Jackson (Hamilton)
AMDA has many teachers and faculty who have many professional connections and credits.
Notable current/former faculty include: Katherine Helmond, Emily Skinner, Amy Stoch, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Jamison Jones, Karen Morrow, Dan Fishbach, Karly Rothenberg, Caissie Levy and Chryssie Whitehead.