Alumni News by decade


Karen Johal, 2016 — Hi, I have recently been cast as the lead in a thriller feature film for Kill the lion films. It is called "Victimhood" and is directed by Cody Clarke. It is going to be filmed in late 2020 in New York. I was also featured as the lead in "Man on the Phone" by Nicholas Aquilino and the film has won three awards including an award at the Canada Shorts film festival. More recently the film "Frank's Plan" has become available to stream from Amazon prime video and I starred as the lead role "Kathy". Cast as the lead in a thriller feature-film for the production company Kill The Lion Films. The film "Victimhood," directed by Cody Clarke, will film late 2020 in New York. Johal was featured as the lead in "Man on the Phone," by Nicholas Aquilino, which has already won three awards. Most recently, Johal played the lead role Kathy in "Frank's Plan," which is available to stream on Amazon Prime. See more
Claudia Dolph, 2000 — Live Variety Show called C&C: Variety Hour that's been running in the Los Angeles area for 8 years. A LatinX Superhero Podcast called "Soldadera," will make its debut in the coming months for the FutureX Network. Currently in post for several short films and host/produce backyard concerts in the LA area. Co-founder of Geek Girl Authority, and can be seen regularly on a variety of new media/digital platforms as well as Comic Conventions throughout the US. See more
Darius Journigan, 2017 — Acting course offered by acting coach Darius A. Journigan, followed by a live showcase for industry professionals, as well as family and friends. Lessons are designed to expand awareness of self, create complex and multi- dimensional characters, and become equipped with advanced techniques that translate to stage and screen. Members will workshop two contrasting monologues and one contemporary scene - the scene will be filmed and edited professionally. See more
Christine McKenna-Tirella, 2007 — Known for her extensive resumé, Casting Director McKenna-Tirella is launching a class geared toward working actors looking to improve audition skills and develop their own material. Casting credits include: Spongebob The Musical (First National Tour), Waitress (Non-Union National tour), Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief (Broadway/National Tour), Elf the Musical (National Tours), Sound of Music (National Tours). Christine also aided in the casting for the Broadway production of Chicago The Musical (Broadway/National Tour), Hadestown (Broadway), Goodspeed Opera House, AIDA Cruise Lines. Off-Broadway projects include A Clockwork Orange (New World Stages), As You Like It (Classic Stage Company), Curvy Widow (Westside Theatre), Stuffed (Westside Theatre), Dirty Dancing (National Tour). See more


Ulla Virtanen, 2016 — Starring as Helena in "Gilles Dyrek: Snow in Venice," at the Kouvola Theater. Virtanen has also worked as a writer with many TV series including "Mental Samurai Finland," and has starred in many productions such as "The Dissedents." See more
Andrew Dean, 2017 — Short-film "Distance," written by and starring Andrew J. Dean II (class of 2018), has been accepted to festival First-Time Filmmaker Sessions. The piece was directed by Fabrizio Daniele (class of 2019), and stars Jason Gratias (class of 2019), with a production team including Charlotte Hendrickx (class of 2019), and Oliver Boon (class of 2019). See more
Connor Delves, 2016 — Announced as one of three founding Artistic Directors for the Australian Theatre Festival in New York City. Delves and fellow Company alumni Jillian Geurts alongside Mark Barford will launch the Festival in May 2020. The Festival will feature Australian theatre, live music, visual art, and an industry panel. Catch the festival from St John’s In the Village from May 21-24, 2020. See more
Jade Santana, 2017 — After starring in Open Fist Theatre Company's production of "Anna in the Tropics," Santana has earned a nomination for Featured Actress in a Play. A Company graduate, Santana has dedicated much of her time to learning her craft and deepening her ability to bring characters to life. See more
Mike Bingaman, 2015 — Graduate of the 2015 Los Angeles Company, Mike Bingaman recently starred as Romeo in the Group Rep's production of "Romeo & Juliet." Bingaman has been nominated for Leading Actor in a Play for the BroadwayWorld Los Angeles Awards. The production was set in pre-World War II, Berlin where Romeo is a German boy and Juliet is a Jewish girl. See more
Mary Ann Penzero, 2019 — Penzero is hard at work in the New York theater scene. She is busy teaching acting for the City of Yonkers Recreation Program, choreographing a production of "Guys and Dolls", and performing in "The Nutcracker" with the Allegra Dance Studio in Connecticut. See more
Jonathan Steiger, 2014 — After spending time as an usher for the hit Broadway show, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," Steiger will join the San Francisco cast as Scorpius, the bewildered son of Draco Malfoy. Unlike his father, Scorpius is a sweeter, more sensitive character, with a sense of mischief and mayhem. Steiger refers to Scorpius as "the funny guy who is very relatable to a lot of people." Information and tickets available at: See more
Maija Anttila, 2011 — Producing play, "MsTRIAL," cast by Judy Henderson ("Homeland"). General Management will be done by Perry Street Theatricals, with Christine Evangelista from ("Arrangement," "Walking Dead"). The play is currently set to premiere at New World Stages, December 4th. See more
Abigail Stewart, 2019 — Cast in the new Netflix series, "Hunting Jessica," based on the popular series of novels by Elizabeth St. John. Stewart plays the lead; Jessica, a girl set on finding what "vicious thing" roams in her hometown of Devil's Bend, Oklahoma. Jessica unearths ancient vampirism and hellhounds along with her monster-slaying team. See more
Chris Lanceley, 2010 — Lanceley played the character of Jonathan in the off-Broadway run of "The Play That Goes Wrong" at New World Stages. The comedy-farce played its final Broadway performance in Spring of 2019. Catch Lanceley on the hit series "Blue Bloods" and as MI5 Agent Simon in CBS's "FBI." See more
Juan Pablo Mendive, 2018 — Juan Pablo Mendive breaks new ground in the new play "Rapiña: Four Short Stories Of Love And Predation" in New York's Times Square. Penned by and featuring Argentinian artists, "Rapiña" delves into trials of the human spirit while bringing new and exciting voices to the arts. Mendive will continue to bring new stories to the arts community. See more
Amanda Toan, 2018 — Recent Alumni Amanda Toan is cast in "Neon Tide," the new cyberpunk video game based on the visual novel of the same name. Toan plays the character Aurora, who works an important and critical role. Developed by Skyride Studios, this new and exciting game will be released August 28th, 2019. See more
Benjamin Anderson, 2018 — Founded and run by Academy alum and faculty member Adam Chambers, The LOFT Ensemble is one of the most recognizable Theater Companies in Los Angeles. Recently, graduate Benjamin Andersen was seen starring in "Blues For Mister Charlie." The production was a resounding success and garnered praise from critics and audiences alike. See more


Christina Valentine, 2009 — "We Burn Like This," a film which took over four years to make, features Christina Valentine. The film is written and directed by Alana Waksman, based on a short story she penned in college. "We Burn Like This," explores the growing surge of antisemitism in Montana. The film receives notice from audiences for its relevance and passion. See more
Naomi McDougall Jones, 2008 — "The Wrong Kind of Women," a book written by Naomi McDougall Jones has debuted as the number 1 Amazon release in Entertainment Industry. The book delves into the history of the filmmaking, and the impact of the traditions of exclusion toward women. McDougall Jones is an actor, screenwriter, and award-winning independent filmmaker. See more
Chaya Doswell, 2007 — Wrote the film, "The Uncanny," starring Bella Throne, with direction by Mitzi Peirone. Peirone and Doswell are both Academy alumni and worked with Peirone in 2013 on "Everyone I Loved Is Dead;" a comedic-play, from which the film is based on. New Republic is producing the project, with a team that is heavily female-lead. See more
Ashley Key, 2009 — Guest-starring as Margaret in the new anthology series "Dark/Web," from Felt Films, on Amazon Prime. A black market organ purchased off the dark web yields disturbing side effects for its new owner in segment TRANSPLANT starring Duane Shepard, Hayley Marie Norman, Ashley Key, Kurt Long, and Robert Davi. In addition to stage work, Ashley has produced and performed in the award winning web series, "The Vault," and can be seen in the feature film "Circle," currently on Netflix. See more
Angelica Briones, 2007 — Shot a found-footage thriller, "Dead Voices," this past June. The film is currently being submitted to festivals. Briones also played a lead role in another thriller "From the Depths." Briones also works consistently on television and in the theater. See more
Carolina Groppa, 2007 — Launches podcast focused on producers and careers in the entertainment business that are of interest to Academy students and alumni. The podcast, "Life With Caca," explores intimate and honest pieces of a career in entertainment and the "unglamorous realities behind the title." Guests include Eva Longoria, Alana Mayo, Deniese Davis, Barbara Muschietti, Natalie Qasabian, and Stephanie Allain, to name a few. See more
Adam Chambers, 2003 — Faculty member and graduate, Adam Chambers featured in S.W.A.T. episode, "Funny Money." The episode premieres October 16th, 10/9 central. See more
Katie Aselton, 2004 — Academy alumna Katie Aselton is set as the female lead opposite Nate Bargatze in his multi-camera ABC comedy pilot, from The Carmichael Show creators Jerrod Carmichael and Ari Katcher, showrunner Danielle Sanchez-Witzel and 20th Century Fox TV. See more
Tegan Summer, 2000 — During the curtain call of Broadways "Mean Girls," Tegan Summer got down on one knee. The cast and crew helped him finally pop the question to his girlfriend. Summer has been working consistently in the New York scene, as well as producing and building up Las Vegas arts. See more
Arturo Castro, 2007 — Arturo Castro stars in the new sketch show "Alternatino With Arturo Castro." Based on his own experiences as a Latino millennial in the United States, Arturo both stars and executive produces the show. Castro is also known for his starring roles in Comedy Central's "Broad City" and Netflix's "Narcos." See more
Angelica Briones, 2007 — "Anime Crimes Division" actor Angelica Briones is set to star in the film "The Debt of Maximillian" in 2019. Catch her in her role on "Sinister Minister," which first aired internationally in Summer 2018 that has been consistently re-airs since its debut. See more
Naomi McDougall Jones, 2008 — Writer, actress, producer, and Academy Grad Naomi Macdougall Jones creates TEDTalk. MacDougall Jones' speech titled "The Women in Film Revolution Begins With You" has received over 1 million views on Founder & Chief Impact Officer of The 51 Fund, a new venture capital fund dedicated to financing films written, directed, and produced by women. Her new film, "Bite Me," released Spring of 2019 to rave reviews and audience favor. See more


Tara L. Wilson Noth, 1999 — East Coast premiere of "B.R.O.K.E.N. code B.I.R.D. switching," played at the Stephanie Feury Theatre in Los Angeles this past fall. The play will run from July 9 through August 1, with the Berkshire Theatre Group. See more
Paul Rudd, 1991 — The household name earns his first-ever Golden Globe nomination. Rudd has been nominated for Best Actor in a Comedy Series in the Netflix series, "Living With Yourself," which debuted this October. He has always found success, only several years out of school, he landed the role of Paris in the Buz Luhrmann adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and has since become known for his work in romantic comedies, buddy flicks, and of course, The Avengers. See more
Taylor Mac, 1996 — Alum and playwright Taylor Mac will receive special honors at the 85th Annual Drama League Awards on Friday, May 17, at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York. Mac, whose new play "Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus" will star Nathan Lane and Kristine Nielsen, shall be honored with the Unique Contribution to the Theater Award. Mac was a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist for drama his work "A 24-Decade History of Popular Music." See more
Kevin Sussman, 1991 — Character actor and comedy talent Kevin Sussman plays the recurring role of Stuart Bloom in the hit series "The Big Bang Theory." His work in film and television include "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp," the hit series "The Mentalist," "Burn After Reading," and many others. Sussman is known for strong characterization and impeccable comedic timing. See more


Stewart J. Zully, 1980 — Directing the Ovation recommended "Nowhere On The Border," a timely piece about the US/Mexican border. Showtimes; Friday, Saturday at 8, Sunday at 2 through March 8, 2020 at the Road Theatre in North Hollywood. Tickets available at See more


Steve Shoup, 1975 — Alumni Steve Shoup (Class of '75 NYC) portrayed Dr. Frankenstein's Creature in the limited engagement and new production (and original concept) of the Frankenstein story. Having stepped into the role at the last minute, Shoup also stepped into the history books of both theatrical legend and the Frankenstein Mythology becoming the oldest actor to ever portray the monster. Scripted by George Allison, DR. FRANKENSTEIN was produced by The Articulate Theatre Company in NYC and ran from November 8 through November 24. See more
CJ Critt, 1976 — Developing a new musical comedy, "The Pollinators," with collaboration from artists across the country. Critt's writing in the musical farce, "Those Musclebound Cowboys from Snake Pit Gulch," will premiere at the Desert Rose Playhouse in Palm Springs. A new audiobook, "Feel No Evil," will be released Holiday 2020. See more
Steve Shoup, 1975 — Recently directed the one-act farce, "The Carpenter, The Flood, and the Fart," a contemporary update of one of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales." The play went up for the 8th Annual February Short Play Festival: Sex! in New York's Greenwich Village. See more


M. Emmet Walsh, 1961 — Steals the scene in "Knives Out," the Rian Johnson whodunit comedy. The feature released to strong reviews and a big pull at the box office. Cast members included Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Christopher Plummer, and Ana de Armas. Previous credits include; "Blade Runner," "Blood Simple," and "Christmas with the Kranks." See more
Danny DeVito, 1966 — Danny DeVito was doubly honored at the L.A. Italia Fest where he received the Jack Valenti Los Angeles and Italia Legend Award. Devito received Italy's highest civic honors at the ceremony, becoming a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. Devito has seen constant success throughout his career, with roles from Penguin in "Batman Forever," and Frank in the hit series "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." See more
Sandy Martin, 1969 — Making a name for herself over five decades on groundbreaking work, Martin lands the role of Mama Dixon in the film "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." Her eccentric character work landed her roles in "Napoleon Dynamite," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and the live action remake of "Dumbo." Martin has been known to direct plays with The Los Angeles Company. See more


Gena Rowlands, 1952 — Receiving well-deserved recognition, Rowlands will join the 2019 Turner Classic Movie Flim Festival for a screening of her 1974 film "A Woman Under the Influence." Directed by Academy alumnus John Cassavetes, “A Woman Under the Influence” looks into the life of Mabel, a wife and mother struggling with mental illness. Rowlands career has marked six decades of award-winning and audience-admired work from "The Notebook," to the comedy series "Monk." See more
Robert Redford, 1959 — Legendary actor Robert Redford, produces a new movie titled "The Mustang". Robert Redford may or may not be retiring from acting, but he’s keeping busy behind the camera, executive producing an inspiring horse drama starring Red Sparrow‘s Matthias Schoenaerts and also features another legendary actor, Bruce Dern. In "The Mustang," Schoenaerts stars as a violent, unhinged convict who undergoes a unique state-mandated rehabilitation program that teaches him to tame wild horses. See more


Don Rickles, 1948 — Legendary comedian and actor Don Rickles voices Mr. Potato in "Toy Story 4." Rickles' extensive career was not limited to comedy however, performing in "Kelly's Heroes," and "Casino," making a name for himself as an Emmy winning actor. An alumnus of the New York campus, Rickles passed away April 6, 2017 at the age of 90. See more