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Meet our Conservatory of Performing Arts Alumni

In the profiles featured below, alumni discuss why they chose Point Park University and talk about how earning or pursuing an undergraduate degree or graduate degree at Point Park is helping them to reach their career goals.


Pictured is Annie Gagen. Annie Gagen

B.F.A. in dance (jazz), 2015
Lou Ann, Understudy Velma, Hairspray

"Point Park was one of the few that offered a concentration in jazz, rather than just ballet and modern. That was one of the first things that drew me there, aside from the excellent reputation that both the dance and musical theatre departments had."

Pictured is Mallory Marinack.Mallory Marinack

B.F.A. in dance (ballet), 2012
Professional ballet companies

"If you’re one of the lucky dancers accepted to Point Park University, don’t squander your time. Take classes in all styles, not just your concentration, and take a variety of teachers. Every teacher has a different array of knowledge and insight into the dance world that can prove to be invaluable in shaping your future."

Pictured is Hunter Mikles. Hunter Mikles

B.F.A. in dance (jazz), 2016
Author and Performer, WICKED

"I wanted a dance program that had a concentration in jazz, while not being limited in opportunity by my major. Being able to be in the ballets one semester and the contemporary works the next was transformative for me, and absolutely contributed to my versatility as a performer."

Pictured is Maya Bowles. Maya Bowles

B.F.A. in dance (jazz), 2020
Performer, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

"The faculty prepped us for the professional world with mock auditions, having talk-backs with artists and learning/being evaluated by current choreographers in the industry. Those opportunities prepared me to enter the New York audition pool, and I was so surprised by how prepared I felt in the room."

Pictured is Dara Schlesinger. Photo | Jeffery Sabo Dara Schlesinger

B.F.A. in dance (ballet), 2021
Associate Performer, Missouri Contemporary Ballet

"Point Park University has an amazing dance program. I'm so glad I made the investment to learn and train at one of the top dance programs in the country. I am so fortunate to have landed a job at Missouri Contemporary Ballet so soon after earning my degree."

kaylinhorgan275.jpgKaylin Horgan

B.F.A. in dance (jazz), 2011
Dance faculty, Pittsburgh CAPA

"Point Park's location in Downtown Pittsburgh provides students so many opportunities, and Pittsburgh has a way of nurturing young artists after they graduate ... Plus, the training is undeniable at Point Park, especially now that the dance program includes Crystal Frazier teaching hip hop and the diverse class offerings."

Pictured is Colin Jacob.Colin Jacob

B.F.A. in dance (ballet), 2015
Company Dancer, Richmond Ballet

"Point Park provided the space for me to grow on a technical level, and I also honed my artistic expression in dance. I came out of the program with an understanding of different styles of movement and the way to put MYSELF into them. The time I spent in those studios became the stepping stones into my career."

Pictured is Dustin Wolf. Submitted photo. Dustin Wolf

B.F.A. in dance (jazz), 2018
Dancer/Choreographer, Netflix, Disney and more

"Point Park's dance program is truly designed to prepare you for the professional dancer life. A dancer’s life is a constant hustle that can’t be done without a trained body and mind. Which I feel is exactly what I got from my four years at Point Park."

kimieparker275.jpgKimie Parker

B.F.A. in dance (modern), 2019
Company Artist, Sidra Bell Dance New York

"Point Park’s dance facilities are an absolute luxury. I don’t think I’ll have many opportunities to be in studios as expansive or advanced as Point Park’s for the rest of my career."

Pictured is James (Washington) Manning. Submitted photoJames (Washington) Manning

B.F.A. in dance (jazz), 2011
Dance Department Chair, Pittsburgh CAPA

"The Conservatory of Performing Arts schedule and rigor allowed me to feel prepared to enter the professional field; the versatility and class offerings played a huge part in that. As a student, you are treated and training like a professional dancer ... Point Park continues to produce exceptional talent in a city that has a vibrant arts community — including concert dance, musical theatre, film and television and plenty of teaching opportunities."

Pictured is Floyd McLean. Submitted photo.Floyd McLean, Bianca Melidor and Terrell Rogers

B.F.A. in dance 
Dallas Black Dance Theatre: Encore!

"During my time at Point Park I had the opportunity to work with choreographers from many different backgrounds. The amount of rehearsal and performance experience I acquired in college allowed for a smooth transition into my professional career."

Pictured is Shawn Lesniak. Submitted photo.Shawn Lesniak

B.F.A. in dance (jazz), 2018
Company Member, The Paul Taylor Dance Company

"Company directors are always looking to hire dancers who are prepared to immerse themselves in a style or technique and find a seamless way to transfer that knowledge to the stage. Because of my training at Point Park, I felt more than confident in my ability to do exactly this."

Pictured is Annie Morgan. Photo | Jeff DownieAnnie Morgan

B.F.A. in dance (ballet), 2018
Dance Artist, GroundWorks DanceTheater 

"The faculty recognized my potential and pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of. I felt nurtured and cared for — both as an artist and a human being."

Pictured is Emily Bezbatchenko. Submitted photoEmily Bezbatchenko

B.F.A. in dance (modern), 2018
Company Member, Eisenhower Dance Detroit

"Point Park prepared me in the best way possible for company work post-graduation. The training in all styles made the switch between balletmodern and jazz effortless."

Pictured is Eileen Grace. Photo | Hannah JohnstonEileen Grace

B.A. in dance
Former Rockette, Freelance Director/Choreographer/Instructor

"After I graduated from Point Park, I felt completely prepared to pursue my career.  My instructors pushed me beyond my expectations and gave me the strength, both physically and mentally, to go with confidence into the professional world."

Pictured is alumnus Andrew Wright. Photo | Hans-Jörg MichelAndrew Wright

B.F.A. in dance, 2012
Soloist, NTM National Theater Mannheim

"I thrived on the diversity of classes and made sure to continue my training in jazz, modern and ballet throughout my entire time at Point Park. This diversity really helped me to develop a versatility that benefits me to this day."

Pictured is Caroline Loeser. Photo | Louise Flores Caroline Loeser

B.A. in dance, 2015
Backup Dancer, Lady Gaga

"My experience at Point Park shaped me into not only the dancer I am, but also the person I am ... The Super Bowl Halftime Show and the Joanne World Tour were my first two professional dance jobs, so I had a lot to learn."

copa_ericamessonnier_275x230.jpgErica Messonnier

B.F.A. in dance, 2014
Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella

"Point Park shaped me into the performer I am today. The school provided me with all the tools I needed to become a professional performer. I am forever grateful for everyone who helped me achieve my dreams."

Pictured is alumna Sloan Pearson.Sloan Pearson

B.F.A. in dance, 2016
Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company

"Point Park's dance program set me up for success. I learned how to balance a rigorous schedule, maintain a healthy lifestyle, retain choreography and incorporate my own artistry."

copa_jamesgowan_275x230.jpgJames Gowan

B.F.A. in dance, 2015
Alonzo King LINES Ballet

"Balancing school work during an intense dance schedule is not for the meek. Point Park's rigorous dance program provides students the ability to grow and have a taste of the real world before they step into it. "

Pictured is alumnus Ahmad Simmons. Submitted photo Ahmad Simmons

B.F.A. in dance, 2010
CATS on Broadway

"I am so lucky to have had the foundation of Point Park's dance training. It has allowed me to thrive in so many areas of the arts industry and continues to keep me relevant as a performer."

Pictured is Gabriella Sorrentino. Submitted photo


Gabriella Sorrentino

B.F.A. in Dance, 2012
Dance Captain/Swing and understudy for Peggy Maria, Hamilton 

"I really owe it all to the teachers who supported me and helped me grow as an artist (especially my mentor, the late Ron Tassone). My teachers at Point Park believed in me and helped me grow into the performer that I am today. I'm truly grateful for them."

Pictured is Taylor Goska, dance and psychology alumna of Point Park and Baltimore area dance teacher and job coach. Photo | Sarah Koch


Taylor Goska

B.A. in Dance and Psychology, 2015
Dance Teacher, Bel Air Dance Academy and Supernova Dance Company
Job Coach, Jewish Community Services of Greater Baltimore

"I have many great memories of my four years at Point Park. I enjoyed performing in dance shows and have great memories of the classes I took at Point Park. I really value all the friendships I made with my fellow students throughout the years. Also, I had some great professors in both dance and psychology who were truly passionate about what they were teaching me."


Pictured is alumnus Joshua Manculich. Joshua Manculich

B.A. in dance with a minor in psychology, 2009
2015 Recipient of Princess Grace Award for Choreography

"As a dance major at Point Park, you can dance from morning until night, and to me that was my dream. I loved that the psychology department also had a passion amongst the faculty. The combination of the major and minor led me to understand people and what movement can do for someone else's sense of well-being."

Pictured is alumna Alexandra Pernice. Alexandra Pernice

B.A. in dance, 2008
Corps de Ballet and Meg Giry understudy, Phantom of the Opera

"I'm a huge advocate for Point Park's dance program because it teaches you to stand out and persevere. The program tests your tenacity and when you graduate you are ready to enter the professional dance world."

Pictured is alumna Alexandra Zegar. Alexandra Zegar

B.A. in dance, 2014
Count Von Count, Sesame Street Live

"I loved going to school in Downtown Pittsburgh! I was within walking distance to the Cultural District, Market Square and Point State Park. There was always something fun to do in the city. I'm also a Pittsburgh Penguins fan and loved the proximity of Consol Energy Center to campus."

Pictured is COPA alumnus Ian Spring. Ian Spring

B.A. in dance, 2009
Dancer, Parsons Dance

"I would be no where near the dancer I am today had it not been for the teachers I had at Point Park and the classes I took. I had such a diverse range of classes to choose from, which I believe is key to a good education. This helped me to be more comfortable switching between different styles."

Pictured is COPA alumnus Luke Murphy. Luke Murphy

B.F.A. in dance, 2009
Choreographer, Dancer

"Point Park's dance program is very versatile because it is part of the Conservatory of Performing Arts. Students are immersed in performance and film from all sides and views. The potential to grow in that atmosphere is endless."


Pictured is COPA alumna Lauren Garson. Lauren Garson

B.F.A. in dance, 2005
Dancer, Parsons Dance

"Point Park's dance program is thorough. It knows how to train dancers and prepare you for the professional world. That said, you want to make sure that Point Park is a good match for you. Does it prepare you for the type of work that you desire to do?"

Pictured are dance alumni that work for Houston Metropolitan Dance Company. Dance Alumni

Houston Metropolitan Dance Company

Six Conservatory of Performing Arts alumni are working for Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, a contemporary repertory dance company in Houston, Texas. The graduates discuss why they chose the COPA dance program, share their experiences as a student and offer career advice to aspiring dancers.

Pictured is COPA alumnus Franco Nieto. Franco Nieto

B.A. in dance, 2009
2012 Recipient of Princess Grace Award
Company Member, Northwest Dance Project

"It's such an honor to be a Point Park alum and a recipient of this award. I still can't wipe the smile off my face. I can't believe I graduated three years ago and had the opportunity to come back to Point Park to teach a master class - it was so great to be back on campus."


Pictured is Reyna Guerra. Reyna Guerra

B.A. in theatre arts, dance minor, 2020
Ikette, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

"The Conservatory of Performing Arts is known for its rigorous training in dance and musical theatre. I knew of the solid reputation of its graduates and felt it was the place to grow as an artist and learn more about the industry."

Pictured is Tony Moux. Tony Moux

B.A. in theatre arts, 2013
Photographer, Headshots by Tony Moux

"Since graduating, I have been published nationally in editorial magazines, photographed and creatively directed campaigns for brands like Dermalogica, PPG Paints and People Magazine. I've had so many opportunities that I was able to build from my college experience."

Pictured is Tianna Davis. Tianna Davis

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2022
Composer, Lyricist, BMI Musical Theatre Workshop

"Most, if not everything I learned at Point Park helped me become the artist I am today. I took everything that I learned from the wonderful faculty, and I ingrained it into all of the work I perform and create."

Jana Larell Glover as Anna of Cleves (center) in SIX, the North American Tour, Boleyn Company. Photo | Joan Marcus Jana Larrell Glover

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2022
Actor, SIX

"I wanted to pick a program that had the most to offer me when auditioning for a college. I visited Point Park during COPA Experience Day, and after interacting with students, taking a class and watching students perform, I felt that Point Park was exactly what I needed."

Pictured is Caleb Mathura. Photo | Darnell Bennett Caleb Mathura

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2022

"I chose Point Park because of the well-rounded musical theatre program that I believed created triple threats. Point Park’s campus is in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, making it the perfect place for me to adjust to city life before moving to New York."

Pictured is Melessie Clark. Photo | Tony Moux Melessie Clark

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2015

"Point Park equipped me with the confidence, materials and skills needed to not only have a successful audition, but it also prepared me for what is required once a role is obtained."

Pictured is Andrea Weinzierl. Photo | Tony Moux Andrea Weinzierl

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2014
Singer, Actress, Dancer, Model

"I chose Point Park because of how well-rounded the Conservatory is. I knew I would get top-notch training in all three disciplines: singing, dancing and acting. I knew the faculty are not only working actors in the industry, but also excellent educators."

Pictured is Connor Russell. Submitted photo. Connor Russell

B.F.A. in musical theatre with a minor in dance, 2012
Ensemble, The Book of Mormon on Broadway

"What I loved about my time at Point Park was the constant focus of training to improve at something I loved doing ... I'm so thankful for the time I had at Point Park and the people I met while I was there. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything."

Pictured is Lamont Walker.Lamont Walker II

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2017
Jermaine Jackson in MJ the Musical on Broadway

"Teachers like Zeva Barzell, John McManus, Robin Walsh, and so many others I was fortunate to work with, knew how to shape young actors who had a passion for their craft ... Point Park taught me how to do the hard work and I was blessed to have professors who shaped the actor I am today."

Pictured is Jeff Gorti. Jeff Gorti

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2016
Performing in Chicago on Broadway

"The training I had at Point Park's Conservatory of Performing Arts prepared me for the rigor of real life ... Also, the facilities that you get to train, rehearse and perform in are absolutely incredible. It is truly top of the line."

Pictured is Benjamin Mapp.Benjamin Mapp

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2007
Recipient of Audelco Award 

"I always loved the moments between classes or after a show. Being around my classmates was great. The musical theatre majors had a vast array of different personalities and good mayhem would ensue when we were together — whether onstage or off. Additionally, I will never forget Kiesha Lalama's morning jazz classes — they were brutal (but so important) and always a great time!"

Pictured is Rianne Lindsey. Submitted photoRianne Lindsey

B.F.A. in theatre production, 2020
Recipient of Altman Lighting Award 

"I went into my freshman year of college knowing next to nothing about the industry I wanted to work in, but the time I spent here gave me the foundation I needed to keep designing and working in this field. Being a part of the theatre production program allowed me to have a broader education, not just in theatrical lighting, and it has ultimately made me a well-rounded artist."

Pictured is Justin Peebles. Submitted photoJustin Peebles

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2008
Resident Choreographer, Disney Cruise Line

"Point Park 100 percent gave me the tools I needed to succeed in the business. However, as a student, I realized that my education in theatre is what I made of it — I had to match at 100 percent."

Pictured is James Ogden II. Photo | Jeff CravottaJames Ogden II

B.F.A. in theatre production (stage-management), 2012
Production Director, Alonzo King LINES Ballet

"As a student, I was the stage manager for gala events, a world-premiere dance production, and two world premiere plays with The REP, earning my card with Actors' Equity Association. Being able to work on plays, musicals and dance productions prepared me to work in performing arts."

Pictured is Tyler Matylewicz. Submitted photoTyler Matylewicz

B.F.A. in theatre production (stage-management), 2016
Production Coordinator, productionglue

"The faculty and staff at the Pittsburgh Playhouse truly shaped the person I am today. Kim Martin and Alicia DiGiorgi guided me through my years at Point Park, helping fine tune my stage-management skills at every step of the way. The personal relationship and investment these two had in my career and life made it possible to be where I am today."

Pictured is Gabriel Florentino. Photo | John AltdorferGabriel Florentino

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2018

"Point Park changed me as an artist, its triple threat approach really prepared me for life in this business. In the last six months, I have played six distinctly different roles that required all very different skill sets. Without having gone through this program I wouldn’t have been able to tackle each one."

Pictured is Perris Drew. Submitted photoPerris Drew

B.A. in theatre (acting), 2016

"Every professor and my entire COPA family impacted me at Point Park. It is because of all of you that I continue to strive to be the best version of myself as an actor. I am truly inspired and extremely grateful for what you’ve contributed to my training and learning. "

Pictured is Faith Kraynik. Submitted photoFaith Kraynik

B.A. in theatre production (stage-management), 2017
Swing Assistant Stage-Manager, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando

"Network, send out resumes and do not be afraid to take a leap of faith. Make that decision to move to a new location if it feels right. You never know who may have a connection or advice on a path to explore. Everyone is valuable and it really is a small community when you branch out of your comfort zone."

Pictured is Sarah Meahl. Submitted photo


Sarah Meahl

B.A. in Musical Theatre, 2012
"Gina" and "Indigo," Cirque du Soleil's PARAMOUR on Broadway

"I loved that I could make my education what I wanted it to be. Point Park's curriculum gives you choices on shaping your education. Additionally, I had incredible teachers who taught me the skills I needed to thrive in New York, and they also gave me pearls of wisdom that I carry with me daily."

copa_phillipirvin_275x230.jpgPhilip Irvin

B.F.A. in theatre production, 2014
Stage Rigging Installer, Pittsburgh Stage, Inc.

"Working on Point Park's new Pittsburgh Playhouse is amazing! I worked in the existing Playhouse in Oakland and am very familiar with those theaters. I can only imagine what faculty and students will be able to do in the new Playhouse."

Pictured is alumnus Justin Fortunato. Submitted photo Justin Fortunato

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2011
Artistic Producing Director, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center

"Point Park taught me to take every opportunity presented to me, and that is exactly what I've done since graduating. I feel very blessed to be able to make a living in the theatre, and I owe Point Park for supplying me with the tools and work ethic to do so."

Pictured are COPA students and alumni performing in the 2017 summer lineup at the Pittsburgh CLO. Submitted photo From Point Park to Pittsburgh CLO

Fifteen alumni and students land roles on-and-off stage

"It's been really amazing to begin my career just down the street from where I received my degree. I love Pittsburgh, and was so impressed to see how much art and culture exists here. I love being able to work with so many of my classmates and friends."

Pictured is Viveca Chow. Submitted photo


Viveca Chow

B.F.A. in Musical Theatre, 2016
Swing, Miss Saigon on Broadway

"The training in Hong Kong is very limited, so I came into the musical theatre program constantly doubting myself. All of the classes at Point Park gave me a solid foundation for technique (especially acting), and built my confidence up so I started to feel like I could be competitive in this field after graduation."

Pictured is Peter Hughes. Submitted photo


Peter Hughes

B.F.A. in Musical Theatre, 2016
Mainstage Performer, Disney Cruise Line

"Point Park prepares triple threats. I found that in my audition with Disney, every aspect of my training was well tested. The ability to enter a room confidently, to learn a new song within minutes, and to keep your space while dancing, were just a few key components of my audition."

Pictured is Tony Yazbeck. Submitted photo Tony Yazbeck

Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, 2016
Broadway Veteran

"I've learned that success comes from who are you are as a person. It's not about what you do or how much money you make, it's really about your own personal character."

Pictured is COPA alumna Nicole Soriano. Nicole Soriano

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2013
Mama Bear, The Berenstain Bears Live!

"I grew exponentially both as an actor and as a person at Point Park. Some of my most influential experiences were definitely in my musical theatre technique classes - that moment when you nail a concept you've been working on for weeks, when you feel more connected to the material than you ever expected or when a classmate makes a breakthrough and you're there to see it happen."

Pictured is alumnus Callan Bergmann. Callan Bergmann

B.A. in theatre, 2010
Lewis, Pippin the Musical

"Going to school at Point Park was the best four years of my life! Growing up in a small town, Downtown Pittsburgh was a perfect fit for me because I needed a stepping stone before moving to New York City. Pittsburgh has so much to offer and it really is a great city."

Pictured is alumna Eileen Janesz. Eileen Janesz

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2014
Elmo, Sesame Street Live

"Point Park provides students the opportunity to grow. There's an extremely eccentric group of students that allows anyone to find the right group of friends. I chose Point Park because the faculty made me feel excited to explore my talents and grow as a person on and off the stage."

Pictured is COPA alumnus Jonathan Freeland. Jonathan Freeland

B.A. in musical theatre, dance minor, 2013
Male jet/shark swing, North American Tour, West Side Story

"The program really speaks for itself when one looks at the graduates. The fact that there are so many working in the field (on national tours, on Broadway and some of the most famous stages in the world) was a huge draw for me. I also loved the number of opportunities both in and outside of school that I would be able to take advantage of as a student. I also loved that the school was located in an urban area, and it actually made the move to New York City much easier."

Pictured is COPA alumna Caitlin Howley. Caitlin Howley

B.A. in technical theatre, 2009
Technical Director, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center

"I was drawn to the hands-on experience that the theatre program offered; for me there is nothing better than a hands-on education. I even apply the same hands-on approach with my own students. I wouldn't change my experience at Point Park for the world. I am so proud of the program that helped to shape me in to the professional woman I am today. I am proud to be a Point Park Pioneer."


Pictured is COPA alumnus Jaron Frand. Jaron Frand

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2012

"I feel really lucky that I was able to be involved in so many of the Conservatory's productions during my time at Point Park. Each of those experiences built up my stamina to keep moving forward in a crazy city like New York."


Pictured is COPA alumnus Kevin James Doyle. Kevin James Doyle

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2008
Writer, Actor, Comedian

"I may have had talent when I got to Point Park, but I would have had no idea how to go about being an actor. I can confidently say from day one in New York I felt prepared. I booked my first national tour the second week I was in New York and got my equity card."

Pictured is COPA alumnus James Ogden. James Ogden

B.F.A. in theatre arts, 2012
Stage Manager, North Carolina Dance Theatre

"The Conservatory of Performing Arts program provides hands-on experience while working with [industry] professionals. There are three student companies of diverse theatrical genres, on top of a professional company, The REP, under the Actor's Equity Association."


Pictured is COPA alumna Daina Michelle Griffith. Daina Michelle Griffith

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2003

"The Conservatory of Performing Arts program provided a safe, artistic outlet that allowed me the opportunity to create and take risks. I trained with professional artists, and discovered that I was actually capable of being an actress when performing in conservatory shows."

Pictured is COPA alumnus Jordan Grubb. Jordan Grubb

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2008

"At Point Park, I was given the chance to be in various conservatory shows and cabarets, participate in workshops and readings with Broadway talent, learn behind-the-scenes work in stage management and stagecraft, perform in a dance company, audition for feature films, work at a professional regional theatre (Pittsburgh Public Theatre), and perform in the New York and Los Angeles showcase for industry personnel. Essentially, I was able to explore every facet of myself as an artist. When I moved to New York, I felt confident, knowing that the vast experience I received in my four years at school would come in handy."

Pictured is COPA alumna Ashley Archambeau. Ashley Archambeau

B.A. in musical theatre, 2009

"My professors at Point Park helped me grow in all aspects of my life. They inspired me to be a better artist and a better person. I considered leaving acting to pursue stage directing, but one of my professors encouraged me to live in the moment and see what happened, to 'be in the struggle because beautiful things will result from the work.'"

Pictured is COPA alumnus Marcus Stevens. Marcus Stevens

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2003
Actor, Writer

"I was challenged in all of my classes by great teachers that stretched me in unbelievable ways and truly taught me to be a versatile actor. The energy at Point Park is warm and inviting, and you can feel that the faculty and the students are a family working together."

Pictured is COPA alumna Dave Droxler. Dave Droxler

B.F.A. in theatre arts, 2001
Actor and Playwright

"When I went to visit Point Park, the thing that piqued my interest the most was the intimacy of the class size and seeing how it helped create relationships, not only with your fellow classmates, but also with your teachers, who have an eclectic range of acting methods."


Pictured is COPA alumnus E. Clayton Cornelious. E. Clayton Cornelious

B.A. in theatre, 1998

"Get as much training as you can while you are at Point Park. This is one of the best schools in the country. Students need to learn more about the business, not just the creative side, because this is a business. That's why they call it show business."


Pictured is COPA alumnus John Magaro. John Magaro

B.F.A. in theatre, 2005

"Point Park grants students great freedom that many other schools do not provide - the freedom to develop as artists inside and outside of the classroom. In the classroom, students have the chance to work with faculty who nurture an appreciation and awareness for theatre. Students at Point Park also have many opportunities to apply what they've learned and develop it further, like working on productions at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and other theatres in community. This allows students to work side-by-side with experienced professionals in an industry setting. That is a priceless gift for students."

Pictured is COPA alumnus Amadeo Fusca. Amadeo Fusca

B.A. in acting, 2009

"I only wanted to do acting if I went to school, and Point Park's program had an excellent reputation. At Point Park, playing Romeo in Romeo & Juliet was a life-changing experience for me. I was so proud and honored to be given the role, that I wanted to make everybody proud in their decision and confidence in my abilities. I studied the role vigorously (in retrospect maybe too vigorously) and put my heart into the production."


Pictured is Ashley C. Stokes. Submitted photo.Ashley C. Stokes

B.F.A. in cinema production, 2018
Producer, WEDU PBS

"My favorite project at Point Park was my senior thesis. I got to spend two semesters creating a documentary about healing with nature ... This class ultimately led me to becoming a documentary filmmaker and I use the skills I learned from it every day."

Pictured is Milky Tran. Milky Tran

B.F.A. in cinema production, 2020
Producer/Director, Jubilee Media

"I loved that you began making and experimenting with film your freshman year ... I’m grateful that Point Park had such a heavy focus on storytelling and allowed me to go through the full process of making a film many, many times."

Pictured is Lauren Keller. Submitted photo.Lauren Keller

B.F.A. in cinema production, 2022

"Point Park accepted my credits easily, which helped with the transferring process. I am a hands-on learner and was excited that Point Park puts a camera in your hands freshman year in this program."

Pictured is Tracy Brigden.Tracy Brigden

M.F.A. in screenwriting and playwriting, 2019
Senior Artistic Producer, Guthrie Theater

"I've had several of my plays performed in theatres around the country, I've had a podcast reach number one on the Apple Podcasts charts and I have a film script in development with a major production company. I would have never thought I could do all that without the learning and encouragement from this M.F.A. program."

Pictured is Giuseppe Esposito.Giuseppe Esposito

B.F.A. in animation, 2019
Motion Graphics Producer, Pittsburgh Penguins

"One of the reasons I chose Point Park was its location. It was hard to beat for me. The equipment and facilities for the animation program are top-notch as well, so make use of it all."

Pictured is Brianna Wuenschel.Brianna Wuenschel

B.A. in cinema production, 2020
2nd unit, locations department, Netflix's Hustle

"I knew that I would have a lot of opportunities in film experience choosing a school in Pittsburgh. The program's immediate immersion in filmmaking was so different from other schools. From the first year you are already creating your own films and this was very important to me in choosing a school."

Pictured is Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters. Submitted photoStephanie Kyung Sun Walters

M.F.A. in screenwriting and playwriting, 2022
Freelance Actor and Playwright

"For a working professional who doesn’t want to uproot their entire life/family, this program is a great fit ... The educators are here to help you succeed when experiencing new mediums or tackling a different format, while also allowing you the space to honor your personal writing style."

Pictured is Joel Cash.Joel Cash

B.A. in cinema production, 2013
Art Department Coordinator, Film and TV Production, Black Label Media

"If you are considering a degree in cinema, just know that work may take you near or far. Be prepared for long hours and sometimes work away from home. The hard work I've put in has been well worth it. Film is forever."

jennifertaorminalawson275.jpgJennifer Taormina-Lawson

B.A. in cinema production, 2013
Associate Attorney, Entertainment Law Firm, New York City

"The classes and faculty at Point Park still impact my work to this day. First, I interned at Sony Music Entertainment and SAG-AFTRA while in law school and I know that I was awarded those opportunities because of my undergraduate education and experience. There is no doubt about that."

Pictured is Mina Hoffman.Mina Hoffman

B.A. in cinema production, 2018
Marketing Coordinator, ViacomCBS

"The most valuable thing Point Park gave me was a supportive network of people ... Additionally, having the hands-on filmmaking experience was priceless. Knowing set etiquette and general production speak is invaluable even in my role as a marketer. It was also the most fun I've ever had!"

Carol-Mullen275.jpgCarol Mullen

M.F.A. in screenwriting and playwriting, 2018

"The faculty in Point Park's M.F.A. program are accomplished, award-winning playwrights and screenwriters. They know what is required to be successful in these industries, and they have created courses that combine theory with practical application."

Pictured is Alyssa Briddes. Submitted photoAlyssa Briddes

B.A. in cinema production, 2016
Into the Unknown: Making of Frozen 2, ABC's 2020, Vice, truTV

"My experience at Point Park taught me the skills you need not just at the top of the food chain, but at the bottom ... Due to the hands-on nature of the program, we all learned on-set etiquette our first year, not just through our professors but through our upperclassmen."

Pictured is alumna Hannah James. Submitted photo Hannah James

B.A. in cinema arts, 2016
Video Coordinator, Little League International

"Point Park was instrumental in preparing me for my career. The cinema arts program allowed me to explore all aspects of filmmaking beginning in my first semester."

Pictured is Heidi Schlegel Ward. Submitted photoHeidi Ward

B.A. in cinema production, 2013
Emmy Award-Winning Freelance Producer

"The biggest trait I incorporate into real life is hard work. If you want to get an A on a project, you'll have to work harder, smarter and be more efficient. The same is true for my career. You just have to work harder than the rest. Persistence and positivity are my secrets to succeeding in the crazy entertainment world."

Pictured are alumni Zak Boyle and Alisyn Blackwell at WQED. Submitted photo Zak Boyle

B.A. in cinema production, 2015
Digital Producer, WQED Multimedia

"Take advantage of all the opportunities that you have. I worked with a lot of upperclassmen my first year and those friendships also got me other jobs in the movie industry. The best way to craft your skill is to be constantly practicing and learning from your mistakes."

Pictured is Hannah Snyder. Photo | Olivia Shipman


Hannah Snyder

B.A. in cinema production, 2017
Production Supervisor/Instructor, Youth Opportunities Unlimited

"Point Park has helped me to expand my production skills and develop myself professionally. My cinema professors have given me real-world experiences and advice that has helped to guide me toward my professional goals within the entertainment industry."

Pictured is Bethany Winchester. Submitted photo


Bethany Winchester

M.F.A. in screenwriting and playwriting, 2016
Casting Associate, American Ninja Warrior

"The M.F.A. program helped open doors for me ... I got my job through my internship, and I wouldn't have gotten my internship without being in Point Park's M.F.A. in Screenwriting and Playwriting program."

Pictured is Alan Stevens, executive director of The Academy Theatre. Submitted photo


Alan Stevens

M.F.A. in screenwriting and playwriting, 2016
Executive Director, Academy Theatre

"I fully believe that joining the M.F.A. program was the best thing I have ever done, it has opened doors for me that I thought would always be closed. I have met amazing writers, made wonderful connections and lifelong friends. The experience, at times, may have been challenging, but I survived and it was well worth it."

Pictured is alumnus Alex Tracy. Photo | Alvin Cruz Alex Tracy

B.A. in cinema arts, 2011
Associate Producer, Method Studios

"I began producing films for Point Park during my first year in the program. That prepared me more than anything. I was ultimately responsible for making sure everything moved smoothly."

Pictured is COPA alumnus Jason Elrod. Jason Elrod

B.A. in cinema arts, 2010
Editor, MTO Productions

"The cinema arts professors did an incredible job of walking us through the production and history of film. They would talk about theories of film and explain the practicalities of working in the industry. I'm still surprised that what I learned in my four years at Point Park continues to apply to my daily professional life. The people that attend and teach there have played a major role in getting me to where I am today."

Pictured is COPA alumna Heidi Schlegel. Heidi Schlegel

B.A. in cinema arts, 2013
Unit Production Manager, "The Chair" series

"The biggest advice I can give is to be as involved as possible. The main reason I have been able to get so much work is because I was able to network. I got to know an extensive amount of people who I went back to after I graduated. They knew how involved I was in school, knew my work ethic and some were able to give me a job right out of school."


Pictured is COPA alumnus Landon Kijowski. Landon Kijowski

B.A. in cinema arts, 2013
Grip/Electrician Swing, "The Chair" series

"Point Park prepared me in unexpected ways. Point Park gave me a well-rounded knowledge in the craft of film. The most important thing I learned was that when you graduate, you are at ground zero - no grades, no class favorite films; everyone is here to work, and you need to establish yourself from the other millions of people trying to get involved in a competitive industry."


Pictured is COPA alumnus Jonathan Joseph. Jonathan Joseph

B.A. in cinema arts, 2009
Line Producer, "The Chair" series

"Point Park has a strong emphasis on practical, hands-on production. Being on set and having to actually produce a large amount of work while in school really helps to prepare you for real-world production."


Pictured is COPA alumna Rebecca Markuson. Rebecca Markuson

B.A. in cinema arts, 2012
Art Department Coordinator, "The Chair" series

"The cinema program gave me the opportunity to learn a number of different roles and how each of those roles works together to make a film, television show, commercial, etc. By the time I graduated, I had a job lined up on a television show and have continued to work since."

Pictured is COPA alumna Missy Haught. Missy Haught

B.A. in cinema arts, 2009
Intern Coordinator, "The Chair" series

"Point Park offers more than many other film schools. If you are looking for a school that will ignite your creativity and broaden your knowledge of filmmaking, film theory and film history, consider Point Park. You will make films, you will study films and you will build a network of talented friends who will not only become your future co-workers, but who will also stand beside you as you re-shape the film industry one film at a time."


Pictured is COPA alumna Maranda Wodzinski. Maranda Wodzinski

B.A. in cinema arts, 2009
Production Manager, Nancy Glass Productions

"The education and training I received at Point Park prepared me for the first few steps into the business. We were encouraged to assist upperclassmen and our professors on their projects/films. It was nice to get a taste of what it was like to be on a real set, and it was very beneficial to work side-by-side with our professors in the field."

Pictured are alumni Jonathan DeCarlo, Cristin Goss and Michael DiGuglielmo, owners of Loose Cannon Creative. Photo | Christopher Rolinson Loose Cannon Creative

B.A. in cinema production, 2009
Co-founders, Loose Cannon Creative

"I wanted to go to school in Downtown Pittsburgh and I wanted to learn to shoot on actual film. Not many schools in the city were still teaching how to shoot and edit real film, because many were only focused on digital, so I knew Point Park would be a perfect fit."

Pictured is COPA alumnus Kevin Kaufmann. Kevin Kaufmann

B.A. in cinema arts, 2009

"Point Park has one of the only digital programs in the country and it's the best. Compared to some of the bigger West Coast cinema programs, the digital focus really gave me an advantage in the professional world. The program allows students to begin writing and working on films as a freshman. Many other programs do not allow their students to begin work toward their majors until their sophomore or junior year."