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Conservatory of Performing Arts

Alumni Success Stories

Meet our Conservatory of Performing Arts Alumni

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

Alumni

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 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 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 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 Connor Russell. Connor Russell

B.F.A. in musical theatre with a minor in dance, 2012
Actor

"I chose Point Park because of its extremely diverse program. In choosing a college, I wanted a school that had not only an outstanding acting and vocal program, but also an exquisite dance program. Being well trained in all aspects of your art is very valuable in working in the performance field, and my training at Point Park helped prepare me in that respect."


Pictured is COPA alumnus Jaron Frand. Jaron Frand

B.F.A. in musical theatre, 2012
Actor

"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 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 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 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
Actress

"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 Shawn D. Bronson. Shawn D. Bronson

B.A. in cinema arts, 2008
Art Director

"The cinema arts program is a great start to introduce yourself to and try out the many different areas that a career in film has to offer. In addition to that, with the continual professional filming that has been occurring in the Pittsburgh area, I think the program lends you the opportunities for internships and post-graduation entry-level positions to gain experience and build your network that will help you get to where you want to be someday."


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 is COPA alumnus Amadeo Fusca. Amadeo Fusca

B.A. in acting, 2009
Actor

"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 COPA alumnus Kevin Kaufmann. Kevin Kaufmann

B.A. in cinema arts, 2009
Director/Producer


"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."


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 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
Actor

"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 alumna Marlana Dunn.

Marlana Dunn

B.A. in musical theatre, 2007
Actress

"The conservatory program taught me to be a well-rounded performer. I was able to identify my strengths and weaknesses, which have prepared me to execute my work well in a rehearsal process and performance. I feel very well prepared for what I might encounter in the professional world."


Pictured is COPA alumnus John Magaro. John Magaro

B.F.A. in theatre, 2005
Actor

"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 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 Ashley Archambeau. Ashley Archambeau

B.A. in musical theatre, 2009
Actress

"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 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 COPA alumnus Adam Meys. Adam Meys

B.F.A. in stage management, 2007
Entertainment Technician, Disney's Animal Kingdom

"Point Park gave me every opportunity to succeed. The class sizes were small, so I got the individual attention I needed from all of my instructors, who always truly cared about my education. The schedule was extremely demanding with all my classes, rehearsals, shows and work, but I wouldn't change a thing. Point Park really made me the person I am today."


Pictured is COPA alumnus Jordan Grubb. Jordan Grubb

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

"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."