Student and Alumni Stories

Each summer, a multitude of Acting Conservatory students participate in Shakespeare Summerfest Orange County (SOC). Read more about it here!

Isabella Madrigal, (‘20) and Sophia Madrigal, (‘22) named winners of the Dragon Kim Foundation Challenge for their project, Native Storytelling, from which Isabella’s play, Menil and Her Heart was derived. The $5,000 award will foster continued development and performances of the play, which brings to light the contemporary issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Isabella was featured on the Today Show as a National Gold Award Girl Scout before appearing at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City for the 2019 International Day of the Girl Summit. She spoke out against violence against Indigenous women and girls, shared Native Storytelling’s part in this advocacy (including her play, Menil and her Heart) and called global leaders to action. Watch here


Check out their performance!

Aryan Simhadri (ACT) was cast in the lead role of Grover in “Percy Jackson & the Olympians,” coming soon to Disney+.

Alyssa Abiera (ACT, ‘26) was cast in the television series “Roar,” now available on Apple TV.

Zach Hoffman (ACT, ‘22) and Sadie Braverman (ACT, ‘23) performed as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett respectively in Braver Players Theater Company’s production of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”

Jacqueline Vellandi (ACT, ‘22) won the California Young Playwrights contest for her play “Reverie,” which was selected to be featured in the Young Writers Festival in May.

To read more about her work, please click here.

Logan Langevin (ACT, ‘23) was cast in Nickelodeon’s hit sitcom "Side Hustle."

The Orange County Register announced the winners, finalists, and semifinalists for the 8th Annual Artist of the Year Awards, and OCSA had five winners out of seven arts categories this year! The Artist of the Year program honors talented students across the county for their accomplishments in the arts.

Artist of the Year Winners:
Lauren Mei (ACT, ‘23) - Acting

West Mulholland (ACT, ‘23) was cast in the role of Axel on season five of "Animal Kingdom" on TNT.

Mya Gonzales (ACT, ‘23) was cast alongside award-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix in the film "C’mon, C’mon" from A24.

Sophia Madrigal (ACT, ‘22) was honored with an inaugural Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) Gold Award Scholarship. Sophia was selected for demonstrating extraordinary leadership while driving lasting change in her community and beyond through her nonprofit organization, Luke Madrigal Indigenous Storytelling, which focuses on the healing art of Indigenous storytelling. Through her project, Sophia led workshops and also wrote, directed, and performed in the play "Wildflower: Indigenous Spirit."

To read more about Sophia's project, please click here.

Jacki Vellandi (ACT, ‘22) co-produced and released ten of her original songs, which feature piano, guitar, and ukulele, under the name JackiLove.

Lauren Mei (ACT, ‘23) was named a Grand Prize Finalist in The Music Center’s 34th Annual Spotlight Program out of more than 1,500 applicants. Spotlight is a nationally acclaimed arts training and scholarship program for teens that awards more than $100,000 in cash scholarships annually. She was selected among only 14 Grand Prize Finalists who will perform in a virtual grand finale event and receive a $5,000 scholarship.

Ariyah Brown (ACT, ‘21) received second place in the inaugural OC Youth Poet Laureate competition. The OC Poet Laureate program celebrates and honors local poets who exhibit a commitment to not just artistic excellence, but also to civic engagement, youth leadership, and social justice.

Isabella Madrigal (ACT, '20) received the 2020 Marion Mitchell-Wilson Heart of Inlandia Award for her outstanding literary and cultural contribution to the Inland Empire.

To read more, please click here.