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Drama Faculty

Raye Lynn Mercer

Director

Founder of the Franklin School for the Performing Arts, Raye Lynn Mercer received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from Middlebury College and attended the Vienna International Music Center in Vienna, Austria, where she studied with Maria-Regina Seidlhofer of the Academy of Music. Her teachers included Guiseppe deLellis, Diana Fanning, Gabriel Chodos and Yoriko Takahashi. Pianist, director and choreographer, Raye Lynn has presented 34 seasons of musicals, plays, concerts and dance productions with FSPA and the community-based Franklin Performing Arts Company, established in 1991. Raye Lynn serves as Administrator of the school, oversees the FSPA musical theater program and directs the international touring ensemble Electric Youth. Her school’s student résumés include Broadway’s Matilda and Wicked, Lincoln Center, national Broadway tours, regional companies, European concert tours, Fox-TV’s American Idol, annual performances at Walt Disney World, and placement in top college and conservatory arts programs. Combining profession and hobby, Raye Lynn has directed Symphony of Horses productions across the country. Internationally, she has developed Electric Youth’s professional concert tours in Europe and taught musical theater workshops in Austria and Hong Kong. President and Executive Director of the Franklin Performing Arts Company, Raye Lynn is the visionary behind THE BLACK BOX, a performance and event venue located behind FSPA in the heart of downtown Franklin.    

Nick Paone

FSPA Drama Director, Instructor of Acting and Improvisation

Nick Paone holds a BA in Theater from Occidental College. A former Equity performer, Nick traveled all over the US performing with TheaterWorks, USA. His regional performing credits include Cabaret, Macbeth, The Wedding Singer, Little Shop of Horrors, Pirates of Penzance and The Tempest. Nick has written, conceived and directed for the Franklin Performing Arts Company since 2001. In 2007 he created FPAC’s Whatever Theater Festival, a week-long festival of one-act plays, Shakespeare on the Common and musical entertainment. Nick joined the FSPA Drama Faculty in 2001.  

Aaron Andrade

Instructor of Acting

Aaron Andrade holds a BA in Performance and an MFA in Performance and Society. He has performed throughout New England at such theaters as Trinity Repertory Company, The Trinity Summer Shakespeare Project, Company One, Daydream Theatre Company, Beowulf Theatre and Elemental Theatre Company and as a company member at The Providence Black Repertory Company. Aaron has toured the country in dual language versions of Don Quixote and Cyrano de Bergerac. He has been featured on screen in the films Future Justice, Charles & Bone, Permanent, Side by Each and others. Past favorite roles include Eugene in Yellowman, Othello, and Javert in Les Misérables. In 2013 Aaron was invited to perform the role of Clay in Dutchman at the New England Theater Conference, representing faculty and staff of Rhode Island College. Currently he is the regional and nationals host for Elite Dance Challenge Competition and an adjunct faculty member of Rhode Island College Theater Department. Aaron joined the FSPA Drama Faculty in 2013.

Ben Cameron

Broadway Faculty - Voice and Acting

Ben Cameron is your Broadway Buddy! Ben is a Broadway veteran having appeared in Footloose (original cast), Aida, and a little show called Wicked (original cast, if you listen to track #2 of the Wicked cast album you can hear Ben drop the plot pivotal line, "Glinda, is it true you were her friend?" He has toured the US and Europe in productions of Footloose, Fame, The Who's Tommy, State Fair, and Sweet Charity (playing opposite Molly Ringwald). He has enjoyed 2 sold out runs of his 1 man show "Different is Good" in 2005 and 2010. He continues to write, direct, and choreograph intimate shows for Broadway and cabaret stars at some of NYC's most notable venues. Ben has served on the faculties of NYU's CAP21 studio and Wagner College and as creative consultant for Mapinspired:The Storytellers' Dance Company. Ben continues to teach dance and theatre workshops and choreograph around the world.   Ben is the creator of Broadway Sessions. Sessions has been running for over 8 years and brings Broadway's brightest together at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. Since creating Sessions, Ben has become one of the theatre community’s most beloved hosts and personalities. Ben has also produced web series My Broadway Bar, Dance Captain Dance Attack, and Broadway ObSessions.

Amanda Dubois

Instructor of Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Musical Theater

Amanda Dubois has Bachelor of Arts degrees in Dance Performance and Communications from Rhode Island College. Her musical theater performance credits include Godspell, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and It’s All Your Parents’ Fault!  Dance performance credits include Triptych, Arms of Justice, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, La Giornata Omicida and A Long Memory. Amanda joined the FSPA Drama and Dance Faculty in 2016.  

Sara Jean Ford

Broadway Faculty - Voice and Acting

Sara Jean Ford is best known for starring as Christine Daaé on Broadway and in the National Tour of the worldwide sensation The Phantom of the Opera. Also on Broadway: CATS (Jellylorum), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Smitty), A Little Night Music (Mrs Anderssen, Anne/Petra cover), and Finian's Rainbow (Arlene, Sharon cover). Off-Broadway: The Fantasticks (Luisa, Revival Cast Recording). Broadway in Chicago: WICKED (Glinda/Nessa Rose cover). Regional: The Music Man (Marian), Into the Woods (Cinderella), Sunday in the Park With George (Dot), Candide (Cunegonde), Carousel (Carrie), and originated the role of Nellie Oleson in Little House on the Prairie. Concerts: Dream of Now Dream of Then, Anyone Can Whistle at City Center Encores!, Defying Gravity: The Music of Stephen Schwartz and Eric Whittacre at Lincoln Center, Paradise Lost at Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre, and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Sara is the proud mama of Annie.

Ali Funkhouser

Instructor of Acting, Musical Theater, Piano, Voice & Repertoire Consultation

Ali Funkhouser has a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theatre from Oklahoma City University. Her performing credits include the national tours of Joseph...Dreamcoat and Evita, Legally Blonde (The LEX), Puccini's Suor Angelica (Chelsea Opera NYC), Hairspray, Company, How to Succeed..., and more. She has performed her solo cabaret show "I Only Wanna Laugh" at NYC's Don't Tell Mama. Ali studied improv comedy at Upright Citizens Brigade. Learn more at www.alifunkhouser.com Ali joined the FSPA Music, Drama, and Voice faculty in 2020.

Jim Hogan

Broadway Faculty - Voice and Acting

Jim Hogan has been seen in the national tours of Waitress, The Phantom of the Opera, and Spring Awakening. His regional credits include The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Broadway at Music Circus), The Circus in Winter (Goodspeed), and Ragtime (Arden Theatre Co.) Jim appeared in The Seagull (dir. Michael Mayer). Workshop credits include The 12 (dir. John Doyle). Jim received his BFA in Musical Theater from Penn State University. He appears as a soloist with Symphony Orchestras across the country and is a member of the viral sensation #T3 whose videos have been viewed over 10 million times! See what everyone’s talking about: @jimhogan220 and @t.3official 

Kara Lindsay

Broadway Faculty - Voice and Acting

Kara Lindsay has a BFA from Carnegie Mellon. Her Broadway credits include Wicked (Glinda), Newsies (Katherine, Original Cast and Fathom Events Film), and Beautiful (Cynthia Weil). National Tour credits include Wicked (Glinda) and Little House on the Prairie (Laura). Regional credits include Newsies at Paper Mill Playhouse, Little House on the Prairie at The Guthrie, Mary Poppins at North Carolina Theatre, Cinderella at Kansas City Starlight, Cabaret at Kansas City Rep, and Lone Star Love at The 5th Avenue Theatre among others.

Kevin Massey

Broadway Faculty - Voice and Acting

Kevin Massey graduated from UNC Chapel Hill as a Music Major on the Pre-Med track. When a friend convinced him to move to NYC for one crazy year before going off to med school for 8-12 more years, he found himself on the European tour of GREASE! playing Doody and began to imagine a life in the theater. After making his Broadway debut in the Tony Nominated Sign Language Rival of Big River, he decided perhaps this is where his path should go for now. Since then, Kevin’s been in 3 more broadway shows, understudying and playing the leads in the original cast of TARZAN (Tarzan), Memphis (Huey), and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (Monty). He re-created Monty for the 1st National Tour of Gentleman's Guide, toured with Big River, and played Tarzan in german in the Hamburg production of TARZAN.
Kevin has originated lead roles in Bonnie and Clyde (Ted, Asolo Rep), Little House on the Prairie (Almanzo, Guthrie, Paper Mill, 1st National Tour), Three Musketeers (D’Artagnan, Chicago Shakespeare), Bella (Bonny Johnny/Snaggletooth, Playwrights Horizons), Grumpy Old Men (Jacob, Ogunquit), and The Rivals (Jack Absolute, Bristol Riverside Theater).  Check out his resume for a more complete list at www.kevinmassey.com

Kim Rezendes

FSPA Assistant Director, Director of Little Music School and Children's Music, Instructor of Piano and Musical Theater

Kim Rezendes graduated magna cum laude from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and from Rhode Island College with a Master’s Degree in Teaching Music. As coordinator of Children’s Music at FSPA, she also serves as Program   Director for the Little Music School and Instructor of Musical Theater. Kim serves as Associate Organist at St. Mary Church in Franklin. One of FSPA’s first students, Kim joined the FSPA faculty in 1997.  

Franklin School for the Performing Arts
 
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