The new Musical Theater Conservatory Program is open to dedicated and enthusiastic students in grades 8-12 who are ready to commit to a comprehensive musical theater curriculum. The program offers an opportunity to engage in the performing arts at a high level and to explore possibilities for college and career. Conservatory students will meet weekly for Seminar class, to include song interpretation and musical theater scenes. Each trimester a full Broadway musical is studied. Students interested will apply to the program prior to September 1st. Conservatory requirements: a minimum of one acting class, at least four hours of dance per week including ballet and jazz, one hour private voice, Musical Theater Seminar Class, at least one performance ensemble (Dance Ensemble, Glee Club, Troupes).
Musical Theater Seminar
This weekly class focuses on song interpretation, audition preparation and studying and performing scenes from the Musical Theater repertoire.
Musical Theater Conservatory Faculty
Raye Lynn Mercer
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 31 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 FSPA student's résumés include Broadway, national tours, off-Broadway, regional and touring companies, European concert tours, Fox-TV’s American Idol
finals and performances at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris, as well as 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 of THE BLACK BOX, a new performance and event venue located behind FSPA in the heart of downtown Franklin.
FSPA Drama Director
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.
FSPA Assistant Director, Vocal Director
Hallie Wetzell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Occidental College and Master of Music degrees in Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy from New England Conservatory of Music. As FSPA Vocal Director, Hallie oversees the Pro Voice program and serves as music director for all ensembles, as well as productions of the Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) and Electric Youth
. Hallie was the Vocal Director for the FSPA Children’s Choirs for the professional touring companies of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
in 2000 and 2005 and Evita
in 2004. She has been on FSPA’s Faculty since 1998 and became Vocal Director for FPAC in 1999.
Instructor of Voice
Thomas Gareau is a lyric baritone working in the Boston area. He has performed a wide variety of repertoire, from jazz to musical theater to opera and oratorio. As a regular and soloist with the Boston Choral Ensemble, he performed in the memorable production of Thomas Tallis' Spem in alium
at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross as part of the Boston Early Music Festival. Other notable engagements include Odyssey Opera's debut concert production of Wagner's Rienzi
at Jordan Hall. Thomas has appeared in numerous solo recitals performing standard repertoire and unearthing lesser known art songs and arias. Thomas is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory with a BM in Vocal Performance (summa cum laude, member of Pi Kappa Lambda). He also holds his MM in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance from his alma mater, where he served as graduate assistant for undergraduate vocal pedagogy, instructed voice for the Boston Conservatory Vocal Arts Academy, and served as full-time faculty for the Boston Conservatory Vocal/Choral Intensive. Thomas joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2015.