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FSPA College Prep

It’s not too early to begin thinking about the college application process! Let FSPA help you apply to college performing arts programs as well as other options to keep the arts in your college experience.

Services include help with Applications, Essay Development, College List Selection, Schedule and Audition Strategy, Coaching, Audition Preparation and Video Submissions.  Sessions can be customized and scheduled on an as-needed basis.

Director Raye Lynn Mercer and her staff annually prepare high school seniors for college and conservatory auditions, with placement at such prestigious programs as Baldwin Wallace University, Berklee College of Music, Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, Connecticut College, Eastman School of Music, Elon University, Emerson College, Hartt School of Music, Ithaca College, James Madison University, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, NYU-Tisch School of the Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, Oklahoma City University, Pace University, Pennsylvania State University, Princeton University, Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (London), Syracuse University, UCLA, University of Miami, University of Southern California (USC), and Wagner College.

College Prep Team

Raye Lynn Mercer

College Consulting, Staging of Songs

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.  

Aaron Andrade

Monologue Preparation

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.

Jackie Evans

Essays and Applications

Jackie Evans received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory of Music (five-year, double degree program). She earned a Master of Education degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy, with a focus on higher education, from Harvard University. Prior education also includes the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (Young Artists Vocal Program) and the University of Pennsylvania Italian Studies Institute. Jackie was an Admission Counselor at New England Conservatory, with primary responsibility for nation-wide student recruitment. As Assistant Director of the Simmons College Dorothea Lynde Dix Scholars Program, she was the Undergraduate Admission representative responsible for the recruitment of non-traditional age college students and transfers. Jackie currently works in marketing as promotional writer for the Franklin School for the Performing Arts and the Franklin Performing Arts Company. With extensive writing experience, her publications portfolio in higher education and the performing arts includes numerous catalogues, brochures, feature articles, website content, social media, and funded grant applications. 

Casey Harkness Andrade

Pre-Screen Choreography (Jazz)

Casey Harkness Andrade has been a professional choreographer, educator and performer for more than 10 years. She received her BA in dance performance from Rhode Island College, where she trained and studied with exceptional choreographers such as Clay Talifaro, Sean Curran and Mark Taylor. She continues her education at Broadway Dance Center in New York City, where she studies weekly with Michelle Barber, Chio, Justin Boccittio and Diana Laurenson. Her choreography has been recognized both regionally and nationally with numerous awards. While a member of the Andary Dance Company, Casey had the wonderful opportunity to perform at the Cunningham School in New York City. In 2011 Casey became an adjudicator and choreographer for the Elite Dance Challenge regional and national competition. Casey is an adjunct faculty member at Rhode Island College and has been on faculty at FSPA since 2011.

Cheryl Madeux

Pre-screen Choreography (Ballet)

memberphotoCheryl Madeux received her training at the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts under the direction of Sharon Dante and Donna Bonasera. Ms. Madeux has enjoyed a long professional career, dancing with such venerable companies as the Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet & Theatre, and as principal dancer with the Hartford Ballet. Ms. Madeux has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe, worked with leading choreographers including Gerald Arpino, Kirk Peterson and Twyla Tharp, and been coached by such ballet luminaries as Igor Youskevitch and Eleanor D’Antuono. Her extensive classical repertoire includes all the full-length classical productions as well as principal roles in The Nutcracker, Giselle, Coppelia, The Firebird, Balanchine’s Serenade, Spectra de La Rose and much more. Among her accomplishments, Ms. Madeux was awarded first place in the National Society of Arts and Letters Ballet Competition at age 15, was a finalist in the Third Paris International Ballet Competition and the Prix de Lausanne, and was awarded a Level 1 Presidential Scholar in Dance. Many of Ms. Madeux’s FSPA Ballet Conservatory students have been accepted to some of the most prestigious summer programs available and a select few recently participated and advanced to the finals of the Youth America Grand Prix in NY. Ms. Madeux is also a summer faculty member for the ABT® Young Dancers Program in NY and an examiner for the ABT® Teacher Training Curriculum. She was recently a guest judge and teacher for the IV Connecticut Classic Ballet Competition. Ms. Madeux joined the FSPA Dance Faculty in 2002.

Clyde Nantais

Pre-screen Choreography (Ballet) 

Clyde Nantais joined the FSPA Dance Faculty in 1992. He holds a BFA from Boston Conservatory and a Master of Education from Temple University. He has performed leading roles in Equity Summer Stock and dinner theater productions. Mr. Nantais danced with Boston Ballet for seven years before teaching in its school for 17 years. He also was the principal ballet teacher at the National Institute of the Arts in Taipei. He has served as Ballet Master for the Boston Conservatory Dance Theater, the Berkshire Ballet and the Pioneer Valley Ballet. As choreographer, he has staged over 50 original works for more than 40 companies and schools worldwide. Mr. Nantais is the Executive Director of the Boston Dance Company Studios and Associate Director of the Boston Dance Company. He also teaches Advanced Ballet for Musical Theater students at The Boston Conservatory and is on the faculty of the Boston Ballet and Charlotte Klein Dance Centers.  

Nick Paone

Monologue Preparation, Staging of Songs

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.   

Hallie Wetzell

College Consulting

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.  

Private Lesson Faculty

Vocal Preparation and Repertoire Selection

Franklin School for the Performing Arts
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