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In 1985, Raye Lynn Mercer, founder and entrepreneur, departed from her private studio of 35 piano students with a vision, and opens the doors of the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) at 38 Main Street, Franklin, Massachusetts, offering the region a one-of-a-kind performing arts education program to include music, dance, and drama under one roof.

FSPA Milestones

1985 FSPA opens.
Dance Company is organized.
First Holiday Showcase is presented.
1986 First Spring Concert is presented at Horace Mann Auditorium.
SummerStage program begins presenting dinner theater.
1987                        FSPA presents The Nutcracker with orchestra and guests from Boston Ballet.
Discussions of developing a production company begin.
1989                        Broadway Light is initiated as FSPA’s first musical theater troupe.
1991                        Franklin Performing Arts Company is incorporated.
1996                        FSPA Children’s Choir wins Boston Globe Choral Challenge and is cast in 3-month run of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Boston’s Colonial Theater.
FSPA’s Broadway Light performs at Disney World, initiating annual trip.
1997                        Two FSPA children are cast in 3-month run of Showboat at The Wang Center.
1998                        FSPA Youth Choir travels to Vienna for first European concert tour.
1999                        FSPA adds street level space at 38 Main; opens new Spotlight Shop and additional  studio.
2000                        FSPA European concert tour includes Austria and Italy.
FSPA students appear in a two-week run of Joseph at Boston’s Colonial Theater.
2002                        FSPA presents Kids ‘n America tour of the East Coast following the events of 9-11.
New space on street level includes new dance and rehearsal studio, music studios and business office.
2003                        Electric Youth is organized, records CD and tours Europe.
2004                        Eight FSPA students are cast in the Boston run of the national tour of Evita.
2005                        Little Music School is introduced at FSPA.
FSPA students are cast in a two-week run of Joseph at Boston’s Colonial Theater.
2006                        FSPA’s Ayla Brown is a finalist on American Idol.
2013                        FSPA’s Jack Mullen goes on the national tour of Beauty and the Beast.
Electric Youth tours England and France for the first time.
FSPA Ballet Conservatory collaborate with MetroWest Symphony Orchestra.
2014                        FSPA Ballet Conservatory collaborates with Symphony Pro Musica.
FSPA introduces full calendar of all-student productions at THE BLACK BOX.
FSPA Musical Theater Conservatory is introduced.

FSPA launches new website.
Alum Dan Gleason debuts on Broadway in Wicked.
FSPA Music Conservatory certificate program introduced.
FSPA introduces Academy+ which includes FSPA Academy, AfterSchool, Transporation and College Prep

2017 FSPA young pianist takes the stage at Carnegie Hall
FSPA expands to the entire building of the Felix Cataldo Block
2018 Intermission opens
FSPA holds first All-Age Prom! 
2019 FSPA Celebrates 35th Anniversary 
2020 FSPA launches VirtualFSPA during the pandemic
FSPA introduces Broadway Faculty
2021 FSPA produces a movie musical


Franklin School for the Performing Arts
 2024 FSPA