Thursday, October 7, 2021

FSPA Re-Opens Broadway

Alumni and Broadway Faculty from the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) have been on stage in the reopening casts of many Broadway shows. This September marked the return of the Great White Way since the shutdown in March 2020. FSPA is currently represented in the Broadway companies of WICKED and Waitress and the North American Tour of Hamilton.

FSPA musical theater alum Dan Gleason returned to the Broadway cast of WICKED when it re-opened on Tuesday, September 14. Gleason appears in the ensemble and understudies the lead role of Fiyero. His other credits include the national tours of American Idiot and Miss Saigon. Of his years growing up at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts Gleason says, "I owe a lot of my consistent vocal health and technique throughout the rigorous run to my years at FSPA.  Healthy singing habits were ingrained in my body and now have become second nature. FSPA set me up for success in life and I am so thankful for my years of training in my hometown." 

Joining Dan in the reopening cast of WICKED, is FSPA Broadway Faculty Member Kevin Massey. Massey’s Broadway credits include A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Memphis, Tarzan, and Big River (Deaf West). He is a UNC-Chapel Hill Morehead-Cain Scholar. As a member of the FSPA Broadway Faculty, Massey is available to the musical theater students for one-on-one vocal and acting coaching. “I have an amazing time working with FSPA,” notes Massey. “The students are so talented and responsive to coaching. It is so exciting to see immediate improvement and their confidence build. No matter the level, there is always so much to work with.”

Christopher Rice-Thomson, a member of FSPA’s Broadway Faculty for singing, acting, dancing, and marketing for performers, is currently on the road with the hit musical Hamilton. Rice-Thomson’s Broadway credits include Pretty Woman and The Book of Mormon and the tours of West Side Story (Baby John, Tony understudy) and White Christmas. His viral #Tappy YouTube videos have received over 10 million views and been featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, The Meredith Vieira Show, On Air with a Ryan Seacrest, and more. Rice-Thomson has appeared with Franklin Performing Arts Company as Jack Kelly in Newsies and in his own creation: Christopher Rice’s The Tappy Christmas Special: LIVE!

FSPA Broadway Faculty Member for Voice and Acting Emily Koch returns to Waitress on Broadway understudying the show’s star and composer Sara Bareilles. Koch’s credits include WICKED (Elphaba) and Godspell with the Berkshire Theatre Group.  In Franklin, Koch has headlined FPAC’s Broadway In Franklin Weekend, THE BLACK BOX Sings… WICKED, and appeared as a guest with viral A Cappella sensation T.3 at THE BLACK BOX. 

The Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) is still enrolling for the 21-22 school year. FSPA is a home for performing artists of all ages, abilities, and interests. Founded in 1985 by Director Raye Lynn Mercer, FSPA is a unique place where students can participate in an array of music, dance, and drama programs with professional instruction and extraordinary performing opportunities. FSPA offers programming for students as young as 18 months. Students are able to “discover their FSPA” and take class from one day a week to six. For more information about FSPA and its programs, visit, call 508-528-8668, or stop by 38 Main St. in Franklin. Follow FSPA on Facebook, Instagram (@fspaonline), and YouTube. 


FSPA Re-Opens Broadway
FSPA Re-Opens Broadway

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