Creative Team

RAYE LYNN MERCER

Director/Choreographer

A graduate of Middlebury College, Raye Lynn Mercer attended the Vienna International Music Center in Vienna, Austria. A pianist, director, producer, and choreographer, she is the founder and director of the Franklin School for the Performing Arts in Massachusetts. Her school's student resumes include placement in top college and conservatory arts programs, numerous Broadway shows, national tours, feature films, T.V., regional theater, the American Idol finals, cruise ships, professional opera, ballet, and more. Combining profession and hobby, Raye Lynn has directed Symphony of Horses productions across the country. President and Artistic Director of the Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC), Raye Lynn is the visionary behind the development of THE BLACK BOX, an innovative performance and event venue. With FPAC, she has directed Broadway stars, Equity professionals, amateur actors, and students in 28 seasons of productions since 1991. Electric Youth was preceded by a large musical theater chorus from the Franklin School for the Performing Arts and concert trips to Vienna in 1998 and 2000. Under Raye Lynn’s direction in 2003, a smaller, sleeker ensemble adopted the name Electric Youth and went abroad with a fully choreographed show of popular hits and show tunes under her direction.

 

HALLIE WETZELL

Music Director

Hallie Wetzell has been the resident music director for Electric Youth since the group’s beginning in 2003. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theater from Occidental College and Master of Music Degrees in Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy from New England Conservatory of Music. She also serves as the Vocal Director for the Franklin School for the Performing Arts, overseeing the Voice Department as well as teaching voice classes, private students, and serving as music director for all ensembles. 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 performed in numerous productions and ensembles in genres ranging from musical theater, to cabaret, to opera, to oratorio, to straight plays. In 1999, Hallie became the resident Music Director for the Franklin Performing Arts Company. Recently, she served on the Executive Board of the Boston Chapter of the National Association of the Teachers of Singing. Hallie’s students have been accepted to such prestigious musical theater and classical voice programs at colleges and universities including Carnegie Mellon, Syracuse, Oberlin, NYU, Eastman, Oklahoma City University, Penn State, Hartt School of Music, Boston Conservatory, and New England Conservatory.

KELLIE STAMP

Associate Choreographer

Kellie Stamp has been the associate choreographer for Electric Youth since the group’s beginning in 2003. After receiving her Masters of Performing Arts Degree from Emerson College, she continued her tap and jazz training at the On Stage Academy for the Performing Arts, as well as with Rosemarie Boyden and at the Broadway Dance Center in NYC. She has also studied Dance for Musical Theater with Broadway actress and choreographer, Leslie Woodies. In addition to teaching tap and jazz classes at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts, Kellie is one of the choreographers for their ensembles Broadway Light and Broadway Ladies. She serves as Director of FSPA Dance Ensembles and choreographer for many FSPA and FPAC productions. Kellie first joined FSPA in 2001. Her performing credits include lead roles in 42nd Street, West Side Story, Sweet Charity, and FPAC productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Cinderella, Into the Woods, Anything Goes, Cabaret, and more.

CHERYL MADEUX

Guest Choreographer

Ms. 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. Ms. Madeux is also a summer faculty member for the ABT® Young Dancers Program in NY and an examiner for the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She was recently a guest judge and teacher for the IV Connecticut Classic Ballet Competition. Ms. Madeux joined the Franklin School for the Performing Arts Dance Faculty in 2002.

NICK PAONE

Technical Director/Guest Choreographer

Nick Paone has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Occidental College. A former Equity performer, his professional credits include Cabaret, Oklahoma, Red Roses, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Little Shop of Horrors, and Romeo and Juliet. Nick has written and directed numerous shows and he also produced an evening of one-act plays in New York City. He has traveled all over the US performing with TheatreWorks USA. Nick has been on the Drama faculty at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts since 2001. An actor and director with the Franklin Performing Arts Company, his extensive credits include Seussical, Fiddler on the Roof, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Music Man, Disney’s Newsies, Humbug!, and many many more.

 

CASEY HARKNESS ANDRADE

Guest Choreographer

Casey Harkness Andrade has been a professional choreographer, educator and performer for more than 10 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts 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 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 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 Dean College and has been on faculty at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts since 2011 where she currently serves as Dance Director.

 

ALI FUNKHOUSER​

Guest Choreographer

Ali Funkhouser is a NYC-based actor, singer, and dancer. A former member of Electric Youth (2009-2014), Ali toured the U.K., France, Italy, Austria, and Slovenia with the group, performed aboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, and can be heard on their albums All Amped Up and Power Chord. She appeared in the national tours of Joseph...Dreamcoat and Evita. Other credits include Legally Blonde (Margot, u/s Elle Woods) at The LEX, Suor Angelica (La Novizia) with Chelsea Opera NYC, Hairspray (Penny Pingleton), Company (April), and How to Succeed in Business…(Smitty). With the Franklin Performing Arts Company Ali has appeared in Disney’s Newsies (Katherine Plumber), Joseph...Dreamcoat (Narrator), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), and more. Ali has a Bachelor of Music in Music Theatre from Oklahoma City University’s Bass School of Music. In NYC, she studies Improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade, dance at Broadway Dance Center, and voice with Sara Jean Ford.

Derek Pisano

Sound Designer

Derek Pisano has been the resident sound designer for Electric Youth since 2003. Additionally, he is the resident sound designer for the Franklin Performing Arts Company. Derek is the chief engineer at MockingBird Recording Studio, where he is also a music teacher. With his band, Thieves in Mono, Derek released the album “One.”

 

 
 
 2019 Electric Youth