From the Director...

Hello, and welcome to the Fort Wayne Summer Music Theatre!  It is my honor to tell you a little bit about the history of our program.


In 1999, two high school directors, Kirby Volz and Janette Walsh, started a summer theatre program with Fort Wayne Community Schools. This program was designed so that eager high school students from any area high school would have an opportunity to spend their summer vacation involved in the theatre. The program was based around the ideas of furthering arts education within our community while also training the students to a higher skill-set as young performers.


Three years later, the funding for this summer program was cut and the future became uncertain for many of its student performers.  Feeling strongly about the program, the obvious decision by the programs director’s, Kirby and Janette, was to keep the program going by seeking funding from outside sources and supporters.


Through the hard work of the students, parents, local business, and program sponsors, enough money was raised that the program was able to continue, hence- fourth known as the Fort Wayne Summer Music Theatre.


The program went on to flourish, providing the opportunity for summer involvement of high school theatre students for the next 16 years. Under the continued direction of Kirby Volz and his amazing support team, the total student involvement since the program’s conception has reached to over 9,000 students. This growing number includes student actors, musicians, designers, and technicians. FWSMT is proud to have a long list of alumni now working as actors, educators, dancers, designers, and technicians all around the world including professional national and regional tours. The FWSMT has performed to an audience base of over 40,000 theatregoers over the last 20 years.


I am so excited for the future growth of this program, and proud of the impact it has already had on so many young performers. Please join us as we continue to thrive and grow FWSMT for the next 20 years!   



                                                                                                                    Andrew Sherman

                                                                                                      Program Director


Program Mission Statement


The Fort Wayne Summer Music Theatre is proud to provide students with a bigger challenge as actors, singers, dancers, musicians and technicians. FWSMT will continue to present stage productions of a larger scale than students would experience in their own high school programs. FWSMT will offer students an eight-week intensive production schedule that includes singing, acting, dancing, set construction, and stage combat. By the end of the process, it is our goal that students leave with a more advanced skill-set as young performers.  Our program will utilize student technicians, lead by professional educators to teach the craft of set, lighting, sound, and costume design. Any student may audition for any role; none are pre-cast or limited to any student because of their race, weight, religious views, handicap, or sexual orientation. The students will be treated with the same respect and professionalism that they would find in the professional world of performance.