Fort Wayne Summer Music Theatre 2024 



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 skillset as young performers.  Our program will utilize student technicians, led 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.

production history

2023: The Phantom of the Opera

2022: Hairspray

2021: Les Misérables 

2020: Covid-19 :(

2019: West Side Story 

2018: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

2017: Addams Family the Musical

2016: Beauty and the Beast

2015: RENT 

2014: Hairspray

2013: 9 to 5: the Musical

2012: Legally Blonde: the Musical

2011: West Side Story

2010: Sweeney Todd

2009: Rent: School Edition

2008: Titanic: A New Musical

2007: Aida

2006: Jekyll & Hyde

2005: Sweeney Todd

2004: Ragtime

2003: Les Misérables

2002: Footloose

2001: Hello, Dolly!

2000: Grease

1999: How to Succeed in Business (Without Really Trying)


A message from Executive Artistic Director, Andrew Sherman

Hello, and welcome to the Fort Wayne Summer Music Theatre in conjunction with Indiana Musical 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 Jeanette 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 Jeanette, 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 9,200 students from close to 30 different schools around Northern Indiana. 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 42,000 theatre-goers over the last 20 years.

Then in 2019, FWSMT team was lucky enough to have Leslie Koehlinger Russ come into our lives. With her help Kirby and I created Indiana Musical Theatre Foundation Inc. This non-for-profit organization is now the umbrella under which FWSMT sits. Thanks to Leslie, FWSMT will continue to grow and thrive for years to come. 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 and IMTF!