The Freelance Players, Inc. uses theater to foster imagination, self expression, mutual respect, and confidence in young people. Freelance promotes community by building bridges across ethnic, geographic and socio-economic boundaries in greater Boston. Freelance engages youth in the creation and performance of original musical theater for audiences of all ages.
The Freelance Players' company Urban Improv is a violence prevention program for young people that uses structured theater improvisation to teach decision making, impulse control, and values clarification. Urban Improv provides interactive workshops that challenge students to deal creatively with major issues in their lives.
Beginning in 1974, as an acting company for young actors ages 8 to 16, Freelance Players, Inc. has produced original musical theater performed by children for audiences of all ages. The quality of the Players program produced a large demand for participation. In response, Freelance expanded its programs during the 1980's by adding four acting companies for children 8-12, and story theater classes for younger children.
The Freelance Press, founded in 1979, publishes the original musicals for young people developed by the Freelance Players and promotes the Multi-arts Program model. The Multi-arts model is currently in use for summer arts programs at over 30 independent schools around the United States.
In 1992, in response to growing urban violence, the board of the Freelance Players committed itself to developing a program directed to children at risk. In 1993, Freelance initiated the Urban Improv program in collaboration with the Boston Public Schools and Roxbury Community College. This year 800 Boston public school students will participate in Urban Improv. Workshops are held at the Reggie Lewis Center of Roxbury Community College during the school day. Afterschool programs are held in Roxbury, Dorchester, and South Boston. The program uses music and theatre improvisation to teach decision making skills, values clarification, and violence prevention.
Today, Freelance staff, alums and supporters continue to recognize the power of theater to transform lives and the “rehearsal for life” philosophy. Many are now loyal Urban Improv supporters, board members, staff and volunteers.
Urban Improv has also provided programs in collaboration with schools (public and private) and organizations throughout New York and New England. Click here for more information.