As Chair of Rehearsal for Life and Co-Producer of Banned in Boston, we are sharing exciting changes in our organization. This is a critical time for Rehearsal for Life, as we have built significant momentum as leaders in social-emotional learning and creative youth development — 46 years in the making. In July 2021, Kippy Dewey and Narcissa Campion, the heart and soul of our organization, are stepping into new advocacy roles for Rehearsal for Life.
There are great partnerships in theater: Gilbert and Sullivan. Lerner and Lowe. Ahrens and Flaherty. Kippy and Cissa are right up there with them. This dynamic duo, and their near 50-year working partnership in the world of children’s theater, have changed the lives of over 100,000 students and their families and communities. On behalf of the Board, we want to express our deepest gratitude for all they have done to build this organization from an idea to a well-recognized force for good and social change. We look forward to continuing to benefit from their wisdom, tenacity, and collaborative relationships, even as their day-to-day involvement with the organization evolves.
Kippy is a true visionary. She has the unique gift of creating safe and nurturing spaces in which to connect with and support her students. A deep river of respect and empathy runs through her, as well as an enormous sense of humility. When faced with challenges and conflicts, Kippy, with her profound understanding of human nature, works toward conciliation and harmony. She is the standard-bearer of our values and beliefs.
Known as “Miss Banned in Boston” by politicians, industry titans, and the paparazzi alike, Cissa has been the mastermind behind the madcap revue “Banned in Boston” for 25 years. This event has raised millions for Urban Improv and put Rehearsal for Life on the map. She is a rare blend of composer, lyricist, and artist with a manager’s keen eye and attention to detail. Cissa’s unwavering commitment to and deep-seated love of our work have made our organization what it is today.
We have Kippy and Cissa to thank for leading us here. Beyond words, we are grateful for their extraordinary guidance, presence, and care as founders of Rehearsal for Life, and we breathe a sigh of relief to know that they will remain involved with the organization and our community.
We are confident in the shared leadership of Executive & Artistic Director Elena Velasco, with her vast experience and knowledge of theater-making, and Managing Director Kristen Sherman, with her entrepreneurial expertise in the business of nonprofits, in charting Rehearsal for Life’s future. With this new team at our helm, we anticipate a powerful impact in the years to come.
We look forward to opportunities for us all to celebrate Kippy and Cissa’s influence, impact, and legacy in the coming months. Be sure to save the date as we honor them both at our 25th Banned in Boston on Thursday, April 1, 2021.
Wishing our Rehearsal for Life community a healthy and happy new year.
James Benenson, Chair
Lisa Alvord, Co-Executive Vice Chair