March 20, 2020

Dear friends, partners and supporters,

We are artists and educators, and during these challenging times, our first priority is the safety and well-being of our staff, students and partners. Now more than ever, we remain committed to our mission to strengthen our young people’s social and emotional skills to build confidence, agency and community. For over 26 years, we have empowered thousands of Boston youth to navigate life’s challenges, from a changing home life to violence to peer pressure. Now, we commit to using our creativity to help our students navigate this latest crisis.

What are we doing?
Rehearsal for Life staff are working remotely to pivot from our in-person student workshops and rehearsals to create a virtual online community, that will provide a safe and empowering space for our students. We have already piloted a virtual rehearsal with our after-school students this week, to much success! We will be working with our Boston Public School and community partners on ways we can continue to serve our classrooms and students during these times, and, when children can come safely to school again, we will be there, ready to support their social and emotional growth with creativity, empathy and joy.

Up next:
As most of you know, for the past 26 years we have relied on Banned in Boston to raise over $750,000, the lion’s share of our budget! This “madcap revue” has been our way of thanking you for supporting us — with our talented cast and off-beat humor!  So, in true improv fashion, we pivot to produce a Virtual Banned in Bostonin an effort to raise the anticipated $250,000 shortfall with the cancellation of our live April 16 event. Stay tuned for creative and uplifting content, including video clips of the key elements of our Urban Improv model, so you can see the impact of our work now and in the future.

Please join us, and, if you are able, show your support by making a donation at this critical time.

We will come through these uncertain times together, and, with your help, our community will be resilient and stronger. Thank you for helping us work in support of our beloved students.

With gratitude,

Francie Karlen Kippy Dewey
Executive Director Founding Director