Newsletter | June 2020
Dear friends,

We at Rehearsal for Life are proud to introduce a new addition to the team, Elena Velasco (below right), as Executive & Artistic Director, beginning July 1, 2020!
Elena comes to us from her previous roles as Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Theatre Arts at Bowie State University, Co-Director of Multiculturalism and Diversity at American Alliance for Theatre and Education, and Founding Artistic Director of the Washington, DC-based theatre company Convergence Theatre.
Elena brings tremendous depth of experience in developing core arts and theater programs, as well as in creating strong partnerships with others in the arts community. In addition to her experience as a director and actor, Elena is a seasoned organizational leader, well-positioned to navigate these challenging times and to ensure our growth and continued success. 

With Elena’s arrival, on a bittersweet note, we now say farewell to Francie Karlen as Executive Director. With guidance from our founders, Francie has led Rehearsal for Life for over four years with the intent to build a bridge to new leadership and sustainability for the future. With her mission accomplished, she will return to her role as a Board member. Join me in sending her good wishes , and if you are able, consider a gift to RFL in her honor!

James Benenson, Chair, Board of Directors
James and Francie.
Our New Executive & Artistic Director!
Elena Velasco (right) is an experienced theater artist and producer, performer, and choreographer, with focuses in educational theater and social justice.
DC-area theater artist, educator, and activist Elena Velasco will join Rehearsal for Life as our new Executive & Artistic Director this July, bringing with her decades of experience in theater creation, performance, production, education, and social justice.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Elena to Rehearsal for Li fe,” says Francie Karlen, our outgoing Executive Director. "We could not be more excited by the opportunities afforded RFL to serve a critical community need with Elena at the helm."

Elena is "so excited to join Rehearsal for Life... and I’m looking forward to taking this mission even further." Read our Q&A with Elena and visit her website to learn more! 🎭
Urban Improv presents... the Group Scene Festival!
Closing out the school year in style, Urban Improv hosted its first-ever Group Scene Festiva l ! What IS a Group Scene Festival? Students submitted their ideas for characters, stories, and scenes (including some with a FREEZE!) for our ensemble to bring to life. Over 50 "scripts" were pitched, and five were selected and filmed. The June 10 premiere was shared with all Urban Improv students in our final Classroom Care Package . Collaborating on group scenes helps our students build community as they communicate with each other and work together. 🎭
From haunted cats to football touchdowns, our students had a lot to say for the Group Scene Festival!
F reelance Players: Never Say Die!
Determined to keep our students connected and creative after school closures, our Freelance Players program innovated new ways to showcase our talented students.

Through consistent weekly rehearsals over Zoom, enthusiastic participation from our young performers, and hard work from directors and their assistants, all six Troupes succeeded triumphantly in producing final digital productions. Five played recorded videos for Zoom "watch parties," and one performed their play LIVE on Zoom via YouTube livestream!

Catch any of the productions you missed in the Freelance Players playlist on Rehearsal for Life’s Youtube channel . Bravo to our resilient, unstoppable young performers and our intrepid adults, from staff to family supporters! 🎭
The opening of the Jamaica Plain Troupe 's LIVE Zoom performance of America's Next Top Monster introduces us to its colorful cast of characters. Plus, check out their virtual playbill !
This month, Rehearsal for Life earned a 2020 Silver Seal of Transparency by adding information to our Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar . Now our community, supporters, and 10+ million GuideStar users can find in-depth financial information about our organization. Plus, we’ve provided fresh information to 200+ charitable websites and applications that use GuideStar data, such as AmazonSmile , Facebook, and Network for Good . What do you think? Check out our profile !
Support Our Students

Our fiscal year ends June 30 , so make a gift now ! Your generous contribution helps us continue to grow and serve our students, who need our support now more than ever. Thank you for supporting the young people of Boston and beyond at this crucial time.
Thank You!