Freelance Players – Original Musical Theater for Ages 8-16

A full cast of students are dressed as pirates in front of a backdrop of an ocean.

Join us for one of our original, issue-oriented musicals that nurture community, self-expression, and the transformative power of drama.

Register now for an early-bird rate of $625 per student for our Needham, Newton, JP and Brookline troupes & $700 for our Spotlight troupe.

*Rehearsal for Life aims to be an equitable and inclusive community and believes all students have a right to access theater education programs. Please consider opting for reduced tuition when registering. We are proud to participate in the Card to Culture program, a collaboration between Mass Cultural Council and the Department of Transitional Assistance, the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) nutrition program, and the Massachusetts Health Connector, by broadening accessibility to cultural programming. See the full list of participating organizations offering EBT, WIC, and Connectorcare discounts.

What is Freelance?

Fall 2023 Rehearsal Schedule

Spotlight Troupe (Ages 12-16)
Thursdays 4:30-6:45pm
Congregational Church of Needham, Needham
Director – Mary Torpey
Music Director – Cooper Evello 
Choreographer – Elle Jansen

Needham Troupe (Ages 8-12)
Fridays 3:30-5:45pm
Congregational Church of Needham, Needham
Director – Mary Torpey
Music Director – Mike Healey 
Choreographer – Elle Jansen

Newton Troupe (Ages 8-12)
Mondays 3:30-5:45pm
St. Paul Church, Newton
Director -Sally Campbell
Music Director – Mike Healey 
Choreographer – CJ Donohoe

JP Troupe (Ages 8-12)
Tuesdays 4:30-6:45pm
Hope Central Church, JP
Director – Madeline Hurley
Music Director – Cooper Evello 
Choreographer – Amy Mastrangelo

Brookline Troupe (Ages 8-12)
Fridays 3:30-5:45pm
Driscoll School, Brookline
Director – Alissa Darsa
Music Director – Ian Lao
Choreographer – CJ Donohoe

“Even though it wasn’t a traditional class, Freelance was the most influential learning experience I’ve ever had. Through the program, I learned not only how to act, improvise, and sing, but also how to manage stress, navigate social conflict, and make friends.”

Liam, Former Freelance Player

About The Freelance Players

The Freelance Players engages youth in the creation and performance of original, issue-oriented musical theater performed for audiences of all ages. Participants gain skills in acting, singing, dance and improvisation while working collaboratively and discovering empowered self-expression. Five Freelance Troupes each produce two original musicals a year, performed throughout Greater Boston.

Our ensemble-approach fosters imagination, artistic growth and self-confidence. Freelance programs uphold our organizational values of social justice, creativity, respect, cooperation, empathy and positive social change. Students leave the program with a greater knowledge and practiced skill in the holistic study of theater, performing arts and drama. They will have exercised their social-emotional muscles through collaboration, discussion and exploration of the play’s story and characters, which  results in a greater awareness of the self, their community and beyond.

Since 1979, The Freelance Players teaching artists, music directors and directors have been writing and publishing original musical theater shows – many of which are available for purchase and licensing for teaching artists and educators everywhere. Themes include climate crisis, gender identity, self-esteem, othering, power dynamics and capitalism. The Freelance Players original musicals are appropriate for ages 8-16, can accommodate large or small casts of any ability, are gender and color-conscious, and explore issues relevant to school-age students and their communities. 

For more information about The Freelance Players – including volunteer, internship opportunities and our catalog of available plays – contact Mary Torpey, Head of Program and Creative Director: Freelance Players.

A student in a brown curly wig performs a song on stage with one hand raised in the air.
Mass Cultural Council Logo

The Freelance Players are supported in part by grants from local agencies, including the Boston Cultural Council, Brookline Commission for Arts and Culture, the Dedham Cultural Council, and the Dover Cultural Council, which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Freelance Players Tuition Refund Policy

100% refund up until the first day or rehearsals

50% once the session starts 

0% once the show has been cast 

*In all cases, Rehearsal for Life will retain the $50 registration fee