Freelance Players – Original Musical Theatre for Ages 8-16

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

Tuition cost is $650 per student for our Brookline, JP, Needham and Newton troupes & $725 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. Reduced tuition is available on the registration page. 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?

Winter 2023/24 Tickets

“Birds III”
Written by Sally Campbell & Mike Healey
Presented by the JP Troupe
December 15 @ 6pm, December 16 @ 2pm & 6pm, December 17 @ 2pm
Eliot Hall, JP

“Follow Your Hooves”
Written by Walker Anderson, Cooper Evello & Josh Keehn
Presented by the Newton Troupe
January 11 @ 4pm & January 12 @ 5:30pm
Lasell University, Auburndale

“Hey Neighbor”
Written by Walker Anderson, Cooper Evello & Adeline Vamenta
Presented by the Spotlight Troupe
January 26 @ 7:30pm & January 27 @ 2pm & 7:30pm
Congregational Church of Needham, Needham

“Clam’s Casino”
Written by Sam Abel-Palmer & Narcissa Campion
Presented by the Needham Troupe
February 2 @ 6pm & February 3 @ 2 & 6pm
Congregational Church of Needham, Needham

“Red Hats and Other Dangers“
Written by Tom Evans & Cooper Evello
Presented by the Brookline Troupe
February 9 @ 6pm & February 10 @ 2pm
Driscoll School, Brookline

Spring 2024 Rehearsal Schedule

Brookline Troupe (Ages 8-12)
Fridays 3:30-5:45pm
Rehearsals & Performances @ Driscoll School, Brookline
Start Date: 3/8/24
Production Week: 6/3-6/7
Performances Dates: 6/7 @ 6pm & 6/8 @ 2pm
Director – Alissa Darsa
Music Director – Ian Lao
Choreographer – CJ Donohoe

JP Troupe (Ages 8-12)
Tuesdays 4:30-6:45pm
Rehearsals @ Hope Central Church, JP
Performances @ Eliot Hall, JP
Start Date: 2/6/24
Production Week: 5/6-5/10
Performance Dates: 5/10 @ 6pm & 5/11 @ 2 & 6pm
Director – Mike Casey
Assistant Director – Han Taub
Music Director – Mike Healey 
Choreographer – Elle Jansen

Needham Troupe (Ages 8-12)
Fridays 3:30-5:45pm
Rehearsals & Performances @ Congregational Church of Needham, Needham
Start Date: 2/9/24
Production Week: 6/2-6/7
Performance Dates: 6/7 @ 6:30pm & 6/9 @ 2 & 6:30pm
Director – Mary Torpey
Music Director –  Kelvyn Koning

Choreographer – Elle Jansen


Newton Troupe (Ages 8-12)
Mondays 3:30-5:45pm
Rehearsals @ St. Paul Church, Newton
Performances @ Lasell University
Start Date: 2/5/24
Production Week: TBD
Performance Dates: TBD
Director – Sally Campbell
Music Director – Ian Lao
Choreographer – CJ Donohoe

Spotlight Troupe (Ages 12-16)
Thursdays 5:30-7:45pm
Rehearsals & Performances @ Congregational Church of Needham, Needham
Start Date: 2/8/24
Production Week: 5/28-5/31
Performance Dates: 5/31 @ 7:30pm, 6/1 @ 2pm & 7:30pm
‘The Space Between Them,’ written by Mary Torpey and Cooper Evello
Director – Mary Torpey
Music Director – Cooper Evello 
Choreographer – Elle Jansen

Summer Program

Join us for a Freelance Players troupe in the summer! Be part of one of our original, issue-oriented musicals that nurture community, self-expression, and the transformative power of drama.

July 15 – August 2, Monday-Friday, 9:00-3:45pm
@ The First Parish UU Church in Medfield, MA
$1500 per session

Story Theater

Calling all of our littlest theater artists! Join the play based program that introduces our youngest theater enthusiasts to the basics of improvisation, storytelling and stage technique. Over the course of 8 weeks, participants will explore, act out and finally perform a favorite children’s book.

Story Theater is back this spring for ages 6-8 in Jamaica Plain, directed by Teaching Artist and JP Troupe Director Mike Casey.

Join us Saturdays 3/2-4/13, 10:30-11:15 @ Hope Central Church in JP.

“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 1974, 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 Dover Cultural Council, the Needham Council for Arts and Culture, and the Newton Cultural Council which are supported by their respective towns and the  Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

The Ramsey McCluskey Family Foundation


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