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Improbable Players Inc

 22 Mt Auburn Street, PO Box 746
 Watertown, MA 02472
[P] (617) 926-8124
[F] (617) 926-8315
www.improbableplayers.org
players@improbableplayers.org
Lynn Bratley
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INCORPORATED: 1989
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 22-2950758

LAST UPDATED: 12/08/2016
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

Improbable Players educate the public about alcohol and other drug abuse prevention through performances and theater workshops - presented by actors who themselves are in long-term recovery - that help people recognize situations in their own lives and seek the help they need.

Mission Statement

Improbable Players educate the public about alcohol and other drug abuse prevention through performances and theater workshops - presented by actors who themselves are in long-term recovery - that help people recognize situations in their own lives and seek the help they need.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2014 to June 30, 2015
Projected Income $150,000.00
Projected Expense $150,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Performances
  • Theater Workshops

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Improbable Players educate the public about alcohol and other drug abuse prevention through performances and theater workshops - presented by actors who themselves are in long-term recovery - that help people recognize situations in their own lives and seek the help they need.

Background Statement

In 1984, under the artistic direction of founder Lynn Bratley, a woman in long-term recovery and Tufts University theater school graduate, the company was launched with the creation of an original play, “I’ll Never Do That!” which uses the framework of an annual snapshot for a family photo album and depicts the story of the downward spiral of a family living with alcoholism. It is still performed today and has become the company’s signature program.
 
In the ensuing years the company grew, attracting more actors, winning wider philanthropic support, and writing new plays to address other social issues that are affected by alcohol and other drug abuse. Currently there are seven plays in the repertoire. The programs dramatize the universal patterns of substance abuse and the hope of change and recovery.

Impact Statement

Improbable Players' method of devising plays using applied theater is recognized as an effective intervention to reach people about alcohol and other drug abuse prevention issues: real people - real stories. The troupe was selected to present and teach at three national conference in 2016.

  • Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH: Treating Students K to 12, Boston, MA
  • NYU Forum on Educational Theater, New York University Steinhardt School, New York, NY
  • AATE - American Alliance for Theater & Education, Boston, MA
 Spring 2016 Improbable Players worked with Dr. John Kelly, Associate Director of the MGH Center for Addiction Medicine to design and measure a pre-post questionnaire to students in their schools. The results show that there is strong evidence that the performance is a valuable program to provide substance use education for adolescents. Results show promise for the implementation of creative arts programs in educational settings to educate adolescents on substance use.

Needs Statement

Funding to support the mission: presenting performances and discussions to motivate young people to think and talk about the impact of substance abuse on their lives, friends, family and community - and to see there are real possibilities for change. This the heart and soul of the Players' work.
 
Second Chance Fund: funding to train talented young clean and sober actors to work with the Players, developing and touring new scenes and stories about addiction and recovery.
 
Executive Director Transition: Improbable Players' founder and director will be stepping down from her position June 2017, bringing to a close her leadership of 34 years after launching the company that brought together her own recovery and her love of theater.
 
 

CEO Statement

I started a theater company to change the world one person, one audience at a time. Theater is a powerful way to teach and learn—it captivates, educates and motivates, and one vivid scene is worth a thousand words. Our mission: to educate people about a devastating public health problem - the impact of substance abuse on our families, our communities, and ourselves. I named it “improbable” because the all the actors are in recovery and the plays come from their stories.


Board Chair Statement

I have known the Director for many years as someone who is also active in organizations that support recovery advocacy and addiction treatment, I have seen the troupe perform many times for National Recovery Day at Boston's State House and for various community substance abuse prevention coalitions. The troupe has great value when it comes to educating people about addiction and recovery. Improbable Players present a high-impact show - the feedback is always enthusiastic and positive.  

Geographic Area Served

Central Massachusetts Region
Greater Boston Region-All Neighborhoods
Greater Boston Region-Allston / Brighton Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Back Bay / Beacon Hill Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Charlestown Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Chinatown Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Dorchester Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Downtown Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-East Boston Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Fenway / Kenmore Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Jamaica Plain Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Mattapan Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Mission Hill Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Roslindale Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-Roxbury Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-South Boston Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-South End Neighborhood
Greater Boston Region-West Roxbury Neighborhood
Massachusetts-All Regions
Metrowest Region
Northeast Massachusetts Region
Pioneer Valley Region
CAPE &ISLANDS REGION, MA

Improbable Players is a touring theater company with troupes in Boston and New York. Both troupes travel locally in New England, the Tri-State area and nationally.

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Performing Arts
  2. Mental Health & Crisis Intervention - Substance Abuse Prevention
  3. Education - Secondary & High Schools

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Yes

Programs

Performances

Improbable Players offer performances for many audiences - schools, colleges, national conferences - with primary focus on youth in schools and their community organizations. Plays dramatically reveal consequences of choices faced by young people through true and recognizable stories.

After each program the actors step out of their roles to briefly tell their own stories of addiction and recovery and answer questions from the stage.Teachers and counselors are introduced and local resources are announced.        

  • I'll Never Do That! - A family must deal with alcoholism.
  • Running on E - How do you help a friend who is becoming addicted?
  • End of the Line - confronting the opioid epidemic 
  • Stages - two person program with short scenes

Budget  --
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) Families At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 

Improbable Players bring addiction out from being a shameful secret, demonstrate that it is a widespread problem, encourage people to talk with someone about their concerns, and ask for help. They help to ERASE THE STIGMA so that people can get help. Young people who felt isolated with their issues speak to someone about it and get the help they need. 

Program Long-Term Success 
The programs have been welcomed into schools and featured at conferences since 1984, because the plays have a strong impact on their audience. In schools, teachers use the plays as a way to talk with their students about the characters and the issues, how addiction is a universal problem, and how recovery is possible for everyone. The plays and discussion with the actors motivate people to ask for help.
Program Success Monitored By 

After every performance the actors answer questions from the stage or facilitate small group discussions. Audience members fill out post-program feedback forms about the performance. Feedback is listened to, measured by the Players’ staff members and frequently used to update the programs and to keep the material current.

Examples of Program Success 
Faculty said:
* "Improbable Players made more of an impact on our students in two hours than the seven weeks of classroom presentations did." 
 
* "We have started a drug and alcohol abuse program at our school which is a direct result of your program."
 
* "I appreciate that the professional theatrical excellence of your performance is what helps bring the scenarios to life but feel certain that in the end it is your candid directness, your willingness to share your individual vulnerability and strength that connects you to the individuals in your audience."
 
* "What an exciting and unique approach to getting your message heard. The faculty and staff were awed by each of your characters, and the way you portrayed them. You have turned your experiential knowledge into a teaching tool for others. What a beautiful gift to give."
 
* "I am happy to state that this kind of program plays a part in what we consider a comprehensive prevention program."

Theater Workshops

 

  • Participatory theater workshops about substance abuse prevention for all ages weave curriculum strands from health and theater.
  • Workshops create material out of improvisations from participants' experiences and stories - a method for groups working to solve community issues called sociodrama.
  • Participants learn about the classic roles that people play where there is substance abuse and how to do a simple intervention. They give voice and action to their solutions to drinking/drug use. 
  • Improbable Players: Using Applied Theater in Addictions Prevention - a teaching manual, aligns the curriculum frameworks in health and theater arts.

 

Budget  --
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Artists-in-Residence
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) Families At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 
  • Schools and community coalitions partner with Improbable Players to reinforce community prevention lessons with active learning through theater.
  • In a recent workshop with high school students with the Boston Health Commission, Players' teaching artist commented, "...before the work, students were only looking at the problems as sad facts of life.  Putting situations in a dramatic context made them explore a beginning, middle, and a possible end.  They had the opportunity to explore multiple points of view, and by doing so they discovered layers of nuance of the health problems.  It showed us they were thinking about health topics in terms of a community problem instead of a personal problem."
Program Long-Term Success 
  • Theater workshops provide a vivid and dramatic enrichment to comprehensive community prevention strategies. Discussion about scenes presents opportunities to teach basic concepts about alcohol and other drug abuse. Improbable Players' dramatic programs are an enrichment to recovery advocacy organizations who are also searching for ways to promote wellness.
Program Success Monitored By 
  • Success for theater workshops is measured by participants' creative responses: scenes, monologues, journal writing and written feedback forms. 
Examples of Program Success 
  • Here is an example of student writing that demonstrates the student understood the concept of intervention: how can we help another person?
  • Dad, I am really hurt and disappointed at your drinking. You stumble around, and when you drive I am afraid that this is the end and I’m going to die. I have a teacher at my school who works at a detox. Why don’t you go? If you get help you will live like you just started a new life. I really care for you and I don’t want you to die, so please get help and go to a detox or rehab. Your son, Luis

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Lynn Bratley M.Ed
CEO Term Start Sept 1984
CEO Email lynnbratley@improbableplayers.org
CEO Experience

Lynn Bratley, Founder, Artistic Director - M.Ed. in Theatre Education from Tufts University, and a BA in Creative Drama from University of Washington, Seattle. She is the Founder (1984) and Artistic Director of Improbable Players where she develops new performances and workshops about substance abuse prevention with actors who, like Lynn, are people in recovery. In 2003 Tufts University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences presented her with their Outstanding Career Achievement Award, and in 2011 Washington Park High School, Racine, WI inducted her into the Hall of Fame.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Christina Everett Associate Artistic Director, Boston

Christina Everett, Associate Artistic Director has a Bachelor of Arts in both management and theatre arts, is a performing artist and member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).She served as the first office manager for Boston Casting, where she worked with producers, directors, and talent agents casting a wide variety of television and radio projects. She herself has appeared in many films. She joined the Improbable Players as an actor in 2000 and performs in all the plays, teaches applied theater workshops, and also manages the company’s accounting. As one of the senior touring members of the Players, she is supervisor for the troupe when they are on the road. Since 2002, she has served on the Players’ Board of Directors as the actor representative.

Mr. Brian Jansen Associate Artist Director, New York

Brian Jansen received a Master of Fine Arts from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, and a BA in English/ Creative Writing from Wesleyan University.  He is a member of Actors Equity Association and has worked on productions in major regional theaters such as ACT and the Huntington Theater.  He is also is a film and commercial actor.  He has been involved with the Improbable Players since 2003 and has acted in all the Players productions.  As a teaching artist, Brian has worked at numerous schools with the Players conducting drama workshops and also was artist-in-residence at the Boston Center for the Arts “Access to Theater” program.  Outside of acting, He is a published writer and has an holistic therapy practice, New York Bodywork; he is a Certified Massage Therapist and Polarity Therapy Practitioner. He is currently Associate Artistic Director of the New York troupe.   

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Outstanding Career Achievement to Lynn Bratley Tufts University Graduate School 2003
Arts Excellence Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston 2001

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
Associated Grant Makers 2017
MASSCreative 2017
New England Foundation for the Arts 2017
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

Improbable Players has worked successfully since 1984 in collaboration with many community and national organizations to promote substance abuse awareness and prevention through theater to reach their constituencies. The list includes national organizations, state coalitions and task forces, MA Judicial Institute, NIATx, SADD, MADD, National Recovery High School Association, District Attorney's Asset Forfeiture Grant Programs for example. Improbable Players primary collaboration is with schools and colleges in providing a creative component to their integrated comprehensive prevention strategies.
 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Improbable Players will be working on Executive Director transition, turning over more responsibility to both Associate Artistic Directors, Boston and New York. 

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 10
Number of Contract Staff 20
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 2
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 8
Male: 10
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Exempt

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Quarterly

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Joe Kelleher
Board Chair Company Affiliation Gavin Foundation
Board Chair Term June 2009 - July 2015
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Lynn Bratley M.Ed. Improbable Players Exofficio
Ms. Christina Everett Boston Casting Voting
Ms. Carol Prost Brandeis University Voting
Mr. David Svendsen Retired Voting
Mr. Marshall Williams retired Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Maryanne Frangules MOAR, Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery NonVoting
Mr. Roger Oser Ostiguy Recovery High School NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

    --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Improbable Players' Board of Directors' strength is that they are all individuals who have knowledge and passion about alcohol and other drug abuse prevention. Most on the board are involved in this field outside of the Players: a youth commissioner and drug court judge, a volunteer for a treatment center for musicians, a manager of a treatment center, an addictions researcher. The advisory board is similarly connected. At their urging as of Spring 2012, both of the acting troupes, Boston and New York are launched into development of new scenes and stories to address the growing prescription drug/opioid overdose crisis among youth. This new play development has created the opportunity for leadership, as each of the actors writes and directs their own scene for the new play. This board is strong on support and encouragement.

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $219,486 $164,596 $123,494
Total Expenses $185,271 $159,962 $149,639

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- $71,818 $50,640
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $139,240 -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $69,928 $56,942 $61,248
Investment Income, Net of Losses $5,538 $35,836 $11,606
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $4,780 -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $111,511 $93,679 $99,651
Administration Expense $63,410 $65,472 $48,838
Fundraising Expense $10,350 $811 $1,150
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.18 1.03 0.83
Program Expense/Total Expenses 60% 59% 67%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 7% 1% 2%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $331,551 $292,463 $287,319
Current Assets $297,095 $292,463 $287,319
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 $0
Current Liabilities $8,956 $4,083 $3,573
Total Net Assets $322,595 $288,380 $283,746

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
Bob Jolly Charitable Trust $25,000.00
Pappas Foundation $10,000.00
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
Pappas Foundation $10,000.00
Stevens Foundation $7,000.00
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
Stevens Foundation $7,500.00
Greater Boston Council on Alcoholism $7,000.00

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 24.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 33.17 71.63 80.41

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

A former member of Improbable Players' Board of Directors left a generous bequest of $300K in November 2011 to the Players with no restrictions on how it was to be spent. He was an outspoken recovery advocate who supported the Players work in his lifetime and then in his passing. All of the funds are invested.
  
Improbable Players traditionally earned 70% of their income from sales of programs to schools, and 30% from grant writing to private foundations for free programs to low-income communities. Because of the national economic recession, school budget cuts and national testing preparation (MCAS), the number of Improbable Players’ paid programs was greatly reduced. 

Players is researching publishing the plays and the accompanying educational materials so that they could be available for national distribution. 

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's Financial Reviews. Additional Fundraising expense breakout detail was provided by the nonprofit.
 
A generous bequest is listed under "Other" for FY12. 
 

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Improbable Players uses performance art and applied theater methods to accomplish its mission to carry its messages of substance abuse prevention and the reality of recovery through plays improvised and written from the authentic stories of the actors, all young people in long-term recovery.

Improbable Players set the stage for learning through theater: audiences pay attention, they have fun, and consider what they’re learning to be relevant to their lives. 

These improbable  players—
  • Provide inspiration and encouragement to people who are trying to stop, by telling their own stories of change and providing information about where to get help.
  • Support those who have decided not to use—“Stay with your choice: you can have a great life without drinking or drug use."
  • Tell their stories and emphasize the negative consequences of our use and abuse-- if being drunk or high was so marvelous and fun, they would still be using: the Players don’t glorify their painful past.
  • Are not ashamed to be in recovery and have changed from being destructive to becoming people who make a positive contribution to their communities: visible, valuable, vocal.
  • Help eradicate stigma against the addict—the Players are seen as courageous survivors, and people pay attention.
  • Remind audiences that a person does not have to be an addict/alcoholic to have devastating life-changing/altering experience because of using or drinking too much (car—or any other kind of accidents, unsafe sex, pregnancy, crimes committed under the influence).
  • Are honest about how they still live with the destructive consequences of their use: health problems, family and relationship breakups, opportunities lost.
  • Remind audiences that not everyone who wants to get clean and sober can—it can be difficult to stop, and recovery isn’t guaranteed.  Recovery requires commitment and support.
  • Teach what it means to be addicted, how drugs are tenacious—in order to support those who live with and love an addict (parent, sibling, boy/girl friend).
  • Support children of alcoholics with hope that the people they love might get help, and provide information about where they might go to get help.

 


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

PERFORMANCES: Improbable Players offers several different plays all with the theme of substance abuse prevention. Each is 45 minutes long and is followed by a Q&A session between actors and audience. Each play is accompanied by its own Discussion Guide for teachers to use in classrooms after the plays, and contains pre- and post writing prompts and more information on the subject.

Theater gives a voice to people and issues: Improbable Players actors must be clean and sober for one year before auditioning. Their personal stories of addiction and subsequent recovery have a deep impact on audiences.

THEATER WORKSHOPS are interactive and participatory. Improbable Players’ teaching artists guide participants through creating scenes and stories about the group’s challenges around alcohol and other drug abuse in their own community through sociodrama. 

Theater builds skills in practicing new behaviors: role play workshops allow individuals to practice behaviors in simulated reality.  If one behavior doesn't work, another can be tried without real consequences, while the group gives support and suggestions.

Players’ teaching artists follow a curriculum, Improbable Players, Using Applied Theater in Addictions Prevention,  developed by the company over the years. It weaves curriculum strands of education about alcohol and other drug abuse prevention with strands of education about acting, directing, and staging.

Theater brings people together for a common, shared event:  it attracts an audience, keeps people's attention, communicates the message, makes a long-lasting impression.


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

The organization was founded in 1984 by Lynn Bratley, M.Ed. in Theater Education, Tufts University, who is also a woman in long term recovery. Her original vision of intervening in the lives of young people before addictive patterns could be strongly established has shaped the company over its 32 year history. 

Actors are accepted into the troupe following submission of their resume, an interview and an audition. They must have been successfully clean and sober for at least one year in order to apply.  They receive extensive training in the plays, customer relations, how to adapt the stories of their life experiences to the age of their audience, and how to facilitate effective discussions. Those who express interest are further trained to teach theater workshops. All work part time for the Players and have other jobs in acting, teaching, or music while all remain active in their recovery communities.

 Improbable Players’ teaching artists shatter stereotypes about people who are alcoholics or drug addicts and present a compelling case for audiences to think twice before turning to substance abuse. Serving as positive role models, the diverse troupe of actors demonstrates that the problem crosses all class, racial, gender, and age boundaries.  


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

   An independent study completed September 2016 by Dr. John F. Kelly, PhD, Director of the MGH Recovery Research Institute found that Improbable Players' "performances are moving students beliefs, intentions, and attitudes regarding substance use and increasing their perceived confidence in asking for help should they ever have an alcohol or other drug problem." 

   The Players are committed to an authentic representation of the universal themes in substance abuse and recovery that cross all barriers of age, class, race and gender. Each year the Players directly reach over 30,000 people throughout New England, the New York area, and nationally - primarily youth in middle and high schools, but also including colleges, conferences, prisons, recovery centers, professional and community groups. The Players reach all income levels, geographic locations, and racial/ethnic backgrounds including the physically challenged and hearing impaired.

   Continued recognition in the addiction/substance abuse prevention community reinforces Improbable Players’ commitment to excellence and innovation in recovery advocacy through theater.  Over the last five years the Players have performed at the 2012 Harvard Medical School Addictions Conference and taught a theater workshop at the 2014 Cape Cod Symposium for Addictive Disorders. The Players has a continuing relationship with the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which lists the troupe as a Creative Teaching Partner, chosen because “the company’s life experiences bring authenticity to their work” along with “the strong credentials of the teaching actor/artists”. 

The Players are committed to raising their profile and growing their scope of influence beyond their historic performance numbers and audience size and will gauge success in part by the ongoing and growing support from the private foundation and reception of the communities they serve.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

Improbable Players has a 32-year track record of successfully working with schools and communities to enrich and supplement their health education curriculum efforts: their performances and workshops have long been recognized as a valuable component of an integrated, comprehensive prevention strategy.  The Players have carried the message of substance abuse prevention to nearly one million middle school, high school and college students over its history. 

Improbable Players stands at the edge of tremendous opportunity, with the growing national movement of recovery advocacy.  Unfinished work includes setting up new troupes in other cities and making a high quality documentary about how the Improbable Players use theater to erase the stigma and teach recovery.