Recently our actors shared their stories of how our audiences impacted them. Here, Actor and Co-Director Andy recounts one of his earliest interactions with an audience member who recognized her own family in the fictional one portrayed by the troupe. Watch them all on our Youtube Channel.
Improbable Players uses theater performances & workshops to address addiction, alcoholism, and the opioid epidemic. Our performances are 25-45 minutes long followed by a talkback/Q&A. Our workshops give students the space and tools to combat social pressures and find coping strategies that work for them. Our plays are based on true stories and performed by people in recovery.
Our work is appropriate for 6th grade and up. We've also performed at conferences, treatment centers, and community events across the country.
Improbable Players have been performing the mission of substance use disorder prevention since 1984. With each performance we collect feedback. The sentiments are clear: our work is uniquely impactful because our actors have lived the stories they perform. These are universally relatable stories.
This feedback is bolstered by research by John F. Kelly, PhD, ABPP with Recovery Research Institute at MGH. His pre and post show surveys show significant changes in attitudes and knowledge of school age audiences. This is evidence based prevention education.
Over our 34 year history, Improbable Players' innovative programs have been blessed with hundreds of positive articles and pieces. We're working on archiving content that's not currently online, but below is a sampling of what is online.
To learn more about one of our generous granting organizations The Cummings Foundation, click here.
to set the stage for prevention by educating the public about addiction and recovery through dramatic performances and theater workshops -presented by actors who are in long-term recovery from addictions - that help people recognize situations in their own lives and seek the help they need.
Staff & History
Currently Improbable Players has a staff of co-directors who are overseen by a board of directors.
Christina Everett, Co-Director, Board Secretary, Program Manager
Andy Short, Co-Director, Outreach
Shahjehan Khan, Development
Anne Uhlman, Outreach Coordinator
Dennis Staroselsky, Actor Development
Michael McLaughlin, Strategy & Business Advisor
Amie Cazel, Asst. Artistic Director, NYC
Tiffany Yu, Summer Fellow
Nicholas Barris, Summer Fellow
Every young person reached, program helped, and actor who worked with the Improbable Players have Lynn Bratley to thank. She founded Improbable Players in 1984. She hired, trained, and coached many actor / teaching artists, developed performances and curriculum guides, and built relationships in the health and theater communities. She earned her BA in Drama from the University of Washington, Seattle, and her M.Ed. in Theater Education at Tufts University. Lynn retired 09/01/2017. Below; Lynn and her husband Chuck at our 30th anniversary celebration.
Marshall Williams, President, Trustee of The Bob Jolly Charitable Trust
Joe Kelleher, Treasurer, Manager at Gavin House
Chris Everett, Secretary, Co-Director
Elizabeth Addison, Actor Representative, CEO @ This Is Treatment Inc.
Catherine Collins, Client Service Representative @ Lakeview Health
Bethany Nelson PhD., Professor of Undergraduate Theatre Education @ Emerson College
John Young, Treasurer @ Ashmont Hill Chamber Music