May 26, 2022

Rehearsal for Life Executive Director

$120,000 yearly
  • Positively Partners
  • Boston, MA, USA
Full-Time Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging Executive Management (CEO/ED) Strategic Planning

Job Description

Rehearsal for Life believes in using theater as a vehicle for social change. Through the programming of Urban Improv and Freelance Players, Rehearsal for Life (RFL) aims to strengthen young people’s social and emotional skills for every stage in life, through dialogue, creativity, and performance. RFL ultimately leads to empower youth who are building diverse and inclusive communities where all voices are respected.

Beginning with the founding of Freelance Players in 1974 and expanding to Urban Improv in 1992, Rehearsal for Life has proudly served over 80,000 young people in Boston and beyond with dynamic, interactive social and emotional learning programs with an annual operating budget of $1.3 million, a full- and part-time staff of 13, including teaching artists.


As Rehearsal for Life prepares for our next stage of growth, we seek an Executive Director with strategic acumen, exceptional team management skills, and a collaborative and strengths-based approach to leadership. You will be successful in this role if you can nurture a culture of teamwork, strengthen our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, plan and support implementation of our fundraising strategy and goals, and position Rehearsal for Life for continued success and growth. An ideal candidate is a visionary leader with demonstrated competence for guiding and managing an organization of similar size, complexity, and trajectory.

As Executive Director, you will be responsible for overall strategic and operational leadership of the organization, including managing staff, programming, communications and marketing, financial management, and development. As an experienced and entrepreneurial professional, your primary focus is to ensure the health of organizational operations, fundraising for sustainability and programmatic growth.

This role reports to Rehearsal for Life’s Board of Directors. The Executive Director will directly manage members of the Senior Leadership team, including: 

  • Head of Development and Finance
  • Head of Program and Creative Director: Freelance Players
  • Head of Program: Urban Improv and Head of Community Partnerships
  • Interim Urban Improv Artistic Director


As the Executive Director, you will be responsible for the following threads of work:

Organizational Leadership and Management

  • Build a strong bridge between Rehearsal for Life programs to foster cohesion around our collective goals
  • Oversee the Head of the Programs for Urban Improv, Freelance Players, Youth Unscripted to ensure consistency across programs, alignment of goals, and coherence of a joint vision
  • Support and foster a culture that is thoughtful, inclusive, teamwork-oriented, transparent, and embraces the diverse, lived experiences of our staff and communities served
  • Work closely with the staff, Board, and key stakeholders to align outcomes with strategic goals
  • Collaborate among Board and Senior Leadership team to drive the organization’s economic model and sustainability strategies
  • Build cohesion across all RFL programming ensuring equity of resources, philosophy of staff, and centralization of the youth
  • Employ high level of business acumen including successful financial management; the ability to balance the delivery of programs against the realities of a budget; and problem solving, project management, and creative resourcefulness.
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors and Advocacy/Advisory Board; serve as ex-officio of each committee; seek and build Board involvement

Fundraising and Partnership Development

  • Cultivate and steward critical relationships to achieve Rehearsal for Life’s goals for programs and organization scale
  • Execute ambitious but achievable annual and long-term plans for revenue generation and partnership creation to support existing program operations and implementation of strategic priorities
  • Strengthen program effectiveness by fostering relationships with Rehearsal for Life partners, event committees, volunteers, staff, donors, partnering organizations, and alumni
  • Provide funders and partners with data, reports, and information to feel confident that their contributions are being deployed in a cost-effective manner
  • Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends and build Rehearsal for Life as a sought-after resource in the social emotional learning space for youth

Timeline & Hiring Process

We will review and respond to all applications received. While subject to change, candidates selected to advance will progress through a process that includes initial conversations with Positively Partners and interviews with members of the Search Committee. Finalists will have an opportunity to meet key stakeholders, including the Board and staff. Anticipated start date is late Summer 2022.

Rehearsal for Life does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability in admission or access to or employment in its programs or activities.

Hiring Organization

Rehearsal for Life


There are innumerable ways to learn, grow, and excel professionally. We respect this when we review applications and take a broad look at the experience of each applicant. We want to get to know you and the unique strengths you will bring to the work. This said, we are most likely to be interested in your candidacy if you can demonstrate the majority of the qualifications and experiences listed below:

As Executive Director, you will be a strategic and dedicated champion of Rehearsal for Life. Energetic and enterprising, successful candidates will demonstrate deeply held respect for and understanding of the power of our programming, even if their primary professional background is in another field.

  • Progressive development and management experience gained in mission-driven organizations
  • Commitment and experience to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility best practices and continuous learning
  • Ability to build sustainable and productive partnerships with nonprofits, businesses, academic, and education institutions. Comfortable and capable of speaking to these constituents and other stakeholders about the impact of RFL’s model
  • A proven track record and passion for nonprofit fundraising that is demonstrated in a commitment to maintaining current funders, a zest for cultivating new donors, an ability to generate new revenue streams, and a history of successfully taking organizations to the next level of sustained philanthropic support
  • Desire to play a key role in achieving an ambitious vision requiring cultural responsiveness, bold thinking, and comfort with embracing pivots to harness opportunities to strategically advance our work
  • Self-motivated and inspirational problem solver with demonstrated ability to coach, manage, and develop collaborative, diverse teams to achieve goals
  • Strong analytical skills and use of data to drive fundraising, partnership decisions, and budgetary forecasting

Industry/Service Area

Arts/Culture and Humanities, Social Justice, Youth Development




This is an outstanding opportunity to contribute to and lead a non-profit supporting the lives of young people. Salary range for the role begins at $120,000 and is commensurate with lived and professional experience. Comprehensive benefits include health and dental insurance, retirement savings, and paid time off, along with employer-paid disability and life insurance. The Executive Director job duties may be performed remotely, with some in-office (Jamaica Plain) and in-person requirements, as necessary. With health, safety, and equity at the forefront, Rehearsal for Life programming is delivered in-person, and can pivot to be virtually, and/or hybrid if needed.

Application Instructions

To apply to this position, please prepare a resume and cover letter and apply through the application portal run by our recruitment partners at Positively Partners. For confidential inquiries or for assistance in completing the application, please contact Senior Consultant Chelsea Ulrich Tarnoff at

All Rehearsal for Life employees are required to be fully vaccinated in accordance with Boston Public School mandates.

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