Thomas F. Rogers — A former director of the BYU Honors Program, Thomas F. Rogers is professor emeritus of Russian language and literature at Brigham Young University and the author of more than a score of plays, many on Mormon subjects. Four of these have been published in God’s Fools (Signature Books, 1983), which also received the Association of Mormon Letters Drama Prize that same year: HUEBENER (the first literary treatment of its subject), FIRE IN THE BONES (again, the first literary treatment of its subject, the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre), GOD’S FOOLS (or JOURNEY TO GOLGOTHA) and REUNION. Other titles include: The SECOND PRIEST, The ANOINTED (an Old Testament narrative with music by C. Michael Perry) and The SEAGULL (translated and adapted from the Chekov play). In 1992, GENTLE BARBARIAN, FRERE LAWRENCE and CHARADES were published in a second anthology entitled ‘Huebener’ and Other Plays by Thomas F. Rogers. Rogers has also penned stage adaptations of Dostoevsky’s novels CRIME AND PUNISHMENT and THE IDIOT, an opera libretto based on Hawthorne’s THE SCARLET LETTER, a translation of Georg Buechner’s WOYCZEK (produced at BYU), and scripts based on novels by local authors, Phillip Flammer and Ben Parkinson. The first of these received a BYU production, directed by Tad Danielewski, in which Rogers played the role of Marmeladov.
In 1995–1996 GOD’S FOOLS was produced (in translation) by a professional repertory theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, where Rogers was then serving as an LDS mission president. He also played the role of the American double spy Cooper in that production. During that mission he directed LDS Church members in a stage adaptation of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and a Russian language version of HUEBENER. The play has also since been produced in Finland in the Finnish language, while a German translation still awaits forthcoming performances in that language.
At BYU and in Provo, Utah, Rogers directed the premiere productions of Robert Vincek’s For the Lions to Win, Thom Duncan’s Matters of the Heart and Eric Samuselsen’s Accommodations and in Bountiful, Utah, a production of HUEBENER. Besides numerous productions in both Russian and German for the BYU Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages, he has directed Chekhov’s The Three Sisters (in German) for Deutsches Teater Salt Lake City, where he also performed as an actor, and Synge’s Playboy of the Western World, Pirandello’s It Is So If You Think So and Pinter’s The Caretaker for the BYU Department of Theatre.
Cited by Eugene England as “undoubtedly the father of modern Mormon drama,” Rogers received the Mormon Arts Festival’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 1998 and in 2002 a Lifetime Service Award from the Association of Mormon Letters. His published stories have appeared in volume 2, no. 2 of Sunstone, the Summer 1991 and Winter 2001 issues of Dialogue (receiving an annual Dialogue fiction award) and in the collections Christmas for the World (SLC: Aspen Books, 1991) and The Gifts of Christmas (SLC: Deseret Book Co., 1999). Rogers has served as editor of Encyclia, journal of the Utah Academy, and authored two critical monograph: ‘Superfluous Men’ and the Post-Stalin’thaw’ (The Hague: Mouton, 1972) and Myth and Symbol in Soviet Fiction (San Francisco & New York: The Edwin Mellen Research University Press, 1992).
Rogers studied at the Yale School of Drama and holds degrees from the University of Utah, Yale, and Georgetown. Rogers studied at the Yale School of Drama and holds degrees from the University of Utah, Yale, and Georgetown. He has also studied theatre in Poland and Russian at Moscow State University and taught at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and the University of Utah. He has intensively studied some ten languages and had extensive residences in Russia, Eastern Europe, Germany, Austria, Sweden, the Baltic states, Armenia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, India, China and the Middle East. He and his wife Merriam are the parents of seven children, thirty-eight grandchildren and, so far, three great grandchildren. They reside in Bountiful, Utah.
Plays in the Leicester Bay Theatricals Catalog
- Gentle Barbarian (about the life of Ivan Turgenev, Russian author)
- The Second Priest
- God’s Fools (or Journey To Golgotha)
- The Seagull (an adaptation of Chekov’s classic play)
- Frere Lawrence (About T. E. Lawrence of Lawrence of Arabia fame)
- A Good Man Is Hard To Find (based on the story by Flannery O’Connor)
- The Idiot (adapted from Dostoyevsky)
- The Wager (from the Phillip Flammer novel)
- Crime and Punishment (adapted from Dostoyevsky)
- The Immortal
- Siegfried Idyl — Coming soon
Musicals with Zion Theatricals
Plays with Zion Theatricals
- Fire In The Bones
- Petunia Passes (a one-act)
- First Trump
- Set Apart (from the Ben Parkinson novel)
Other PLAYS AUTHORED
- Intruder in the Dust (Faulkner adaptation — NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION)
- Judgment Day (Flannery O’Connor) (Racial language, pertinent to the issue and the time period, may have rendered this play unproduceable)
- Woyzeck (from Buechner, a translation — NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION)
- Military Justice: The Last Mass Execution in the United States (Richard Whitingham history)
- The Scarlet Letter (Opera libretto) (from Hawthorne)
Nest of Feathers — (NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION)
Josephine — (NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION
And He That Wavereth — (NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION)
Once Upon a Summer — (NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION)
The Deserted — (NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION)
Click Dialogue_V41N01_77 to read an article about Tom and his plays from a 1977 issue of DIALOGUE Magazine.
Click 1986_r_001 to read a review of the First Collection of Tom Roger’s plays by Eugene England called “God’s Fools: Plays of Mitigated Conscience”
Here is a monograph written by the author of “Huebener”, Thomas F. Rogers, after his return from a trip to Finland to see the production there in 2013. His insights into theatre in LDS culture, and religious culture in general are illuminating. Players by TFR
Tom’s newest book:
Let Your Hearts and Minds Expand: Reflections on Faith, Reason, Charity, and Beauty
by Thomas F. Rogers
- Published by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
- 349 Pages
- ISBN-13: 978-0842529761
ABOUT THE BOOK:
“Is there a place in our literary canon for a thoughtful discussion of discipleship? Thomas Rogers provides here a resounding Yes. Essay after essay offers rich rewards for the exploring reader who wants to probe substantial ideas in a personal, affective, and intellectually broadening manner. These essays and commentaries add new dimensions to Tom s literary and ministerial careers. As in his dramas, the writer s voice invites dialogue on the most sensitive and significant issues. Like the pastel paintings he has created in recent years, Tom s literary palette is somber, but rays of light illuminate the shadows, suggesting hope and purpose.” –Cherry B. Silver, past president of the Association for Mormon Letters
BUY THE BOOK FROM AMAZON ($21.95 in print, $9.99 in Kindle)
At last! — A collection of Thomas F. Rogers plays to be issued in the early 2017 by Zion Theatricals/Leicester Bay Theatricals in cooperation with Zion BookWorks/Leicester Bay Books. Click on the highlighted text to take you to the book’s page.
The Plays of Thomas F. Rogers Volume 1: Perestroika and Glasnost
Crime and Punishment
The Second Priest
The Plays of Thomas F. Rogers Volume 2: Personal Journeys
A Good Man Is Hard To Find (a short play)
The Plays of Thomas F. Rogers Volume 3: Crises in Faith
with an Introduction by Tim Slover
Fire In The Bones
The Anointed (a musical theatre play)
Petunia Passes (a short play)