Teacher hopes students act out in class

Many students spend their whole high school and college careers trying to figure out what they want to do with their life, but every once in a while a student knows the direction of their future early on. For theatre teacher Christopher Rogers, this was definitely the case.

“I’ve been interested in theatre since the third grade,” Rogers said. “When I was in elementary school, I would walk across the street to the high school and sit in the cafeteria while the high school worked on their play, and I would watch it, and I was like ‘that’s kind of cool! I want to be a part of that’.”

This early interest led Rogers to take theatre in middle school and later in high school, and from there he pursued teaching theatre in college.

“My degree is the Bachelor’s Arts of Theatre, and it’s very well-rounded,” Rogers said. “I did a lot of tech work; I did more of the education classes, and I liked teaching because I would be able to constantly work on productions and help get a new generation of people interested in the theatre because, unfortunately, it’s a dying art.”

To give this new generation of students the best theatre experience possible, Rogers prepared for teaching by getting different opinions from other theatre fanatics.

“I went to all my friends before I started,” Rogers said. “I got a bunch of information from all my theatre friends and figured out what worked and what didn’t and then took some of my own ideas and started to put them together.”

Rogers loves to live as different characters on stage and hopes to inspire his students.

“My favorite thing about performing is that I get to become different people,” Rogers said. “I don’t have to just be myself; I can be any role, and it’s a break from my life.The good people get to play the bad guys and characters that are bigger than life, or shy people can play shy people. Basically I’m like a big kid and I just go play.”

Rogers also likes being in charge and bringing his own creativity to life through directing.

“My favorite part of directing is getting a chance to be the boss of things and getting to organize and having a vision in my mind of how I want things to look and making it come to life,” Rogers said.

Since Rogers is busy directing plays during the school year, he does most of his acting during the summer at Brazos Valley Players and The Theatre Company.
Rogers has played a variety of different roles.

“I just finished a role over the summer about the 25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at The Theatre Company,” Rogers said. “It’s about a group of elementary kids that are participating in their county spelling bee. I played the role of William Barfee who’s got nasal issues and spells his words by using his magic foot to write them out on the floor before hand so he can see them.”

Out of all the roles that Rogers has played, a couple have stood out to him.

“I think my most memorable performance would be when I played Edna Turnblad in Hairspray simply because it’s such a crazy role, since it’s traditionally played by a man,” Rogers said. “It was interesting, but I think my favorite performance would probably be as Barfee in Spelling Bee.”

Theatre not only brings joy to Rogers’ life, but it is also the center of it.

“Everything that I work for and spend most of my energy in is getting productions going and putting those shows up to get people to laugh or to cry or to experience some sort of emotion,” Rogers said. “Theatre has changed me because it’s made me who I am.”