Thomas Rogers: Mormon Playwright

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Thomas Rogers Mormon Playwright

Thomas F. Rogers is a playwright and professor emeritus of Russian language and literature at Brigham Young University. He is also a former director of the BYU Honors Program.

Rogers earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah. He earned his master’s degree in Slavic languages and literatures from Yale University and his PhD in Russian language and literature from Georgetown University. He also holds a certificate in teaching of Russian from Moscow State University and a certificate from the Theatre Workshop at the University of Wroclaw in Poland.

He taught at Howard University (Washington, D.C.) and the University of Utah prior to accepting a position at BYU. While at BYU, he was a professor of Russian (1969–2000) and director of the Honors Program (1981–1983). After his retirement, he taught for one year at the BYU China Teachers Program.

Rogers has written several books, including ‘Superfluous Men’ and the Post-Stalin ‘Thaw’ (1972), God’s Fools: Four Plays (1983), Myth and Symbol in Soviet Fiction (1992), Huebener and Other Plays (1992), and A Call to Russia: Glimpses of Missionary Life (1999). He also translated from Russian into English Panchev’s Random Functions and Turbulence. His plays include "The Second Priest," "The Gentle Barbarian," "Frére Lawrence," "Charades," "Fire in the Bones," and "First Trump." He has adapted many books into plays, including "The Seagull" (from Chekov), "Judgment Day" (from Flannery O’Connor), "Crime and Punishment" (from Dostoyevsky), and "Intruder in the Dust" (from Faulkner). He has also directed and acted in several plays.

In 2002, Rogers was honored with the Lifetime Service Award from the Association of Mormon Letters.

Rogers is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In addition to serving a full-time mission to Germany as a young man, he served as president of the Russia St. Petersburg Mission (1993–1996), temple missionary and sealer at the Stockholm Sweden Temple (2004–2005), and an ordinance worker and sealer in the Bountiful Utah Temple. Since 2007, he has served as a patriarch in the Europe East Area.

He and his wife, Miriam, are the parents of seven children.