J. T. Rogers

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J. T. Rogers
Born United States
Nationality American
Alma mater University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Genre Drama
Notable work(s) Blood and Gifts

J. T. Rogers is an internationally recognized American playwright who lives in Brooklyn, New York.[1] He is a graduate of the professional actor-training program of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he was made an Honorary Doctor of Performing Arts in 2009.


Rogers is known for plays that deal with what he called “theater that engages the public realm” in his much-discussed[2] Laura Pels Keynote address to the New York theater community in 2008. The speech was published as an essay in American Theatre magazine called “Writing Without Borders”. His play The Overwhelming, in which an American family who arrive in Kigali, Rwanda, in early 1994, must confront life-and-death realities of the Rwandan Genocide, had its world premiere at the Cottesloe Theatre, Royal National Theatre, London, in association with Out of Joint, in May 2006. It then toured throughout the UK and was performed on BBC radio. Its American premiere was at the Roundabout Theatre in September 2007. For the play, Rogers received the Otis Guernsey New Voices Playwriting Award at the 2007 William Inge Theatre Festival in Independence, Kansas. The Overwhelming has since been done throughout the world, selected as a Top 10 Play of the Year by Time Magazine, Time Out New York and the Chicago Tribune, and nominated for Best Play of the Year by London’s South Bank Show and Boston’s Elliot Norton Awards.[3]

In 2009, Rogers was the sole American playwright along with 11 British authors to create The Great Game: Afghanistan for the Tricycle Theatre, London. The cycle of plays was a sensation,[4] garnering an Olivier nomination for all involved. Rogers has since turned his contribution into the full-length play Blood and Gifts, which debuted at the Lyttelton Theatre, Royal National Theatre, London, in September 2010, starring Lloyd Owen. In late 2011, it was given its American premiere at Lincoln Center Theater, where it garnered tremendous critical acclaim.[5]

J. T. Rogers’s best known play is Madagascar; set in a hotel room overlooking the Spanish Steps in Rome, it is about a mysterious disappearance that haunts the life of the play's three characters. It was commissioned by and had its world premiere at the Salt Lake Acting Company, where it received the American Theatre Critics Association's 2004 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award and the 2005 Pinter Review Prize for Drama, which included its first publication by the University of Tampa Press and a related public dramatic reading. It was also a finalist for the ATCA's Steinberg New Play Award and performed at the Summer Play Festival in New York City in July 2005. In 2010, the play had its Australian premiere at the Melbourne Theatre Company and its European debut at London’s Theatre 503.

Rogers’s other plays include White People, which had its world première at the Philadelphia Theatre Company and then received the L.A. Drama Critics Circle and John Barrymore Award nominations for "Best Play of the Year". The revised play was produced by Starry Night Entertainment Off-Broadway in 2009, and has been seen at the English Theatre of Berlin. The play was seen in repertory with Madagascar at the Road Theatre in Los Angeles in 2010. His Seeing the Elephant was nominated for the Kesselring Prize for "Best New American Play", and his play Murmuring in a Dead Tongue was produced by Epic Rep, in New York City, where he is a company member, in its 2003–2004 season. In 2008, it was mounted as part of the inaugural DC Theater Alliance. His works have been seen at the Williamstown Theater Festival, New Theatre of Coral Gables, Florida, New Actors Union Theatre (Moscow), Road Theatre (Los Angeles), and often at the Salt Lake Acting Company. He is a founding member of The Next Stage, in New York City, which produced his plays Bob Comes to Life, Above the Beasts, and Frankfurt. In September 2004, he was artist-in-residence at the Eugene O'Neill Center. He has also been a guest artist at Truman State University (Missouri), and lectured at the schools of drama at Columbia University, Northwestern, Yale, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Utah and at the Claremont McKenna College School of Economics. In July of 2016, his political drama Oslo premiered at the Newhouse theatre. After receiving nearly universal acclaim, it has been slated for a Broadway run at the Beaumont theatre.

He was selected as one of ten playwrights in the United States to receive a NEA/TCG Theatre Residency for 2004–2005, through which he was playwright in residence at the Salt Lake Acting Company (Salt Lake City). In 2004 and 2008, Rogers was awarded playwriting fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts. His plays are published by Faber and Faber in the US and UK and in acting editions in the US through Dramatists Play Service and Playscripts. Rogers is a member of the Dramatists Guild and a resident playwright at New Dramatists. In 2012, he won a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for his work.[6]


  • Oslo (2016)
  • The Overwhelming (2004)
  • Madagascar (2004)
  • Murmuring in a Dead Tongue (1998; 2003)
  • Seeing the Elephant
  • White People
  • Above the Beasts
  • Bob Comes to Life
  • Frankfurt
  • Penetrating Malaysia
  • Guy Talk
  • Lionel's Blue
  • Chicks 'N Beer
  • The Saddest Lines
  • Blood and Gifts


Rogers has written the screenplay for the upcoming film Tokyo Vice.

Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan is a 2009 memoir by Jake Adelstein.[7][8] Adelstein enlisted J.T. Rogers to co-write the story for the upcoming film version, and Rogers then wrote the screenplay for the work.[9]

The film is expected to begin production in Tokyo in mid 2014, with Daniel Radcliffe to play Adelstein.[10][11][12][13][14]

Anthony Mandler will direct the film.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Soloski, Alexis (November 16, 2011). "Mr. Rogers's Very Tough Neighborhood". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Laura Pels Keynote Address J.T. Rogers" (PDF). Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Overwhelming". New Dramatists.org. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Olivier-Nominated The Great Game: Afghanistan Arrives in New York". Playbill. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Reviews of Blood and Gifts". LCT.org. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "J. T. Rogers Guggenheim Page". Gf.org. 
  7. ^ Adelstein, Jake (October 13, 2009). Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan. Pantheon Books. ISBN 978-0-307-37879-8. 
  8. ^ "The Rumpus Interview With Jake Adelstein". The Rumpus.net. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  9. ^ a b "AFM: Daniel Radcliffe's 'Tokyo Vice' Shooting in Mid-2014". Variety (magazine). 5 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Daniel Radcliffe to play US journalist investigating Japanese underworld in 'Tokyo Vice'". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  11. ^ "Daniel Radcliffe Dabbles In Tokyo Vice". Empire (film magazine). Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  12. ^ "Daniel Radcliffe to Play American Crime Reporter in 'Tokyo Vice'". The Hollywood Reporter. 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  13. ^ Busis, Hillary (2013-05-01). "Casting Net: Daniel Radcliffe to play American reporter in 'Tokyo Vice'; Plus Reese Witherspoon, more". Insidemovies.ew.com. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  14. ^ Osaki, Tomohiro (2013-05-03). "'Harry Potter' star to feature in 'Tokyo Vice' yakuza thriller". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 

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