Roger Jenkins



Roger Jenkins (b. 1953, Singapore  ), Singapore-born Briton turned Singaporean, drama educator, poet, playwright, storyteller, and artistic director of Dramaplus Arts, made his mark here in drama and the arts.

Early Life1
Jenkins was born in Changi Hospital to British Royal Air Force (RAF) parents. He spent his early childhood in Yangon but grew up in the United Kingdom where he attended boarding school and studied at the University of Liverpool. During school breaks, he spent time in Singapore where his parents lived.


Career in Drama
Jenkins’s involvement with drama in Singapore began as a drama teacher in the United World College in 1978.2 A drama teacher by training and profession, he taught drama in schools in England before he returned to Singapore.3

Jenkins’s initial involvement in the theatre scene was with Singapore Theatre’s American Repertory Showcase (STARS) in the early 1980s.4 Together with Christina Sergeant, they helmed STARS Youth Theatre, a youth theatre platform in 1985.5 Some of his directorial credits while at STARS included Fiddler On The Roof and The Miracle Worker in 1984.6

He was also involved for many years with HI! Theatre, Singapore’s theatre of the deaf, which he founded in 1986.7 For his work with the hearing impaired, he was awarded the Singapore Association for the Deaf’s Friend of the Deaf award in 1990.8 He was also involved in the founding of The Madhatters Comedy Company in 1991, a local professional improvisational comedy group.9 In the following year, he became a Singapore citizen and also founded Dramaplus Arts, a theatre company which later turned a non-profit company.10 It was heavily involved in providing arts and drama education to schools and organisations and staging public performances.11

Jenkins was also involved in play production. His production of Wayang Tempest with 3.14 Company, garnered 8 nominations at the DBS Life Theatre Awards 2002 including Play of The Year, Best Director and Best Production Design.12 

Career in Story-Telling
Having discovered his penchant for storytelling in the 1990s, Jenkins has since moved on to a career as a professional storyteller.13 Jenkins also conducted the Make Me A Storyteller workshop at schools such as CHIJ Toa Payoh Secondary School and Bendemeer Secondary School.14

He was awarded the Best Storyteller Award at the 16th Kanoon International Storytelling Festival in Iran, 2013.15 In 2015, Jenkins founded the 398.2 Storytelling Festival, the first independent festival dedicated to local storytellers.16 In the same year, he co-curated the first edition of Singapore Writers Festival for Families (SWF3).17

As a poet, Jenkins is remembered for his work, From the belly of the carp: Singapore River voices, which won the Singapore Literature Prize in 1995.18 This prize-winning book has been adapted for the stage by Jenkins himself.19 In 2015, it formed the inspiration for a site-specific performance at Read Bridge, Clarke Quay for Singapore’s HeritageFest.20

Selected Publications
Jenkins, R.V. (1996). From the belly of the carp: Singapore River voices. Singapore: EPB Publishers.
(Call no.: RSING 821 JEN)

Jenkins, R.V. (2012). Stories for moral education: Juniors: a resource book for teachers. Singapore: Roger Jenkins Pte Ltd.
(Call no.: RSING 370.114 JEN)

Jenkins, R.V. (2012). Stories for moral education: Teens: a resource book for teachers. Singapore: Roger Jenkins Pte Ltd.
(Call no.: RSING 370.114 JEN)



Author

Chan Fook Weng



References
1. Jenkins, R. (2006, August 9). Aren’t we all transplants? Today, p. 36; Lee L. (2006, August 22). Blossoming arts scene keeps ex-Briton rooted here. The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Koh, T., et al. (Eds.) (2006) Singapore: The Encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, p. 265. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
3. Jenkins, R. (2006, August 9). Aren’t we all transplants? Today, p. 36. Retrieved from NewspaperSG;
4. Kalidas, S. (2011) STAR Power: Roger Jenkins and Christina Sergeant. Dramatise, 5, 71–72. (Call no.: RSING 792.07105957 D)
5. Kalidas, S. (2011) STAR Power: Roger Jenkins and Christina Sergeant. Dramatise, 5, 71–72. (Call no.: RSING 792.07105957 D)
6. De Souza, J. (1984, January 7). A family musical to identify with. The Straits Times, p. 22; D’Rose, P. (1984, September 28). ST*ARS’ wonderful blind date. Singapore Monitor, p. 16. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Hi! Theatre scores several firsts. (1990, March 23). The Straits Times, p. 23. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. George, C. (1990, September 30). Prof Koh calls for quality education for the deaf. The Straits Times, p. 25. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Koh, T., et al. (Eds.) (2006). Singapore: The Encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, p. 265. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
10. Koh, T., et al. (Eds.) (2006). Singapore: The Encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, p. 265. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
11. Koh, T., et al. (Eds.) (2006). Singapore: The Encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, p. 265. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS]); Mime and drama fill up Dramaplus’ new place at Shaw. (1998, February 6). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singh, K. (Ed.) (2000) Interlogue: Studies in Singapore Literature (Vol. 3: Drama). Singapore: Ethos Books, p. 16. (Call no.: RSING 809.895957 INT)
12. Tan, S. E. (2002, April 20). Wayang charms with 8. The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. Ong ,D. (2016, February 16). One Small Voice: Roger Jenkins. The A-List. Retrieved 2016, March 1, from http://a-list.sg/one-small-voice-roger-jenkins/
14. Roger Jenkins Pte Ltd. (2014). Roger’s Story CV. Retrieved 2016, March 1, from Roger Jenkins personal website: http://www.rogerjenkins.com.sg/rogercv.html
15. Ong, D. (2016, February 16). One Small Voice: Roger Jenkins. The A-List. Retrieved 2016, March 1, from http://a-list.sg/one-small-voice-roger-jenkins/
16. Ong, D. (2016, February 16). One Small Voice: Roger Jenkins. The A-List. Retrieved 2016, March 1, from http://a-list.sg/one-small-voice-roger-jenkins/
17. Singapore Writers Festival. (2015). Authors & Speakers: Roger Jenkins. Retrieved 2016, March 1, from Singapore Writers Festival website: https://www.singaporewritersfestival.com/nacswf/nacswf/author-speaker/Roger-Jenkins.html
18. Evocations of Singapore life win literature prize. (1995, December 6). The Straits Times, p. 19. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
19. Lo, R. (2002, January 23). Belly of Boat Quay. Today, p. 24. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
20. Said, N. (2015, April 10). Old world charm. The Straits Times, Life. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/


Further resources
Abisheganaden, J. (1982, October 21). Surprise package captures audience. The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.


Audition for history. (1996, January 25). The Straits Times, p. 11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Father of Five Brides. (1999, July 4). The New Paper, p. 23. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Helmi Yusof, H. (2002, May 9). Drama Queens and Kings. The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Jenkins, R. (1988, March 28). We’re theatre of the deaf and for all audiences. The Straits Times, p. 22. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Lye, A. (2002, February 1). Belly of the Carp strikes a clever balance. The Business Times, p. 19. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Neo, C.C. (2004, January 22). Look, Grandpa’s acting up again. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Ngui, C. (1987, January 8). Mask duo to ‘test different waters’. The Straits Times, p. 23. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Smiles after US trip. (1989, August 2). The New Paper, p. 18. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Tan, C. (2009, August 28). Telling tales in the boardroom. The Straits Times, p. 25. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Tessensohn, D. (2005, November 14). Storytellers strut their stuff. Today, p. 34. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Artists--Singapore--Biography
Personalities>>Biographies>>Artists
Poets--Biography
Language and literature>>Literatures>>East and Southeast Asian literature>>Singapore literature
Storytellers
Dramatists--Biography
Language and literature>>Drama
Theatrical actors