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Alva Rogers

New York, NY
Playwright Alva Rogers’ writing uses magic realism to explore themes of American identity. She was a co-founder of the performance collective/theater troupe Rodeo Caldonia. Her work with Rodeo Caldonia was included in the 2017 Brooklyn Museum exhibition We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–1985 curated by Rujeko Hockley and Catherine Morris. Works for the stage include scooping the darkness empty, the doll plays, the life before reconstruction/ reconstructing whiteness and the musicals Night Bathing and Sunday and the Mermaid. Her radio plays Aunt Aida's Hand and Stained were produced for National Public Radio and she is featured in the 1991 film Daughters of the Dust and School Daze in 1986. Her use of dolls and puppets reveals the uses of enchantment and highlights the need to return to that childlike state of dwelling harmoniously in both reality and imagination.

Rogers is the recipient of grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Jim Henson Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer and a New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award, among others. The Joseph Papp Public Theater, Dixon Place, Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Films, The Kitchen and the Spoleto Festival, USA have commissioned works. Readings and productions have been presented by HERE, Actor’s Express Theater, New Georges, The Women’s Project, Trinity Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theater, The Walker Art Center, P.S. 122, The New Museum, Pillsbury House Theater, The O’Neill Puppetry Conference and the American Museum of Natural History.

In an effort to share her experience inspiring wonderings and explorations of the natural world in young minds during the time of COVID-19, Rogers launched an educational YouTube Channel, Miss Rogers’ Wonderful School to support families while home schooing their children. Miss Rogers’s Wonderful School currently live-streams on Fridays @10:30am EST and recordings are posted on her channel www.missrogerswonderfulschool.com.

Her new play-in-progress, Roman and Julie examines the historical and cultural dynamics in an interracial relationship, through time and across lifetimes. With scenes radiating forward and horizontally through time, Roman and Julie challenges the conventions of realism by engaging the audience in one couple’s intimate world. Resisting neat, linear plot structures, the play follows the two characters through the process of assigning meaning to their experiences in the third act of their lives. Two central images in this work is a Live Oak tree and a book which she has written as animated puppets in the play.

Rogers was born and raised in New York City, where she graduated with a concentration in vocal music from The High School of Music & Art. She has a Bachelor's degree in American History from Marietta College; a Master of Fine Arts in Musical Theater Writing from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University; a Master of Fine Arts in Literary Arts from Brown University; and a Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus on History from Bard College.
New York University’s Fales Special Collections Library acquired her personal papers for its Downtown Art Collection.

Learn more at www. alvasworld.com and @alvasworld.
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