Kansas City Actors Theatre Welcomes Jan Rogge to the Collective

Jan Rogge

Kansas City Actors Theatre is pleased to announce the addition of Jan Rogge to the Artistic Committee and Board of Directors.  Jan is a well-known and loved actress in the KC area and will bring new energy, enthusiasm and focus to the Actors Theatre as the company steps into its second decade.

1) Tell us a little about Jan Rogge and how you got involved with theatre.

I was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, where I met my husband, Edward Rogge.

I am still a die-hard fan of the Green Bay Packers and I am also a proud shareholder.

While attending the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee in Theatre Studies, I performed with several local professional theatre companies.  I received my Undergraduate degree at UWM, and it’s also where I first met John Rensenhouse, who was in the acting program.

In 1985, I came to Kanas City for the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  After graduation, I decided to stay in Kansas City and pursue my acting career.  It was a great place to live and work.  Also my husband was working for Marion Labs.

In 1999, when my husband became a consultant, it provided him with the opportunity to work on projects in many different cities. We moved around frequently and were fortunate to experience life and work in other cities such as San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York.   While on the East coast, I taught acting at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY for 3 years.  During that time, I was still coming back to Kansas City for theatre work, most often with the Unicorn Theatre and Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.

In 2009, we decided to move back to Kansas City, the place we now call home. My husband still works on the East coast each week with his current project for the U.S. Army and commutes home every weekend.  I have slowly made my way back in to the vibrant Kansas City theatre scene.

2) Why did you want to be a part of the Kansas City Actors Theatre?

Since it’s conception, I have been a proud supporter of Kansas City Actors Theatre.

For the last ten years, KCAT has committed to the idea of hiring local artists and bringing challenging theatre to the Kansas City community.  I am thrilled to be on KCAT’s Board of Directors and Artistic Committee.

I have previously dipped my toes in the producing side of some upstart theatre companies.

I co-produced three productions for Ground Zero Productions.  We performed it at the defunct Waldo Theatre and the Unicorn Theatre.  I was also a part of Frog Head Theatre.  These early experiences gave me an understanding of just how challenging it can be pulling all the elements together that are necessary to create a first rate stage production.

This is why being a member of the KCAT Board and Artistic Committee is so exciting, as it provides me with the opportunity to collaborate not only with my fellow artists, but with avid theatre supporters who bring their own unique talents to the team.  I am honored to be a part of this exceptional company and I feel I have much to contribute to this theatre and this community.

Jan R Virginia Woolf

3) What shows have you done for the company?

I have had the privilege of performing in several KCAT productions: “Martha” in Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, “Agnes” in Marion Bridge, “Margie” in Good People and most recently “Chick” in Crimes of The Heart.  I assistant directed Long Days Journey Into Night under the direction of John Rensenhouse.  Last season, I directed a staged reading of A Touch Of The Poet.  These experiences have given me a unique insight as to how KCAT utilizes it’s talents and resources to deliver quality theatre.

4) Do you have a favorite role?

I actually have two favorite roles and they happen to be both KCAT productions.  My most challenging and thrilling role would have to be “Martha” in Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?.  It was such a pleasure to work opposite, Mark Robbins, who played “George”.  We were blessed with an outstanding cast, (Mark R., Heidi Vann and Nathan Darrow), a keen director (Donna Thomason), and outstanding set director (Adrienne Harper).

My other favorite role is “Margie” in Good People.  It was a co-production with the Unicorn Theatre and was directed by Mark Robbins.  I loved “Margie’s” heart and spirit in the face of adversity.

5) When you are not onstage what do you enjoy doing?

My husband, Edward, and I live in a lovely home in Brookside with our two dogs, Buster and Bugsy.  Besides seeing as much theatre as I can in Kansas City, I also enjoy attending flea markets and antique stores. I love the thrill of hoping to find that hidden treasure to bring home.  I cherish my weekends when my husband is home, cooking, seeing friends or spending the day at Smithville Lake sailing on our sailboat, “Infinity”.

We enjoy traveling a few times a year and we are looking forward to our trip to Norway this summer where we will be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary.

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KC Studio covers the performing, visual, cinematic and literary arts, and the artists, organizations and patrons that make Kansas City a vibrant center for arts and culture.

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