Roger Jenkins is a Singaporean by birth, but grew up in UK and returned in 1978 as a drama teacher and it’s been his home ever since.
Throughout the 1980’s he was active in developing Singapore theatre: as Artistic Director of STARS Community Theatre, founding director of Hi! Theatre (Singapore’s Theatre of the Deaf) and collaborating with Christina Sergeant on Phizzog Mask Theatre and The Madhatters (Singapore’s first professional improv group). In 1990 he received the Friend of the Deaf Award for his work with Hi! Theatre in promoting awareness of the deaf community in Singapore, and he is still actively involved in promoting access – he is a trained audio-describer and since 2019 has described six theatrical productions.
Discovering storytelling in the late 1990’s, Roger has focused on being a career storyteller since 2007. Winner of the BEST STORYTELLER AWARD at the 16th Kanoon International Storytelling Festival (Iran 2013), he is a popular performer/trainer in schools, libraries and at community/corporate events thanks to his spontaneous, comedic, and highly participatory style. International appearances include Festivals in Bahrain, Bangkok, Calcutta, Chennai, the Edinburgh fringe, Hong Kong, Nairobi and Penang.
He founded the 398.2 Storytelling Festival Singapore (2015), which continues to offer local tellers a platform to showcase their skills, and in 2018 co-founded the Federation of Asian Storytellers (FEAST) to promote storytelling in Asia and to support its practitioners. In April 2020, FEAST gained its 200th member and it provides performance and training opportunities online every month. Membership is open to anyone, regardless of race, religion or residence (though non-resident members are charged fractionally more to support emerging young tellers.) www.feast-story..org
He won the 1995 Singapore Literature Prize for a collection of poems, From the Belly of the Carp, a dramatic celebration of the life of the Singapore River. In 2012 he self-published two collections of mostly traditional stories, Stories for Moral Education (Juniors and Teens) which are now available in e-book format
He has also filmed a 2 hour highly practical introduction to storytelling designed for parents and community tellers, Not Just at Bedtime