Roger Foster is a part-time adjunct instructor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at Eastern Mennonite University. He teaches courses in program evaluation and qualitative research, and in community building through performance arts.
He has studied playback theatre—a form of personal improvisational theatre, valuing story, ritual, and community—with Ben Rivers of the Freedom Theatre of Palestine; Jo Salas, Hannah Fox, Tim Reagan, and Virginia Murphy of the Playback Centre; and Theatre of the Oppressed with Marc Weinblatt of the Mandala Center for Change.
As the 2012 EMU Theatre Artist-in-Residence, Roger collaborated with Heidi Winters Vogel to co-found the Inside Out Playback Theatre company, a group that has worked to foster community building through dialogue in such arenas as racial reconciliation; trauma and abuse; transition from incarceration; marginalized populations; and multi-cultural study experiences.
For more than three decades, Roger lived in a small city in Ohio, where he was a newspaper editor and community-based marketing and public relations consultant. For several years he served as an administrator, coach, and FIFA-licensed referee in his community’s youth soccer program and also as a children’s theatre director—activities that could be described as either “managing a complex adaptive system” or, alternatively, as “herding cats.”
An Ohio Community Theatre Association (OCTA)-certified peer guide/responder, Roger consulted with theatres throughout central Ohio; served as an excerpt responder at several regional OCTAfests; and helped to establish OCTA’s festivals for children’s theatre.
Roger consults with organizations in conflict; his work with religious organizations led to the co-creationof a decision-making model and assessment tool that is used for coaching individuals, teams, and organizations.
Roger’s spiritual practices include flying kites with his grandchildren.