“I learned to read at age 4,” says Isabelle Rogers, who entered first grade at Oak Hill School a year later. She skipped kindergarten and eighth grade on her way to high school graduation from Oak Hill this year at age 16. Rogers started writing stories when she was 7. She won a Glitterary Award from the Young Writer’s Association the next year for her story “If It Rained Down Soda.” “I liked to write,” she says. “My parents encouraged me. I still bounce ideas off my parents.”
Her father is Tim Rogers, IT manager and computer teacher at Oak Hill, an independent K-12 school adjacent to Lane Community College. Her mother is Valerie Haynes, a nurse who works at Head Start of Lane County. In fourth grade, Rogers wrote stories about fairies living at Oak Hill who solved crimes committed by mythical monsters. In middle school, she started a blog and posted book reviews. “Books that I read for fun,” she says. “Reading is why I kept on writing.”
When her ninth grade drama teacher, Kitsann Means, suggested she write a play, Rogers came up with KOLD, a comedy about an oldies radio station struggling for funds. KOLD was produced at LCC’s Blue Door Theatre for an audience of Oak Hill parents and kids. Her 10-minute play The Jade Pagoda was one of eight selected, among 80 entries, for Oregon Contemporary Theatre’s Northwest Ten in March this year. Her latest play, Vacation of the Gods, an epic Greek comedy, will be performed at LCC’s Ragozzino Hall at 7 pm Saturday, May 23, and at 1:30 and 7 pm Sunday, May 24. Admission is free.