When Roger Schuster first discovered he had cancer, OTRimprov rallied behind him with an extraordinary fundraiser. It was inspiring to see that someone who loved improv had so many improvisers who loved him back. I never forgot the kindness and empathy OTRimprov showed him during a time when he and his family needed all the support they could get.
I knew Roger best when he became a student at Coincidence Improv Academy. Roger took as many classes as he could manage, and I would give him rides to and from class. Despite his deteriorating condition, Roger had unwavering enthusiasm for improv. He came to every class showcase, even when he wasn't feeling well enough to perform with his fellow students. His love for class reaffirmed my belief that the art of long form improv has a lasting and transformational impact on those who study it. The Cincinnati improv community lost a dear friend when Roger passed away in late December 2016.
Roger's legacy will be remembered in the form of a scholarship shared by Coincidence and OTRimprov. The Roger Schuster Improv Scholarship will cover the registration fee for one student each round of classes. Winners are selected based on an application process. The first scholarship recipient for Coincidence is Amanda Monyhan, who is currently taking Improv Fundamentals. She has generously shared reflections on what it's meant to her:
I feel super blessed to receive the Roger Schuster scholarship. It has allowed me to play, express and expand my imagination once a week with an entire class of hilarious and supportive new friends. It has not only expanded my understanding of improv but has connected me to a feeling of happiness and confidence in my daily life that I was not quite expecting. Simply amazing. I am excited for future learning and growing as an improv actor and it's role in my life as a mixed media performer and artist.
If you would like to donate to the Roger Schuster Scholarship, consider attending the "F*CK Cancer Show" this Friday night at the KNOW Theatre at 10:45 pm. Proceeds from the show will go to the Jimmy V Foundation, an organization dedicated to funding scientific research toward a cure for cancer.
We miss you, buddy.
- Colin Thornton