Derek Lee McPhatter

Derek Lee McPhatter creates forward-facing theatrical experiences at diverse cultural and technological intersections. A 2021 Creative Capital Awardee, Derek is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and former resident playwright at the National Black Theatre (Harlem, NY). He has written five music-theater works for the Lyric Opera of Chicago (three of the shows for the Lyric featured music by Mike Przygoda. Other projects include Derek’s queer, black, sci-fi house-funk passion project: Bring the Beat Back, which was a 2020 O’Neill Music Theater Conference semi-finalist. Presenters and funders include Hi-ARTS, Otherworld Theatre, JACK, the Jerome Foundation, Pop Culture Collaborative, Harlem Stage, and the United States Embassy in the United Kingdom, among others. Derek is published in multiple anthologies, including 25 Plays from The Fire This Time Festival (Bloomsbury Press) and the special afro-futurism volume of Obsidian: Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora.

Photo by Jansen Bridge

Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born I Sweat Variant, Beth Gill, Benjamin Akio Kimitch, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Derek Lee McPhatter