Derek McPhatter


Before joining the resident playwright roster at Chicago Dramatists, Derek McPhatter was an inaugural member of the Tutterow Fellowship program, developing Real Talk with Auntie B, a satire on American ambition in the age of social media. His recent residency at The National Black Theatre (NYC) incubated Serious Adverse Effects, his futuristic play on technologies of healing. Derek has written five musicals for The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Unlimited division. Bring the Beat Back is his queer, black, sci-fi, music-theatre passion project, recently a featured presentation in the Polyphone Music Festival (Philadelphia), followed by a concert production run with Otherworld Theatre Company. Organizations that have presented his work include The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Prop Thtr, Hi-ARTS, JACK, the Djerassi Artists Residency, and The Drama League. Derek is a founding playwright with The Fire This Time Festival and an inaugural playwright in the 48 Hours in Harlem Festival, two Obie-winning programs in NYC. Beyond theater, Derek has co-created digital programming for numerous platforms, such as HIVE, a sci-fi anthology series in development with OTV | Open Television. He’s originally from Pickerington Ohio and is happy to call Chicago home.