Derek recently completed a Tutterow Fellowship at Chicago Dramatists, where he developed Real Talk with Auntie B, a satirical comedy on American ambition in the age of social media. Serious Adverse Effects, his play on technologies of healing was incubated via the I AM SOUL Residency at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre (Harlem). Other plays include: This App is Not the Business, a corporate America cyberspace dramedy, and Bring the Beat Back, a queer, black, sci-fi, music-theatre experience.
His plays have been presented by The Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), The Drama League, Hi-ARTS, Otherworld Theatre Company, JACK, and the inaugural seasons of two Obie award-winning festivals: The Fire This Time Festival and 48 Hours in Harlem. Publications include Otherwise Oblivion, a featured play in the 2016 afro-futurism volume of Obsidian - Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora.
His work has been supported by grants and prizes from the Jerome Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, the Propeller Fund, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and the United States Embassy in the United Kingdom, to name a few. Derek is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Morehouse College and a Master of Arts in Humanities from New York University. He is originally from Pickerington, Ohio and splits his time between Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.