Derek Lee McPhatter


Sex, guns, cigarettes and senile agitation, this short play festival is inspired by classic print ads that are actually a bit shocking.


Four short plays from the first season of the Fire This Time Festival


Unless a computer technician in the distant future can unravel the facts about a modern day hate crime, the incident will be deleted from history, but no one is telling the truth: not the victim, not the assailant, and certainly not their mothers.

Derek is a founding playwright/producer with The Fire This Time Festival, an indie theater platform that received a special Obie Award for ongoing artistic achievement in 2015.  Other honors, residencies and awards include: commissions from UCLA (It Goes Unsaid) and Freedomtrain Productions (Bring the Beat Back); grants and awards from the Jerome Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Harlem Arts Alliance, and the United States Embassy in the United Kingdom. His work has been presented/supported by The Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), UCLA, Harlem Stage, The National Black Theatre, the Bowery Poetry Club, Harlem9, Horse Trade Theater Group, Brooklyn's Jack Theater, and The Chicago Home Theater Festival, with three plays published by Indie Theater Now.

For several years, he worked at Harlem's Apollo Theater as he built his writing portfolio. He helped develop and launch a suite of new performing arts programs and special projects including The Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival, Apollo Live!, Dreamgirls at the Apollo, and the Salon Series (which he also hosted for two seasons). 

Derek holds a Bachelor’s in English from Morehouse College and a Master’s in Humanities from New York University. He is a native of Pickerington, Ohio.