Derrick Sanders is an award-winning director and filmmaker who directed the world premiere of Jonathan Norton’s Penny Candy at Dallas Theater Center. He’s also directed Kelvin Roston Jr.’s Twisted Melodies at Baltimore Center Stage, the Apollo Theater, and Mosaic Theater Company (Washington, D.C.); Athol Fugard’s The Island and Carlyle Brown’s The African Company Presents Richard III at American Players Theatre; the Washington, D.C. (Round House Theatre) and West Coast (Marin Theater Company) premieres of Will Power’s Fetch Clay, Make Man; August Wilson’s Fences at Marin; Katori Hall’s (Playwrights ’09) The Mountaintop at Virginia Stage Company; and Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park, and Kwame Kwei-Armah’ s Beneatha’s Place in repertory for “The Raisin Cycle” at Baltimore Center Stage.
Sanders’ other credits include Wilson’s King Hedley II at Signature Theatre and for “August Wilson’s 20th Century” at the Kennedy Center; Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at Baltimore Center Stage, Wilson’s Fences and Radio Golf at Virginia Stage, Wilson’s Jitney and Lydia Diamond’s Stick Fly at True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta; Javon Johnson’s Sanctified at Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C.; Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder’s Gee’s Bend at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog at American Theater Company in Chicago; David Ingber’s Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money (world premiere), Christopher Paul Curtis’ Bud, Not Buddy and Dan Gutman’s Jackie and Me at Chicago Children’s Theatre; and the world premiere of Five Fingers of Funk at the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis. Sanders was the assistant director of the world premieres of Wilson’s Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean.
As the founding artistic director of Congo Square Theatre, Sanders directed numerous productions and received multiple awards and accolades for his work, and he was named the Chicago Tribune’s Chicagoan of the Year for theater in 2005. He is the founder of Chicago’s August Wilson Monologue Competition, which is featured in the film Giving Voice on Netflix. Perfect Day, the short film he wrote and directed, has been screened in more than 20 film festivals around the world and has garnered critical acclaim and numerous awards. Sanders, who received a BFA from Howard University and an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, has served as an assistant professor of theater at the University of Illinois at Chicago.