Derrick Sanders Named Associate Director of Drama Division

Thursday, May 13, 2021
Juilliard Journal
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Derrick Sanders

Derrick Sanders will be the new associate director of the Drama Division, Juilliard has announced.

An award-winning director and filmmaker, Sanders is currently the producing director of Chicago’s August Wilson Monologue Competition and an associate professor in the theater department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was also the founding artistic director of Congo Square Theatre, one of the country’s leading ensembles dedicated to work rooted in the African diaspora. Richard Feldman (faculty 1987-present), who had been serving as associate dean for 16 years, will continue teaching and directing in the division.

Sanders was selected following a nine-month search that included input from drama faculty, staff from across the school, and a panel of drama students. “Derrick is a respected teacher and an accomplished director and producer with a strong history of mentorship who will bring a deep understanding of the profession and the needs of young artists to his role as associate director,” Evan Yionoulis, dean and director of the division, wrote in an email announcing his appointment to the drama community.

Saying he was “elated to be joining the Juilliard community,” Sanders said he’s “looking forward to collaborating with faculty, students, and staff as we focus our work on helping our students realize their full potential as performing artists.”

Sanders received a BFA from Howard University and an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. His directing credits include the world premiere of Jonathan Norton’s Penny Candy (Dallas Theater Center); Kelvin Roston Jr.’s Twisted Melodies (Baltimore Center Stage, Apollo Theater, Mosaic Theater Company); Athol Fugard’s The Island and Carlyle Brown’s The African Company Presents Richard III (American Players Theatre); Will Power’s Fetch Clay, Make Man (Round House Theatre); Katori Hall’s (Playwrights ’09) The Mountaintop (Virginia Stage Company); Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park and Kwame Kwei-Armah’s Beneatha’s Place for “The Raisin Cycle” (Baltimore Center Stage); Lydia Diamond’s Stick Fly (True Colors Theatre Company); Javon Johnson’s Sanctified (Lincoln Theatre); Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder’s Gee’s Bend (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog (American Theater Company); David Ingber’s Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money (world premiere), Christopher Paul Curtis’ Bud, Not Buddy, and Dan Gutman’s Jackie and Me (Chicago Children’s Theatre); and the world premiere of Five Fingers of Funk (Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis). Perfect Day, the short film he wrote and directed, garnered critical acclaim and numerous awards.

In addition to founding the August Wilson Monologue Competition, which is featured in the film Giving Voice, Sanders has directed numerous Wilson plays, including King Hedley II (Signature Theatre, Kennedy Center); Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Baltimore Center Stage); Fences and Radio Golf (Virginia Stage); and Jitney (True Colors Theatre Company). He was also the assistant director of the Broadway premieres of Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean.