Derek Lee McPhatter

Bring the Beat Back is the brainchild of playwright Derek Lee McPhatter. Derek’s plays have been presented by The Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), Horse Trade Theater Group, and Harlem9 among others, with awards from the Jerome Foundation, Harlem Stage, and the United States Embassy in the U.K. Derek is currently a Resident Playwright at The National Black Theatre where he is developing Serious Adverse Effects, a new work on technologies of healing. He is also Tutterow Fellow with Chicago Dramatists where he is developing a new work on American ambition. He is originally from Pickerington, Ohio and splits his time between Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

Bring the Beat Back is a queer, black, sci-fi music-theater experience, set in a funky futuristic, groove-centered alternative reality.  Inspired by Afrofuturism, house music and the underground ball scene, the show follows a young man struggling to reconcile his sexuality with his faith.  Our hero journeys towards spiritual affirmation and self-discovery as conservative religious authorities and an ostentatious queer subculture clash over the music at the center of his world. 

Derek holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from Morehouse College and a Master’s 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. derekleemcphatter.com