Derek is a NYC based writer, choreographer, director, teacher and performer. He recently returned to the U.S. from the University of Edinburgh's Master's Playwriting program in Scotland, where he was awarded the William Hunter Sharpe Memorial Scholarship for playwriting. While in Scotland, his play The Exhibit received a professional reading at the Traverse Theatre during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and he has since been awarded a playwriting residency with Road Less Traveled Productions for development of his play Waist Deep (recipient of a grant from the Global Warming Arts Project).
Derek is a long-standing company member of three-time Drama Desk Nominated Parallel Exit Theater Company in New York City (www.parallelexit.com). He co-created and co-choreographed their original Off-Broadway show Time Step, about which the New York Times said "It’s a reminder of how eloquently the body can speak and of how little it takes to create entertainment." Derek joined Parallel Exit for a 12 month tour of Germany with their show Exit, and is currently writing a new original show to be workshopped and developed by Parallel Exit in the near future. Last October, he was nominated for a Barrymore Award in Philadelphia for "Best Choreography" for the Resident Theatre Company's production of Spamalot and he was invited by Jen Jancuska (Hamilton) to present original choreography at the BC Beat Showcase in N.Y. His play Peace and Quiet was performed in the 2017 NY Theater Festival (winner for Best Actor, Scott McCord.) and he also recently collaborated with Karla Garcia (Hamilton) to create a new piece for the International Human Rights Festival in NY, for which he composed original music and spoken word.
Originally from Rochester NY, Derek's performance credits include National Tours of Kiss Me Kate (playing Bill Calhoun), Showboat, Cinderella and Funny Girl, as well as the Italian Tour of West Side Story. His New York credits include numerous Off-Broadway productions, as well as performances at NY City Center, Town Hall, Lincoln Center, the Alvin Ailey Theater, NY Fringe Festival, American Theater of Actors, The York Theater, The Actors Playground, Merkin Concert Hall, and the New York Musical Theater Festival. Derek is a proud member of Actors Equity Association.
"Roland is effortless, smooth, and elegant, all beautiful angles and lines..." -nytheatre.com