Derek has a Master's in playwriting from the University of Edinburgh where he was awarded the William Hunter Sharpe Memorial Award for playwriting. He recently received a playwriting residency with Road Less Traveled Productions for his play Waist Deep, which also received a grant from the Global Warming Arts Fund. Derek is the artistic director for The Comfortably Quarantined Project, a virtual playwriting project which brings together writers, actors, and a dramaturg to remotely create original short pieces addressing aspects of the current pandemic.
This summer, Derek presented It's Complicated - an evening of 3 of his short plays -in the Rochester Fringe Festival's virtual Fringe. The plays Me Make Warm, Et tu, Cornelia, and Together. Forever. were recorded virtually with 3 separate couples of professional actors. Derek's play "The Exhibit" was performed at the Traverse Theatre during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the play was a semi-finalist for the National Playwright's Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center. His short play Peace and Quiet was performed in the NY Theatre Festival and won the Best Actor Award. Derek's original rock musical Pie Eater was an official Next Link selection for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and he also wrote music and spoken word for a collaborative piece with choreographer Karla Garcia (Broadway's Hamilton) which premiered at the International Human Rights Festival in N.Y. Writing projects appear below:
Jillian's conceptual art exhibit featuring painted rock animals being walked by naked mannequins triggers widespread civil unrest. (THE EXHIBIT received a professional reading at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh
directed by Jemima Levick. Semi-finalist, O'Neil Center. 100 minutes, 3 females/3 males)
An evening of 3 short plays presented in the Rochester Fringe Festival's virtual Fringe.
The Comfortably Quarantined Project
A virtual playwriting project exploring themes related to the pandemic.
IN GOOD CONSCIENCE
When Sam and Sammy break their pact with close friends Jack and Jackie, an intensely competitive breeding war ensues. (IN GOOD CONSCIENCE received developmental workshops through the University of Edinburgh, Playwright's Studio Scotland and the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow. 50 minutes, 2 females/2 males)
A line of people camp overnight outside of Mega Mart for the Maniacal Monday Gift Giveaway, and their resolve is threatened by an impending storm-if the storm even exists... (WAIST DEEP received a developmental workshop through the University of Edinburgh and Playwright's Studio Scotland with director Philip Howard and is being developed through Road Less Traveled Productions playwriting residency. 60 minutes, 2 females/2 males)
ME MAKE WARM
Holge discovers fire. (Selected for Geva Theatre Showcase. 15 min, 1 female/1 male)
ZOOM WENT MY HEART
Sheila doesn't have the heart to end her Zoom relationship with Brad. When she calls upon her best friend to help end things, it doesn't go according to plan. (Presented by "The Comfortably Quarantined Project", 15 min 1 female/2 males)
A couple discover they have very different plans for the afterlife, throwing their entire relationship into question. (15 minutes, 1 female/1 male)
PEACE AND QUIET
Mel finds a nice spot to unwind during her lunch break, but when a disruptive old woman enters, Mel's sanity is threatened. (PEACE AND QUIET was presented at the New York Theatre Festival in 2017 where Scott McCord was presented the award for Best Actor. 20 minutes, 1 female/1 male)
An original rock musical about competitive eating. What's not to like? (2016 NYMF Next Link Selection, Music and Lyrics by Derek Roland, Book by Keith Varney. 90 minutes, minimum cast of 11)
Kris isn't buying into his therapist's experimental treatment or her unusual methodologies, but he quickly discovers everyone else in his life is... (45 minutes, work in progress)
Produced at the New Victory Theater, the Joyce Soho Theater, Judson Church. Co-written, co-choreographed, and performed by Parallel Exit theatre company.