Derrick L Sanders

Associate Professor



BFA from Howard University and MFA from the University of Pittsburgh.



Derrick Sanders is the Producing Director of the August Wilson Monologue Competition and a member of the faculty in the theatre department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is an award-winning theatre and film director who has recently directed the opera La Clemenza di Tito for Chicago Summer Opera; and African Company present Richard III and The Island at American Players Theatre. His other credits include Washington, D.C. and West Coast premieres of Will Power’s Fetch/Clay Make/Man at Round House Theatre and Marin Theatre Company; August Wilson’s Fences at Marin Theatre; The Mountaintop at Virginia Stage Company; Clybourne Park and the world premiere of Beneatha’s Place in repertory for “The Raisin Cycle,” at Baltimore Center Stage; August Wilson’s King Hedley II at Signature Theatre; “August Wilson’s 20th Century” at the Kennedy Center; August Wilson’sJoe Turner’s Come and Gone at Baltimore Center Stage; August Wilson’s Fences and Radio Golf at Virginia Stage; August Wilson’s Jitney and Stick Flyat True Colors Theatre in Atlanta; Sanctified at Lincoln Theater; Gee’s Bend at Cincinnati Playhouse; Topdog/Underdog at American Theatre Company in Chicago; world premieres of Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money, Bud Not Buddy, and Jackie and Me at Chicago Children’s Theatre; and the world premiere of Five Fingers of Funk at Minneapolis Children’s Theatre. 


As the founding artistic director of Congo Square Theatre, Sanders directed numerous productions and received numerous awards and accolades for his work including several Jeff Awards for his production of Seven Guitars. He was also named the Chicago Tribune’s Theatre Chicagoan of the Year in 2005. His short film Perfect Day, which 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 is featured in Viola David and John Legend's documentary on August Wilson and the August Wilson Monologue Competition "Giving Voice" available on Netflix.

See trailer below:




Photo: Ross Taylor/The Virginian-Pilot

Courses Taught

Acting II: Contemporary
Practicum in Performance
Advanced Acting: American Drama
Advanced Acting: Ensembl