Derek Chan (陳嘉昊) grew up in colonial Hong Kong, studied in Norway, and currently lives and works on the stolen and ancestral lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, colonially known as Vancouver. He received his BFA in theatre performance from Simon Fraser University. A playwright, director, performer, translator, and producer, Derek has been co-artistic director of rice & beans theatre since 2010. He has also worked with Playwrights Theatre Centre (artistic director apprentice), Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (associate artistic producer), and the rEvolver Festival (guest curator).
In 2015, Derek was awarded the Vancouver Fringe New Play Prize with Starstuff: per aspera ad astra. At the 2016 Glassco Translation Residency hosted by Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal, Derek translated Jovanni Sy’s A Taste of Empire (Cantonese title: 食盡天下/Sik Zeon Tin Haa). The play was subsequently nominated for a Dora Award (Best Touring Production) in 2018. His play, Chicken Girl (2019/20), won the Sydney Risk Award for Outstanding Original Play by an Emerging Playwright, and was nominated for Outstanding Original Script at the Jessies. Derek was part of the 2020/21 Banff Playwrights Lab, and has been a National Arts Centre English Theatre Artist in Residence (19/20) with yellow objects, a new installation-exhibition in support of the ongoing pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.
Derek has also worked on: tonight, just the two of us; MH370 (writer, fu-GEN Theatre); Carried Away on the Crest of a Wave (assistant director, Arts Club); No Foreigners (performer/translator, Hong Kong Exile/fu-GEN); Pick a Number (co-writer/performer, Boca del Lupo/FUSE). With rice & beans: Loomings; or The Whale (playwright/director), Mis Papás (performer), Last Train In (director); and Sik Zeon Tin Haa/A Taste of Empire (translator/performer, with Gateway Theatre’s Pacific Festival (2016) and Cahoots Theatre (2018)).