Skip to main content
Department ofTheatre and Dance

Derek Duarte

Derek Duarte

Senior Lecturer, Emeritus

Lighting designer Derek Duarte joined the theatre faculty of Santa Clara University in 1997 after serving as a Lecturer at University of California at Santa Cruz and the University of California at Berkeley. Derek earned a BA in Dramatic Art from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Theatre Technology from UCLA.

Derek was resident lighting designer at American Conservatory Theater (ACT) in San Francisco for seven years, designing more than 60 productions for the company. Derek has designed over 600 productions including work at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Milwaukee Rep, Cleveland Play House, The Western Stage, San Jose Repertory, the Alley Theatre, Hong Kong Repertory, Syracuse Stage, and the Kennedy Center.

In 2014 Derek won the inaugural Theater Bay Area Outstanding Lighting Design award for In the Heights at Broadway-by-the-Bay. He has won several awards and honors including 5 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Lighting Design on such shows as Sunday in the Park with George, Execution of Justice, Judevine, Stardust, and Woody Guthrie's American Song. He has received numerous Drama-Logue Critics awards for his lighting designs.

Derek taught lighting design and production management and oversaw students conducting independent study work in the areas of design and technology. Beyond his regular design and mentorship responsibilities on campus, he also spearheaded the creation of the Theatre Design and Technology Minor, and was an active part of the Adjunct Faculty & Lecturers successful effort to unionize at SCU.

A member of United Scenic Artists, IATSE Local 829, the national union of professional designers, and USITT, the national service organization of technical theatre, he retired from SCU with Emetitus status in Spring 2024 but Derek plans continue to light the stage with his beautiful designs, both in the Bay Area and his new hometown, Minneapolis, MN.


Collage of Derek Duarte's top 6 shows at SCU


Design photos: