MFA Acting/Directing - Regent University BFA Musical Theatre – Hartt School, University of Hartford


Derek Martin is a professional actor, director, choreographer, producer and educator and has spent the last eighteen years working professionally in the Arts, Media and Entertainment. Previously, Derek was a professor of theatre and Chair of the BA in Theatre at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. He is a member of Actors Equity Association, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and Christians in Theatre Arts and has been a recognized actor/combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors. Derek has worked professionally at some fantastic theatres around the country such as: Connecticut Repertory Theatre, The York Theatre Company (NYC), Virginia Stage Company, Virginia Musical Theatre, The Palace Theatre, The Musical Theatre of Connecticut, The Round Barn Theatre and many others performing in such shows as “SINGIN IN THE RAIN, THE MUSIC MAN, WEST SIDE STORY, THE SECRET GARDEN, HELLO DOLLY,” to name a few. He was the lead in the multiple-award winning short film, “THE NOBLE LIE”. He has choreographed broadway’s Carol Jaudes in her one woman international tour of “And Sarah Laughed” and performed as “Chris” in the table-read cast of CBN’s hit animated series, “SUPERBOOK!” Derek is also the Artistic Director and founder of the professional summer theatre company – THE AMERICANA THEATRE COMPANY in Plymouth, MA. Where he spends every summer producing theatre with his beautiful wife, Jennifer (also a faculty member of Jessup and a fantastic performer) and his family. Derek and Jennifer live in Roseville, California.

Why Jessup

Jessup is positioned for great impact in the region and in the country for young Christian artist-leaders. The opportunity to begin and develop a multi-dimensional, multi-disciplinary arts program offered me the chance to live out what I believe God has called me to do – to help the church became the major culture leader and shaper in society once again.

When I visited Jessup, God gave me a vision… I remember coming to visit one morning and the sun shone greatly against the side of the buildings, lighting Jessup up like a torch. God said that this was to be a “Shining City on a Hill.”

I felt God had his hand on Jessup, guiding and using the faculty, administration, staff, and students to change the cultural atmosphere of Placer County and the Greater Sacramento Region. I wanted to be a part of what could be such a valuable tool for God’s glory. With President Jackson’s insight, vision, and leadership, I have no doubt that God will do amazing things with this unique and excellent institution.

Favorite Class to Teach

It is so hard to choose… I love Directing, Musical Theatre Dance Styles, Unarmed Combat for the Stage, but most of all I love the Creative Christian. It is in this class that students learn to develop their own theology of the arts and start to discover the plans God has for them in their calling, future ministries and their profession.

My Inspiration

Genesis 1:1 – “In the Beginning God created…” God’s first identity is that of a creative.

Genesis 1:27 – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them.” We are made in God’s image, endowed with God’s own identity within us…therefore we are creators, we are image-makers.

Genesis 1:28 – “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” God gave us the cultural mandate that we are to tend to the Garden of God.

Genesis 2:9 – And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” God has an interest in creative activities that are morally good, truthful, and beautiful. He believes our work should be recognized for its beauty and that it is food for our soul and nourishment for our bodies.

Matthew 28:19 – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” God wants what we do to draw others to a right and better relationship with him.

John 8:32 – “…know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” In Christ there is freedom… if we commit to telling the truth and knowing the truth and showing the truth we will have freedom.

Much of church art and Christian engagement of art and artists is that of “thou shalt not”. But I believe Christ is calling us to freedom to create work that is bigger and better than any other work because whatever we do, we must do it in Christ and He deserves our very best.

It is my prayer that this will be the generation that helps the church become artistically relevant to the world so that more people are drawn toward Christ through the arts, media, and entertainment.

Recent Work/Scholarship

Produced – REDEEMING LOVE by Francine Rivers and AN INSPECTOR CALLS by J.B. Priestly during the 2013 season of Americana Theatre Company. Currently we are preparing to produce MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS by Ron Hutchinson and a brand new farce called THE COTTAGE by Sandy Rustin for the 2014 summer season.

Directed REDEEMING LOVE by Francine Rivers and adapted to the stage by Scott Hayes for the 2013 summer season at the Americana Theatre Company.

Will be Directing LITTLE WOMEN: THE MUSICAL at William Jessup University in April, 2014. This will mark the first fully produced theatrical production in the history of William Jessup University.

Performed in the role of Richard Love in Virginia Stage Company’s 2013 production of SWINGTIME SALUTE: A USO SHOW – performed on the deck of the U.S. Battleship Wisconsin in Norfolk, VA.

Will be performing the role of David O. Selznick in the play MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS this summer at the Americana Theatre Company.

Publications – Had his article “The Gift of Art and the Gift of Tongues” re-published by