Derek Whitener

North Texas’ music and theater community is stepping up to support Derek Whitener, the popular local actor/director who remains in a coma at Baylor Hospital with a fractured skull after being attacked by two men Saturday night, Jan. 14, in the parking lot of the Target store on Haskell.

The attack bears some similarities to a series of attacks against gay men in Oak Lawn that began in 2015.

At its weekly rehearsal, the Turtle Creek Chorale raised more than $1,000 when it passed the hat to support Whitener. Executive Director Bruce Jaster said the Chorale is open to collecting more.

“We’re glad that there’s something we can do, joining with others in the arts community, to help,” Jaster said.

A GoFundMe account has been created and has brought in more than $74,000 so far.

Whitener recently became executive director of Firehouse Theater in Farmers Branch, where he was currently appearing in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. A portion of ticket sales for the show through the end of the week will go towards Whitener’s medical expenses. Tickets are available here.

WaterTower Theatre in Addison, Mama’s Party at Uptown Theater in Grand Prairie and OnStage Bedford are among the theaters that have already announced they’re helping defray medical costs.