BIO:

Halena Kays is a Chicago and Nashville based theater director and performer. Most recently she served as the artistic director of The Hypocrites, where she both performed and directed. She is the co-founder and former artistic director of Barrel of Monkeys where she created and directed the majority of their performances. She is a founding member of the artistic collaborative, The Ruffians, and directs their recurring hit production of Burning Bluebeard as well as their other experiments in live performance events. She is a UT-Austin and Northwestern grad, former member of the Big Apple Circus Clown Care unit, past co-artistic curator for Theater on the Lake in Chicago, and professor of directing at Middle Tennessee State University.

 

Halena is an Artistic Associate with the Neo-Futurists (Chicago) were she directed Pop/Waits, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Burning Bluebeard, co-created and directed Daredevils and Daredevils Hamlet and the sight specific extravaganza, Fake Lake. Other interesting Chicago directing credits include: Endgame, Ivywild, Six Characters in Search of an Author at The Hypocrites; The Magic Play at The Goodman and The Olney, Lord of the Flies at Steppenwolf theatre company TYA; Feast (part of a collaborative directing effort) with The Albany Park Theatre Project at The Goodman. 


Halena has been nominated for a Jefferson Citation for Best Supporting Actress and Best Direction, named one of the top 50 “players” in Chicago theater by NewCity, is a recipient of the prestigious 3Arts Award, and received a signed letter from Mr. Rogers saying she was “special” in 1978. Proud member, SDC. 


She also made an awesome kid who can spin and fall down.