Halena Kays is a Chicago and Nashville based theater director and performer.  Most recently 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 public 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 and professor of directing at MTSU. 

Halena is an Artistic Associate with the Neo-Futurists 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 directing credits include: Endgame, Ivywild, Six Characters in Search of an Author at The Hypocrites; The Magic Play at The Goodman, The Olney Theatre Center and Actors Theatre of Louisville, Lord of the Flies at Steppenwolf 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.   She also made an awesome kid who can spin and fall down. Proud member, SDC.