Halena Kays is a founding member of the artistic collaborative, The Ruffians, former member of the Big Apple Circus Clown Care unit, past artistic director of The Hypocrites, and former co-artistic curator for Theater on the Lake.
Halena is an Artistic Associate with the Neo-Futurists where she directed Comfortable Shoes, Pop/Waits, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Burning Bluebeard, Daredevils, Daredevils Hamlet, and Fake Lake. Selected Chicago directing credits: Endgame, Ivywild, Six Characters in Search of an Author (The Hypocrites); The Magic Play (The Goodman Theatre), Lord of the Flies (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); How a Boy Falls (Northlight Theatre); On Clover Road (American Blues Theater); and Feast (part of a collaborative directing effort) with The Albany Park Theatre Project (The Goodman). Regionally, Halena has directed The Magic Play (The Olney Theater Center, The Actor’s Theater of Louisville, Portland Center Stage and Syracuse Stage), Love Song (Nashville Story Garden), and Secretary (Nashville Rep’s Ingram New Works Festival).
Halena has been nominated for Jefferson awards for Best Supporting Actress, Best Direction, and Best Production, 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 is a UT-Austin and Northwestern grad, and assistant professor at Northwestern University. Proud member, SDC.