Kay Martinovich

Dr. Kay Martinovich is a professional theater director based in Chicago, where she has directed for Remy Bumppo Theatre, City Lit, Trap Door Theatre, and Irish Repertory of Chicago, among others. 

At NIU, Kay teaches Meisner-based acting, audition technique, professional development for the actor, and introduction to performance. Other classes she has taught are directing I and II (devising), Irish drama, and aesthetics of performance.

NIU directing credits include Girls and Dolls by Lisa McGee, A Bright New Boise by Samuel D. Hunter, A Skull in Connemara by Martin McDonagh, Middletown by Will Eno, Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek by Naomi Wallace, The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard, and Women In To Light (devised). Additionally, she directs and produces the annual MFA/BFA Actor Showcase presented at the Chopin Theatre in Chicago – and virtually online for 2020 and 2021 – the 2021 Showcase can be seen at https://www.niushowcase.com/

From 1999 through 2006, Kay was Associate Artistic Director for Irish Rep, where she directed the American premieres of Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats... and Brian Friel’s The Yalta Game; and Chicago premieres of Bailegangaire by Tom Murphy, Pentecost by Stewart Parker, The Mai by Marina Carr, and The Bear, adapted by Brian Friel. At Trap Door Theatre, she directed Naked by Luigi Pirandello, the Jeff-award winning La Bête by David Hirson, Polaroid Stories by Naomi Iizuka, and Bremen Freedom by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Credits also include The Father by Florian Zeller (Remy Bumppo Theatre); Deirdre of the Sorrows by Sean O’Casey (City Lit Theatre); Grant in Othello by Josh Nordmark (Theatre Wit); Down Range by Jeffrey Skinner (Genesis Productions); Anything of Value by Brett Neveu (RIPPED at American Blues Theatre); Winsor McCay by Laura Marks (TEN at The Gift Theater); Old Times by Harold Pinter (Circle Theatre), and many other Chicago-area and regional productions.

She is a proud member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), the professional union for directors.



Co-Chair of American Conference for Irish Studies Regional Meeting at NIU, Oct 8-10, 2021

Published review in Ecumenica, an online journal, Fall 2021

Directing/Producing the MFA/BFA Actor Showcase, Spring 2022


Head of Performance
Head of BFA Acting
Associate Professor
Education: Ph.D in Theatre Historiography, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; M.Phil in Irish Theatre and Film Studies, Trinity College, Dublin
Office: SB 242
Email:  kaymartinovich@niu.edu