Kay Martinovich

This fall 2018, Kay Martinovich will embark on her 5th year as an Assistant Professor in Acting here at NIU. Currently she is Head of Performance and teaches Professional Development for the Actor (including audition skills), Acting Styles: Clarity and Character, Introduction to Performance, Directing I, and Directing II: Devising. Other courses she teaches include Contemporary Irish Drama and Aesthetics. She also frequently directs for the School of Theatre and Dance. 

Kay is a Chicago-based director where her most recent productions include the critically acclaimed Deirdre of the Sorrows by J.M. Synge at City Lit Theatre, the Jeff-award winning La Bête by David Hirson (Trap Door), Winsor McCay by Laura Marks (TEN Festival at The Gift), Anything of Value by Brett Neveu (RIPPED From the Headlines Festival at American Blues), and Down Range by Jeffrey Skinner (Genesis). From 1999-2006, Kay was Associate Artistic Director of Irish Repertory of Chicago, where she directed the American premiere of Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats… and Brien Friel’s The Yalta Game. Other Irish Rep credits include the Jeff-recommended Bailegangaire by Tom Murphy, Pentecost by Stewart Parker and The Mai by Marina Carr. Her work has been seen at many Chicago theaters including Lifeline, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, Live Bait, Emerald City, Circle Theater, Mary-Arrchie, and Chicago Dramatists and throughout the Midwest.

For NIU, she directed Middletown by Will Eno, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek by Naomi Wallace, The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard, A Skull in Connemara by Martin McDonagh, and Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage.

Kay completed her Ph.D. in Theatre Historiography from the University of Minnesota writing her dissertation on the concept of "ghosting" in contemporary Irish drama. She holds an MPhil in Irish Theatre and Film Studies from Trinity College, Dublin and a BFA in Directing from Catholic University in Washington, DC. She has contributed essays to several books including The Theatre of Enda Walsh (“Fierce Words/Brutal Deeds: Abjection and Redemption in Enda Walsh’s bedbound”) from Carysfort Press, The Theater of Marina Carr: 'before rules was made' (“The Mythical and the Macabre: The Study of Greeks and Ghosts in the Shaping of the American Premiere of By the Bog of Cats…) also from Carysfort Press, and Querying Difference in Theatre History (“Haunted Landscapes: Ping Chong’s East/West Productions”) from Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Kay has also contributed essays and book reviews to New Hibernia Review, an Irish Studies journal. Forthcoming will be her essay on the “death-bed” plays Woman and Scarecrow (Marina Carr) and Our Lady of Sligo (Sebastian Barry) for the collection "Death-bed Scenes in Irish Writing" edited by James Rogers.  

Prior to graduate school she was the owner of the Actors' Center, a Meisner-based professional acting studio in Chicago, where she was an instructor in technique, cold readings, auditioning, and scene study. Kay is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC).

Upcoming directing projects include Naked by Luigi Pirandello at Trap Door Theatre (Sept/Oct 2018) and The Father by Florian Zeller at Remy Bumppo Theatre. (Feb/March 2019).


Head of Performance, Acting
Education: Ph.D in Theatre Historiography, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; M.Phil in Irish Theatre and Film Studies, Trinity College, Dublin
Office: SB 242
Phone: 815-753-8258
Email:  kaymartinovich@niu.edu