Theatre Professor Directs Chicago Premiere

(photo by Ron Goldman)

Kay Martinovich, recently appointed as Assistant Professor in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, has directed the Chicago premiere of Down Range by Jeffrey Skinner, which opened last Thursday, August 7, in Chicago.

Genesis Theatrical Productions, in conjunction with National Pastime Theater, is presenting the Chicago premiere of Down Range, a raw and touching play that revolves around the high cost of multiple deployments for two military families. The year is 2009 and two combat soldiers return home from Iraq following an IED attack on their vehicle. Down Range depicts the soldiers’ inability to ever leave the war behind, and the ripple effects this has on their families, friends, and ultimately on an entire community.

Down Range runs Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at 7:30 pm from now to August 31 at the Preston Bradley Center, 941 W. Lawrence Avenue, 4th Floor, in Chicago, Illinois. NIU folks joining Kay in the presentation of this production are professor Brandon Wardell (lighting design), and students Ashley Greenberg and Collin Lindgren (co-lighting designers).

The show has received a couple of terrific reviews. Chicago Theatre Review says "The real sacrifices made by men and women in the military, and particularly those involving loved ones, is virtually unknown to most private citizens. Career soldiers seem to be their own breed of animal, belonging at once to their close-knit military band of brothers, but also part of their own civilian families waiting back home. The quandary and personal struggle over which family should dominate a soldier’s life is told in a series of scenes and monologues that add up to a powerful look at one of society’s unknown elements."

And this review from Chicago Stage Standard specifically features Kay: "Award-winning poet and playwright Jeffrey Skinner has written a moving and powerful drama about the men who devote their career and their lives to the military. He exposes the addictive nature that the army’s family holds over these individuals and illustrates how war is wagered, not only in foreign lands but in the men’s personal lives, as well. Kay Martinovich’s production presents all the right elements…"

Mary Shen Barnidge writes in the Windy City Times that Kay is "legendary," and that her "expertise in polemical drama is apparent...."

Perhaps the most meaningful "review" is this one: Kevin Barszcz, President of Chicago Veterans, came to see the show this past Sunday night, and had this to say about it: "Down Range is a must see, not only for the Veteran community and spouses, but for civilians as well. The actors are some of the best I've ever seen, I felt like I was back in the military, at times it was almost too real. Get a first hand feel for life in the military, from the commitment to the sacrifice, this play will leave you wanting to see it again and again."


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