Michael J. McNamara
Promoted to Associate Professor
Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts, PAO
Michael McNamara has been on the faculty at Purdue University since 2007. For eight years he was Resident Assistant Lighting Designer with the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC where he worked on more than fifty productions with design teams from around the world. He has also been an Assistant Designer at the Seattle, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Portland Opera companies and at the Royal Opera in London. In recent years, he has served as Associate Lighting Designer for operas in Los Angeles, Toronto, San Diego, Dallas and Tel Aviv, Israel.
He has designed with numerous Midwest theatre companies and is an Artistic Associate with First Folio Theatre Company in Oak Brook, IL with whom he won the 2012 Joseph Jefferson Award for Lighting Design – Midsize Venue for his design of A Turn of the Screw. He has also designed and taught as a guest artist at the University of Kentucky, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Huntington University, Marquette University and Wheaton College.
Michael is the co-author of Designing with Light: An Introduction to Stage Lighting, originally by J. Michael Gillette and has contributed to the current edition of Theatre Design and Production, also by Mr. Gillette.
Michael received a BS in Theatre from Carroll University in Waukesha, WI and an MFA in Stage Design from Northwestern University. He has been a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829 since 1998. He has been a Director and is currently the Vice Chair of Communications for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology - Midwest Regional Section and is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society.