Patti & Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art, and PerformanceCollege of Liberal Arts

Michael McNamara

  • Associate Professor

Department Information

Theatre // VPA // Faculty
Design, Art, and Performance // Faculty

Office Information

  • Office: PAO 2183
  • Office Phone: (765) 496-2386
  • Office Fax: (765) 496-1766
  • E-mail:
  • Specialization

  • Lighting Design

  • Michael McNamara is the Faculty Lighting Designer for the Department of Theatre at Purdue. 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. In recent years, he has served as Associate Lighting Designer at the Canadian Opera Company, the New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, the San Diego Opera and the Dallas Opera. He has also been an Assistant Designer at the Seattle, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Portland Opera companies and at the Royal Opera in London.

    Michael has designed at numerous Chicago-area theatre companies including First Folio Theatre (where he is an Artistic Associate) and with whom he won the 2012 Joseph Jefferson Award for Lighting Design-Midsize Venue with his design of The Turn of the Screw. Other Chicago theatres include Shattered Globe, Remy Bumppo, Eclipse, Writers’ Theatre, Griffin, Dolphinback, Magellan, and Pegasus Players. Outside of Chicago he has designed at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts and the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis. He has designed and taught as a guest artist at the University of Kentucky, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wheaton College, Huntington University and Marquette University.

    Michael is the co-author of Designing with Light: An Introduction to Stage Lighting with J. Michael Gillette. He has also contributed to Mr. Gillette’s other work, Theatrical Design and Production.

    Michael received his Master of Fine Arts in Stage Design from Northwestern University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Theatre Arts from Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. Michael is a member of United Scenic Artists Local USA-829, the Illuminating Engineering Society, and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology where he is on the Board of Directors.


Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

© 2019 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by CLA

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact the College of Liberal Arts Webmaster.

Some content on this site may require the use of a special plug-in or application. Please visit our plug-ins page for links to download these applications.