Spiel Chicago Episode Eight: Melissa McNamara

Spiel Chicago Episode Eight: Melissa McNamara

Pictured: Melissa McNamara. 

This week Smyra talks with the incredibly multi-talented Melissa McNamara. Melissa is an improviser, movement director, pilates instructor and solo performance artist. We discuss how she found herself on such a diverse path and how she started Mind Art Core Pilates Performance, which has twice won The Chicago Reader’s “Best Of Chicago” award for best pilates studio. We also talk a little about her solo performances and how she works to destigmatize the issue of domestic violence for women.

October is domestic violence awareness month. To learn more and see what resources people are sharing, you can follow #DVAM2016 on Twitter and Facebook. You can also visit One Billion Rising, a campaign to end all gender-based violence. The women’s organization mentioned in this episode is called Between Friends, a non-profit agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence.

If you know of any other resources, especially arts and performance based, that address issues of domestic and gender-based violence, please email us at [email protected] or contact us @spielchicago on Twitter.

Thanks again to Melissa and to everyone listening. Tune in on Monday, October 31st for special Halloween episode with Runaways Labs Theatre, producers of the upcoming premiere of Mary Shelley Sees The Future. See you at the theatre!


SPIEL CHICAGO is a bi-weekly podcast that explores the progressive and thoughtful work of women in Chicago theatre. To listen to past Spiel Chicago podcasts click here.

About author

Smyra Yawn

Since 2011 Smyra Yawn has worked as a stage manager, production manager, business manager and teacher in Chicago. She enjoys also coffee and gardening.