Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak (MS/MS) supports Shanahan's movement and performance research and the public presentation of her singular contributions to dance, which include both solo and ensemble projects/performances and service to the field through professional-level teaching. Core values stem from the belief that creation and performance foster a sense of community and inspire both artist and witness to experience themselves and each other at a deeper level. Shanahan's movement vocabulary is unique, distinctive and the result of deep physical investigation into both solo and ensemble forms. Parallel research (meditation, somatics, philosophy, psychology) provides additional context and a variety of entry points for audiences.

Current projects signal an expansion from theme-driven, abstract dances to those that honor the witness's role in co-creating experience. MS/MS is now increasing emphasis on cultivating partnerships and opportunities that will nurture the development of work and enhance touring potential.

Since 1994 Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak has performed extensively in conventional and unconventional settings and through self-, co- and fully-presented arrangements. A partial list of venues includes: The Dance Center of Columbia College, Links Hall, Storefront Theater, The Athenaeum Theatre, Northwestern University, Ruth Page Dance Center, Harold Washington Library, The Building Stage, Alverno Presents (Milwaukee), Joyce SoHo (New York), Dance Theater Workshop (New York), and Tangente (Montreal).   

In 2004 Mad Shak was the recipient of the Chicago Dance and Music Alliance's Elizabeth F. Cheney Dance Achievement Award, citing Shanahan's body of work in 2003 and 2004 for impact on the field and promise for continued innovation. Shanahan was selected as a 2007 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist and was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for her work on My Name is a Blackbird. Stamina of Curiosity is supported by, among others, a National Performance Network Creation Fund Award in partnership with Alverno Presents and Denison University (Ohio).

In November of 2010, Shanahan received The Meier Achievement Award from the Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Charitable Foundation for the Arts. This cash award honors Chicago-area artists who are in mid-career and have demonstrated both talent and persistence in pursuing their craft. Special emphasis is placed on overlooked or under publicized talent who are 'pushing the envelope,' that is, continuing to innovate, as well as community involvement.

Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak is an anchor arts partner at Berger Park and permanent artist-in-residence at High Concept Laboratories (both, Chicago).

Molly Shanahan / Mad Shak’s creative achievements are increasingly recognized across the field of contemporary dance.