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AT THE CENTRE OF LIGHT addresses issues of faith in Australian life and the values we hold important. Mary MacKillop had a generosity of spirit and a compassionate heart; she had friends across creeds and believed in equality for “we are but travellers here”. It explores what these values hold for us today and how isolation, poverty and struggle ignite faith. Mary MacKillop’s journey highlights the plight of women in rural and urban environments. Mary stands for all the pioneer women whose courage and contribution has gone unsung.
Mary MacKillop stood her ground against male patriarchy and parochialism. She went alone to Rome to plead with the Pope that the Josephite sisters should have central control over their order rather than it being carved up to serve the interests of local Bishops. Her travels are an odyssey - mapping an interior landscape of belief and aspiration in a world of dark places. As 19th century Australia is being mapped, explored and carved up for minerals and land grabs, Mary discovers another landscape made of faith and dreams. Her original and authentic voice challenges a colonial society dominated by men and asks, what is this land to which we all belong?
This play had a highly successful season at 12th Night Theatre Brisbane in 2010, with two return seasons at La Mama and a regional tour in 2009. It was selected for presentation at WPI Mumbai 2009. Travel to Mumbai was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
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