Catherine McAuley “A Bright Light in the Darkness”

‘A Bright Light in the Darkness’ was written and produced by Therase Neve at Blue Whale Theatre to capture the heart and spirit of Catherine McAuley, encouraging children to explore and relate to Mercy values through the examples of this inspiring woman.

The play was uplifting and heart-warming and chronicled Catherine’s life in three main sections: the childhood influences of her father, the pivotal experiences of her early adulthood and then – what she achieved later in life and the legacy she left behind.

After each of the three sections of the play the audience were invited to ask the actor playing ‘Catherine McAuley’ questions, through a theatrical device called a ‘hot seating session’.  Another actor facilitated the hot seating workshop allowing for structured question time between Catherine and the students. Throughout the play the actor playing Catherine McAuley remained in character – thus helping the students to identify with Catherine as a real person. The ‘hot seating’ sessions further assisted the information covered in the play, to give students the opportunity to ask emotional or factual questions about what they had seen.

Today we saw the Catherine McAuley play and we thought it was very interesting and we learnt lots of new things, like we didn’t know that Catherine also known as Kitty in her early years, built a house, called the House of Mercy for the women and girls who need shelter and learning facilities to do things like: reading, writing and sewing.  We think it was very interesting how they showed the story of Catherine McAuley’s life. We thought it was an amazing performance and if we got the chance we would definitely see it again. Kaylee and Stasia, 6.6

The highlight for us is how she inherited the three million dollars and did not spend it on herself, but sent the money on the poor people: We think the Catherine McAuley play was very educational and was very interesting to watch. Catherine opened the House of Mercy for women, after the time passed after her mum and dad died she moved in with three different houses until she found a family that excepted her being catholic. Daniella and Isabella, 6.6

The Catherine McAuley play was very interesting they used lots of different outfits to act the different characters, they had very limited props but you could still understand what was going on. They were very good at projecting their voices which made it easy to hear. They really made the play interesting.  Our highlight was when Catherine was a little girl and she was learning about giving to poor people. Catherine was very at showing her emotions. We learnt about how her compassion to help people is what helped her open the house of Mercy. She was a very compassionate person. Giulia and Ciara, 6.6

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