"I wanted to congratulate you on an excellent performance [A Bright Light in the Darkness - The Catherine McAuley Story] yesterday. The performance was informative from an historical point of view and incredibly engaging - which I think was largely due to the way in which the performance was broken into 3 parts with a Q&A in between and also due to the excellent performance of each actor in the play! I think the way in which our Year 7 cohort were tuned in to the performance was evidence of just how engaging the play was! Most of all, it was a God-honoring performance. So well done - I am so glad that I had the opportunity to see the performance. All the best with your future shows.'' Larry O'Connor, St Joseph's College, Mildura VIC
"What a wonderful production of "Mary- A story of Courage," both the acting and the story line itself was performed to a very high standard and certainly had the students and teachers intrigued. It was outstanding to see how much research had been portrayed throughout the performance. Each of us walked away with greater knowledge of this woman. Thanks again!" Giorgia De Paoli, Marian Catholic College, Griffith, NSW
"The performances [of Mary- A Story of Courage] were fabulous, and the actors did a brilliant job! I'll be sure to recommend the show to others." Natasha Mitchell, St Jospeh's Catholic Primary School Belmore, Sydney
"The shows last Friday were great! The students and the teachers alike very much enjoyed them! The actors were very professional and engaging and both shows were pitched at the right level for the different age groups. The teachers also commented on how they thought the format of a Q&A after each major scene was very effective. It broke it up a little bit and gave the kids the opportunity to participate. We would certainly have no hesitation in recommending your theatre company to other schools!" Samantha Haddin, Holy Spirit Primary, North Ryde, Sydney
“An incredible production! A must see for schools (and big kids alike!). Well done Therase and your amazing crew! Laura, Jade and Simon you personified your roles so well and truly captured the life of one courageous woman! Congratulations to you all!”
Anne-Marie Gallagher, Education Officer, Mary MacKillop Place, Feb 2018
As a Sister of St Joseph, I was moved by the Blue Whale Theatre's Mary – Story of Courage. This wonderful play about Mary MacKillop is sensitively and professionally acted by very expert and committed actors. It was impressive to see that all the details of the play were historically correct. The characters were brought alive to us in a way that was both believable and enjoyable. The aim of the play is to introduce children to the life of Mary MacKillop. It was impressive to see how the actors relate with children in a friendly and educative manner. Although the play is designed for children, I found it to be equally touching and enjoyable for adults.
Sr Maryellen Thomas, Congregational Leadership Team, Sisters of St Joseph, May 2018
"The Mary MacKillop performance last week was terrific! I had great feedback from teachers and parents and all the students appreared to be very engaged in the performance! The acotrs were very professional and presented an excellent performance. The script was well written and the students enjoyed the opportunity to ask Mary questions at the end of each act. I think this was a clever way to present the story of her life. I was impressed with the types of questions they were asking which is evidenceof how engaged they were in the performance." Meaghan Kwiatkowski REC Villa Maria Catholic Primary Hunters Hill, Sydney
On 'Mary - A Story of Courage.' ''Again another wonderful experience of professional storytelling from Blue Whale Theatre! Thank you for your expert performances and professional actors who brought the story of Mary MacKillop to life for the current generation." Emma Lenehan, Our lady Queen of Peace Primary School, Gladesville, Sydney
"Thank you for a wonderful evening. I loved the show 'Mary A Story of Courage' and it was evident that alot of work had gone into research and production. What a talented group of people you are!" Debra Galafaro, St MarksCatholic Primary, Drummoyne, Sydney
"Dear Therase and Co, you are AMAZING! What a wonderful two days we have had. Such enjoyment with the life of Catherine so movingly presented in our Schools. Special gratitude from the Sisters of Mercy, for whom this presentation was both moving and challenging." Sister Margaret Bray, Sisters of Mercy Lismore, NSW
"Dear Therase I just really want to acknowledge the amazing performance today. To be honest, I do not get performances [in to school] because I do not think they make a difference to our students. Every performance in the past has been OK but I believe has made no difference to our students - kids have a bit of fun etc. but that is all. I really believe your performance today will make a positive impact on not just our students but our staff. My daughter in Yr 5 just came out and said that she wants to be more like Catherine McAuley and be more giving to the poor!.. This is very special so thank you [the show] will make a real positive difference to our school community. You should be very proud of what you do!" John O'Brien, Principle at St Mary's Catholic Primary, Casino NSW
"Thank you for your excellent performance today for our school!" Roy Thompson, St Patricks Parish School Albury NSW
“The play A Bright Light in the Darkness” was beautifully scaffolded for the students. The explanations before each scene really ensured the students knew what was happening so they could just enjoy Catherine’s story. The question times were brilliantly handled and the actors were very knowledgeable and informative. It was fantastic to see the students involved and asking thoughtful questions to gain a better understanding of our schools founder. All in all it was very impressive and I would be happy to have the chance to see them again.” Lia Shaw Cathrine McAuley College Bendigo, NSW
"Dear Therase, Thanks again for a great show! Let me know when to book for 2018." Paula Cox, St Josephs College Mildura VIC
"The play 'A Bright Light in the Darkness’ is an exceptional dramatisation that so beautifully expresses the life and times of Catherine McAuley. It powerfully sends an authentic message to influence students and staff to be inspired to action. Interestingly, several staff commented as a group after the production that it was the best ‘incursion’ they have ever witnessed in the school setting … and I agree wholeheartedly!”
Philip Ledlin School Principal, Our Lady of Dolours Catholic Primary School, Chatswood, Sydney
''Dear Therase and company, you are amazing! What a wonderful two days we have had (A bright Light in the Darkness tour Casino/ Kyogle NSW). Such enjoyment with the life of Catherine so movingly presented in our schools. Special gratitude from the Sisters, for whom the presentation was both moving and challenging." Sister Margaret Bray, Sisters of Mercy Lismore, NSW
"I really want to acknowledge the amazing performance today. To be honest I do not usually get performances into school...kids have a bit of fun etc. but that is all. I really believe today will make a positve impact on not just our students but our staff. My daughter in Year 5 said she wants to be more like Catherine mcAuley and be more giving to the poor... this is very special. The show will make a real difference to the school community. You should be very proud of what you do." John O'Brien, Principle at St Mary's Catholic Primary, Casino NSW
'Dear Blue Whale Theatre thank you for the excellent performance [A Bright Light in the Darkness - The Catherine McAuley Story] today at our school!'' Roy Thompson - educator at St Patricks Parish School Albury,
'Dear Therase, thank you again for another great show this year [A Bright Light in the Darkness] please let me know when i can book again for 2018.'' Paula Cox - Teacher at St Jospeh's College, Mildura VICTORIA.
“A Bright Light in the Darkness” was beautifully scaffolded for the students. The explanations before each scene really ensured the students knew what was happening so they could just enjoy Catherine’s story. The question times were brilliantly handled and the actors were very knowledgeable and informative. It was fantastic to see the students involved and asking thoughtful questions to gain a better understanding of our founder. All in all it was very impressive and I would be happy to have the chance to see them again.” Lia Shaw English Teacher, Cathrine McAuley College Bendigo VIC.
"What a wonderful two days we have had with Blue Whale Theatre.Such enjoyment with the life of Catherine so movingly presented in your play, and so thoroughly entered into by our students in our former Mercy Schools. Special gratitude from the Sisters, for whom this presentation on Catherine McAuley's life was both moving and challenging as we reflected on the birth of our Order." Sister Margaret Bray, commenting on the Casino/Kyogle tour of 'A Bright Light in the Darkness' June 2017
"Thank you for the production…it was awesome and very well received by both staff and students! Again, please pass on my thanks to Jade and Roger the other actors, they were fabulous!" Cam Tu-Hines, Aranmore Catholic College, Leederville, Perth
"What a performance!! I have spoken to a number of teachers (one of who was the Principal) who had nothing but glowing reports for you - they thoroughly enjoyed the performance because it taught them things about Catherine they did not know. They commented on the fact that the play was at the children's level and easy for them to follow. They also commented on how engrossed the children were - for them to sit there for and hour and have their total attention, speaks for itself. The questioning session at the end of each session also kept them on their toes as children LOVE to ask questions. Thank you for coming out to perform for us!" Nicolette Callan, Our Lady of the Rosary Kellyville, May Sydney 2016
"I'm one of the Year 6 teachers at St Michael's Primary, Baulkham Hills.I would like to congratulate the three of you for your engaging performance of the life of Catherine McAuley. The three of you made her come alive with your spectacular acting. I could see the students so engrossed too. Their questions during the breaks showed they were taking in the information through your enthusiastic performances.
I would like to thank you for your professionalism and the ease in which you helped the students see the life of Catherine McAuley unfold in this Year of Mercy. Good luck in your travels as you entertain millions more." George Francis, St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, May 2016
"Therase, you would have been so proud of Jade, Joanne and Roger at St Charles Primary School, Ryde, Sydney today. They were fantastic. The children were so engaged and had so many questions. This has got to be a hit! Wow! What a great production. Five stars for production and acting. So well researched and so well presented. Lucky kids in Mercy-founded schools who can learn about Catherine McAuley in this way. Highly recommend Blue Whale Theatre Company. Cheers to you, Therase and your fantastic team." Anne Ferguson Cordinator, office of mission Administration for Sisters of Mercy Parramatta 2
"What an inspirational play! It engaged me from the outset and left me reflecting on the power of dramatic performance. The script displayed a high level of research and rich insight into the life, spirituality and mission of Catherine McAuley. The technique of providing short breaks for question time between the characters and audience added a further level of engagement and insight into Catherine’s life. Well done! I would highly recommend 'A Bright Light in the Darkness' to all Mercy Primary schools." Sr Margaret Sheppard, Sisters of Mercy, Parramatta
"I was inspired and enthused when I witnessed the play “A Bright Light in the Darkness”-the life of Catherine McAuley. The actors lived their parts especially the actor who played Kitty or Catherine. Her replies to the questions from an informed audience showed the depth of research that she and the theatre group had done in preparation. I congratulate Therase, the director and producer and her group for the inspiring and well performed play suited to Primary School children. The techniques used to engage with the audience were excellent. Well done and thank you." Sr Kathleen Dowse, Sisters of Mercy, Parramatta
"We were privileged to have the Blue Whale Theatre Company perform “A Bright Light in the Darkness” twice in our Sisters of Mercy Chapel. The quality of the acting along with the accuracy of the story, made for a truly magnificent experience. The interactive components of the play were a win with the students of St Catherine's Singleton. I booked 2 performances: a shorter version for school students K -Year 2 and the full version for older primary school children Yrs 3 - 6. Our Sisters and the local press also attended the shows. Everyone enjoyed the performance! If you have the chance, I would recommend you host a performance of this wonderful Production." Cynthia Mulholland, Events & Marketing Co-ordinator, Sacred Spaces Singleton at the Sisters of Mercy Convent
"Last Friday evening I was privileged to see the production of “A Bright light in the Darkness” inspired by the life of Catherine McAuley Firstly, I was impressed with the research the group had done which was evident in the narrative and the interaction. The strategy of 'hot seat' where the actress playing Catherine McAuley answered questions helped to break the play up into sections. The play held my attention from beginning to end. Congratulations and thank you for this auspicious production." Sr Marie Butcher, Sister of Mercey
"I wanted to email and tell you that the Elf show on Friday was truly AMAZING!! All children and families were very engaged and amazed with the show and they gave me great feedback about it too. It was great to see the energy and we can’t wait to have you back at the campus again. Thanks again for such a fantastic show, I will pass on your information to the other OAC campuses too as your company definitely deserves the recognition.'' Director, OAC North Parramatta, December 2015
“Dear Therase thank you for coming and performing at our centre yesterday, it was a delight to have you here. All the children enjoyed the show and understood the humour within the show which was a delight to see! The show was totally age appropriate and the content and the delivery of the show was very well rounded for us as educators to follow up with many different experiences!” Aleta Hill, Director at 'A Bright Beginning Australia' Early Learning Centre, Roseville, Sydney. August 2014
Interactive Storytime Theatre Show...
Testimonials from school teachers