Fire In The Red Land – A Two Act Play
A Two Act Play on The Life of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop by Margaret Cusack
Margaret Therese Cusack rsj, who was born and grew up in Sydney, New South Wales, had some acting experience while a student at St Scholastica’s College, Glebe Point. As a Sister of St Joseph, she was trained to teach Secondary Science/Maths at the Josephite Training College in North Sydney. From 1967 onwards, she was involved in Music Education and achieved tertiary diploma qualifications through the Australian Music Examinations Board and Trinity College, London. As a teacher of Junior Secondary classes at St Joseph’s High School, Kogarah, she directed several school musicals.
During the 1970s, Margaret became part of a team of Sisters whose task it was to promote the cause for Beatification of Venerable Mary MacKillop. This led to the writing of ‘Fire in the Red Land’ in 1979. She was Music Advisor to Primary Schools from 1986-1995, and during that time was Musical Director of ten annual combined Music Festivals in the Wollongong Diocese, involving sixteen Catholic schools. At the same time, she reworked the second draft of the play (with helpful critiques from the Australian Playwrights Centre), and completed it in 1994.
Margaret considers it a privilege to have been called to help promote devotion to the person who is now Australia’s first canonised Saint