Biography

Biography © Margie Mackay
Margie Mackay is a graduate of The Victorian College of the Arts with a Masters in Theatre Design, and a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Melbourne. She graduated from the prestigious John Bolton Theatre School in its inaugural year (1991), and is currently a PhD candidate at the Centre for Cultural Partnerships at the VCA and MCM, University of Melbourne.

Known for utilising fire, projection, dance and various modes of imagery, Margie's work is diverse and interdisciplinary with productions ranging from intimate indoor shows, to exuberant street theatre productions, street art installations and epic scale community ceremonies in Arts Festivals both Nationally and Internationally.

Her work has seen her travel extensively around the globe, with residencies and performance works in Zimbabwe, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Scotland, the USA and Colombia.

Margie was recently invited to take up a cross-cultural collaborative residency in Cape Town, South Africa, as part of Infecting the City Festival 2010. This residency culminated in a highly successful large-scale site-specific ritual performance: Quiet Emergency.

Between 1992 and 2003, Margie was a core of member Neil Cameron Productions working on epic scale, celebrational, ‘fire events’. With experience in over 25 shows, Margie became co-artistic director of NCP over the last 4 years of the company’s history. Concurrently, between 1993 -1997, Margie performed with the street theatre ensemble The Hunting Party at National Arts Festivals, Festivals in Asia & South America and on two highly successful European tours. She was a founding member of the company as well as its designer, maker & costumier.

With her work taking her to both remote rural and urban communities across Australia, Margie produced and directed the opening ceremony for Dreamtime at the G (2010, 2011 &2012), Longing Belonging Land for the 2008 Opening Night of the Melbourne International Arts Festival and earlier that year directed the opening ceremony for Yalukit Wilam Ngargee: People Place Gathering as part of the St Kilda Festival.

In 2009, Margie directed Bangari Kundma' rindma with the Nadjuri Crows, created fire drawings for Walking With Spirits Festival NT, and collaborated on Birrarung Ngargee with Indigenous and Non Indigenous artists and students from Northland Secondary College for the opening of Puppet Lab 2008.

Between 2005 and 2009, Margie keenly adopted the role of ‘Head of Ceremonies’ working alongside Artistic Director Rhoda Roberts for both the Opening and Closing ceremonies of The Dreaming International Indigenous Arts Festival. Margie has continued in this role under the directorship of Sam Cook.


In 2007 Margie designed and directed ‘Song of Ourselves – a meditation on reconciliation’ as her final Master of Theatre Design performance piece at the Victorian College of the Arts. Margie was awarded the prestigious Margaret Lawrence Social Justice Award in support of this work.

In 2006, Margie was Artistic Director of the Queen’s Baton Relay Celebrations held in Healesville, Victoria, working with the indigenous community, wider community and international guests to create both ceremonial and community performance events. Margie was also the co-ordinator for the Indigenous Welcome Ceremony for Festival Melbourne 2006 during the Commonwealth Games. Later that same year, Margie travelled to Northern Cape York, as part of the post-graduate cohort from the Victorian College of the Arts, which culminated in a multi media performance piece ‘Navigators’ for the Melbourne International Arts Festival.

Margie currently teaches 'Community performance and Ritual'at the VCA & MCM in the Centre for Cultural Partnerships (Masters CCD course) and the Project Management module for the Indigenous Arts Management Post-Graduate course at the VCA's Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Culture whilst furthering her doctoral studies.

Margie, keenly performs a mentorship role for young and emerging Indigenous artists, and has an ongoing commitment to reconciliation, the recognition of Indigenous cultures, and championing human rights in her works.

WORKS

Gathering of the City Ceremony Copy of Song of Ourselves Quiet Emergency Video collection Design: Performance and Installations Illuminated By Fire Dangerous Divas Dreamtime @ the G - 2010 & 2011 Song of Ourselves

Ritual Performance

Margie Mackay Ritual Performance

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