Mary McCluskey, Artistic Director of Scottish Youth Theatre since 1992. Educated in Scotland and the USA, Mary graduated from Hamilton College of Education and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama. She has worked for Dundee Rep, Wildcat Theatre, Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, Annexe Theatre, Irresistible Flood, Face to Face, Ibsen Festival (Skien, Norway), Royal Shakespeare Company & Citizens Theatre. Mary has adapted 'Wee Macgreegor', 'Wee Macgreegor Enlists', 'Medea', 'Hamlet', 'Macbeth', 'The Glory' and 'The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie'. In 2002, Mary won the Jury's Prize for Direction & Pedagogy at the Rainbow Theatre Festival in St. Petersburg for her production of 'Born Bad' - a play exploring the 'nature vs nurture' debate - are children who murder born evil or does their environment make them evil? Most recently Mary has directed ‘Sweeney Todd', ‘Dying For It', ‘Geordie', ‘His Dark Materials Part One' and ‘When A Star Falls' for Scottish Youth Theatre. In June, 2008, Mary adapted Shakespeare's ‘Anthony & Cleopatra' for Oran Mor's Classics Season.
Her international work includes leading workshops and masterclasses in Antwerp (Belgium), Dublin (Ireland), Oslo & Skien (Norway), Perth (Australia), Prishtina (Kosovo). New York (USA) and Toronto (Canada). Many of Mary's productions have toured internationally.
Since the mid '70's, Mary has been involved with the theatre community in Scotland as a youth theatre tutor and theatre director. Mary first worked for Scottish Youth Theatre in 1979 as a member of residential staff. In 1989, she joined the company as Associate Director. After spending time with the Royal Shakespeare Company in their Education Department, Mary took up the post of Artistic Director of the youth theatre in 1992. Mary has committed her working life to enabling young people to engage with theatre and the creative process.
In October 2006, Mary was awarded an Unsung Hero Award at the Sunday Mail Great Scot Awards. March 2007 saw Mary being named as NCH Woman Of Influence at a ceremony in Glasgow. In December 2007, Mary became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in November 2015, Mary was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by University of Dundee.
Jacky joined SYT in April 2016. Her career has always focused on using the arts to create opportunities for individuals to thrive, most significantly in youth theatre settings and also in a wide range of community and education contexts.
On graduating from the University of Manchester with Double Honours degrees in Drama and English, Jacky served her apprenticeship in the arts by setting up a company with a fellow graduate, specialising in mask and physical theatre. It was here she realised her strongest interests were working in participatory contexts and moved to a role as Project Coordinator with Mid Pennine Arts to manage projects with schools and local communities.
From 1997-2005 Jacky was Artistic Director at Burnley Youth Theatre in Lancashire. In her eight year tenure she grew the organisation to one with a national reputation for high quality work with, by and for young people. She also saw through the successful completion of a new purpose built facility for the young people of East Lancashire which opened in 2005. While growing her skills as a leader and manager of the organisation, Jacky broadened her artistic repertoire, directing a wide range of projects and productions with all age groups and abilities. During her time at Burnley, Jacky contributed to national priorities as a member of the Board of the National Association of Youth Theatres including three years as Co-Chair.
Following a period of study for a degree in Heritage Studies, Jacky moved to Scotland in 2008 to take up the role of Cultural Coordinator for Museums, Galleries and Heritage with Aberdeen City Council. In 2012 she progressed to the role of Creative Learning Manager to manage a period of significant change for three of the Council’s creative teams, supporting Citymoves Dance Agency in its move to becoming an independent organisation and shaping a new Creative Learning Team with equal emphasis on developing the artistic skills and experiences of individuals and using the arts and creativity as a mechanism for change.
When she takes a day away from the arts, Jacky likes nothing better than climbing a steep hill to take in a fine Scottish view with a flask of hot coffee and Elvis the Cairn Terrier for company.
Karen has been Associate Director with Scottish Youth Theatre since 2001. Karen graduated with BA Hons Community Arts from Strathclyde University. Karen has worked throughout Scotland as a freelance Drama specialist with pre 5 groups, children, young people and adults. Whether it is leading workshops, directing or planning projects she is passionate about all aspects of creating theatre with young people. Karen feels driven to ensure that a high standard of theatre experience is delivered to young people. With this in mind, she devises, develops and provides specialist training to fellow theatre practitioners. Karen has worked extensively with young people with mild to complex support for learning needs. Her sessions bring stories to life through a sensory theatre experience.