Current Board Members
Alex Stevens has been a part of the Comar team for over 10 years, working first in the Café and Kitchen, before taking on the role of Community Engagement and Development Officer 2016-18. She now runs The Gallery Café on Tobermory Mainstreet. She has a BA in Social Sciences, formed part of the first all women parliamentary committee in Scotland, is an ambassador for She Votes and served on the Mull & Iona Community Trust Board and Glasgow Calton Community Council. Passionate about local politics and the arts and excited by positive links between the two, she has returned to Comar as a member of the board.
Alex rarely escapes the Café, but when she does she enjoys long walks on the beach, drinking beer and day tripping to the city. She is currently looking forward to her three month expedition to SE Asia.
Raymond is Professor of Music Psychology and Improvisation at The University of Edinburgh. Prior to this position he was a Professor in the Psychology Department at Glasgow Caledonian University where he led the Glasgow Caledonian Music Psychology Research Group for 12 years. His ongoing research focuses on issues relating to improvisation, musical communication, music health and wellbeing, music education and musical identities. He studies the processes and outcomes of music participation and music listening and has a particular interest in collaborative creativity. His work is informed by a view of improvisation as a social, collaborative and uniquely creative process that provides opportunities to develop new ways of working musically. His work also contributes to debates highlighting the ubiquitous importance of music, stressing that everybody has a biological and social guarantee of musicianship. He runs music workshops and lectures internationally and has published over 70 peer reviewed papers and book chapters.
He has co-edited five texts, Musical Identities (2002) and Musical Communication (2005), Musical Imaginations (2012) and Music Health & Wellbeing (2012), The Handbook of Musical Identities (2017) and was editor of the journal Psychology of Music between 2006 and 2012. He is an associate editor for The International Journal of Music Education, Jazz Research Journal, Research Studies in Music Education, Musicae Scientiae and The Journal of Music Therapy. As a saxophonist and composer who has released over 50 CDs and toured and broadcast worldwide. He has written music for film, television, theatre, radio and art installations and much of his work explores the boundaries and ambiguities between what is conventionally seen as improvisation and composition. He has collaborated with musicians such as Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, Evan Parker, David Byrne and Jim O’Rourke.
Jan Sutch Pickard
Jan is a member of the lively creative community in SW Mull, one of the Ross of Mull Poets, a writer and storyteller – a Directory member of the Scottish Storytelling Network. She is a Director of the Ross of Mull Historical Centre and a regular volunteer. She’s committed to good communication and collaborative working.
A career in editorial work and communication with an NGO was followed by six years working for the Iona Community at the Abbey, latterly as Warden. At first hand, she knows the potential of performance and residencies to challenge and inspire both practitioner and host community. She hopes to see Comar enabling more of this kind of exchange: a resource for the whole island, drawing on the gifts and energy of those who live here (such as traditional music), as well as bringing new music, varied performance, writing and the visual arts from the mainland to established venues, schools, and village halls.
Jan is a published poet, in numerous anthologies and on-line publications. Works in print include Out of Iona, Between high and low water and A pocket full of crumbs (all Wild Goose Publications). Recently, Jan has been involved in several local projects: ‘Carved Identities’ with Historic (Environment) Scotland, ‘Changing Landscapes’ with the National Trust for Scotland and a Storytelling Festival for the Iona Community. She hopes that the arts community represented by Comar and the local community (creatives, teachers, countryside rangers) can find common ground and mutual encouragement.
Will was born and brought up in London, and studied Architecture at the Macintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow, and then at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. Since graduating, Will worked for Anne Thorne Architects, and then for Richard Rogers (RSH+P) before setting up in practice with his wife on the Isle of Mull.
He has over 15 years of experience of a wide range of projects including everything from mega projects like the Leadenhall building in London, colloquially known as ’the cheese grater’ and Heathrow Terminal 5 through to smaller projects such as the Ulva Ferry Community Housing on Mull.
As such, Will is well placed to provide advice and guidance for upcoming capital projects in order to help Mull Theatre and An Tobar secure a great new venue and deliver the refurbishments needed.
Mary McCluskey has recently retired as Artistic Director/CEO of Scottish Youth Theatre where she was in post since 1992. Educated in Scotland and the USA - she has worked for many theatre companies including: - Dundee Rep; Wildcat Theatre; Scottish Opera; Scottish Ballet; Face to Face; Ibsen Festival (Skien, Norway); Royal Shakespeare Company; Citizens Theatre; ‘A Play, A Pie & A Pint’; Otago Theatre; Edinburgh College and Scottish Opera.
Mary has directed over 100 productions for SYT including:- ‘Prom Night of the Living Dead’; ‘‘Sweeney Todd', ‘Dying For It', ‘Geordie', ‘His Dark Materials Part One', ‘When A Star Falls', ‘Hamlet’, ‘Love But Her’, ‘Tam O’Shanter, ‘Jerusalem: Song of Deeds’, ‘The Weegie Board’, ‘Twelfth Night’,‘Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off’, ‘Thebans’, ‘The Tempest’, and ‘Dye In The Goldfish Bowl’ for Scottish Youth Theatre. Between 2005 and 2017, Mary devised and directed over ten immersive Festive Shows for 3-7 year olds In 2018, Mary directed the first collaboration between Scotland’s National Youth Performing Arts companies (NYCOS, NYOS, SYT & Y-dance). ‘Tell Us Who We Are’ by Gary McNair played at the Fruit Market as part of Festival 2018.
Mary has adapted 'Wee Macgreegor', 'Wee Macgreegor Enlists', 'Medea', 'Hamlet', 'Macbeth', 'The Glory', 'The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie’ and ‘The Tempest’ for Scottish Youth Theatre. In recent years, she has adapted ‘Anthony & Cleopatra’, ‘Romeo & Juliet’, ‘The Seagull’ & ‘Don Giovanni’ for Oran Mor’s Classics Cuts Season. In February and June of 2016, Mary directed ‘Frances and Ethel’ for A Play, A Pie and A Pint’ at Oran Mor. In April 2017, Mary directed Scottish Opera’s Connect company in ‘Dido and Aeneas’. More recently Mary has directed ‘ In For A Penny’ by David Cosgrove for Otago Theatre as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival 2019; ‘Lion Lion’ by Sue Glover for ‘A Play, A Pie and A Pint in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen; and ‘Fissure’ – a new devised piece for PASS, Edinburgh College at the Traverse. In June this year, Mary directed a ‘Etta’s War’ – a community production the contribution the women of Haghill made during WWI. At present, she is in rehearsals for ‘Amadeus and the Bard’ – a new touring production, Mary has written for Scottish Opera.
In October 2009, Mary formed Theatre Jezebel with Kenny Miller and Anne McCluskey. Their first production was the European premiere of ‘Autobahn’ by Neil LaBute. This was followed by ‘Doubt’, ‘Days of Wine and Roses’, ‘Lady M’ – a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Scottish Play, and ‘Harold and Maude’. In September 2016, Mary directed a critically acclaimed production of Keith Huff’s ‘A Steady Rain’ at the Tron in Glasgow- the production was named as ‘Evening Times Play of the Year 2016’
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.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, by Sarah Argent.
In October 2006, Mary was awarded an Unsung Hero Award at the Sunday Mail Great Scot Awards. March '07, saw Mary being named as NCH Woman Of Influence 2007 at a ceremony in Glasgow. In December, 2007, Mary became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In November 2015, Dundee University awarded Mary and honorary doctorate for her work in Scottish Theatre and her work with children and young people. In recent years, Mary has sat on many judging panels for Music Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments. At present, she is a panel member for the Cameron Composer In Residence (Dundee Rep)2018. Mary is currently running the Mercury Musicals Development BEAM Follow Spot Writers’ Group.
Mandy had a successful career in computing, latterly in sales and marketing with a large multinational company, which took her to America. During her time there, she retrained as an Actor, gaining a BFA in Theatre/Acting in Ohio and an MFA in Acting from Florida State University. Her acting credits include Vivian Bearing in ‘Wit’, Lettice Douffet in ‘Lettice and Lovage’, Lady Bracknell in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, Maud/Lin in ‘Cloud 9’, Malvolio in ‘Twelfth Night’, Lucifer in ‘Dr Faustus’, Gertrude in ‘Hamlet’ and Judith Bliss in ‘Hay Fever’ to name but a few. She has been a dialect coach for the Asolo Theatre company and for Florida Studio Theatre, as well as directing a number of plays. On her return to England, she spent time teaching Drama in Yorkshire and before retiring two years ago, spent a number of years leading in Special Education in Hull and East Yorkshire. She was delighted to return to the stage in 2018, making her debut at Mull Theatre with ‘He's Done Nothing Wrong.’
Mandy has lived on Mull with her partner Carol and their two dogs, for the last two years, where they enjoy and support island community life. In her spare time she enjoys walking, photography, singing in a local choir and volunteering for RDA.