The Yard Theatre was founded in 2011 when a group of 50 volunteers transformed a warehouse in Hackney Wick, Tower Hamlets into a theatre, music, and arts venue. Initially intended as a temporary space, The Yard has grown into a permanent fixture in Hackney Wick. It was designated a National Portfolio Organisation by Arts Council England in 2018, and has taken on the management of two local community centres: Hub67 in Hackney Wick and The Hall in East Village, Newham.
The Yard building is divided into two spaces: a 110-seat, fully-raked amphitheatre, and a bar and events space serving locally-sourced food and drink, and hosting late night music events. The Yard has a track-record of identifying and supporting exceptional talent. Two shows – Chewing Gum Dreams, written and performed by a 19-year-old Michaela Cole, and Beyond Caring, written and directed by Alexander Zeldin – were produced at The Yard and later transferred to the National Theatre.
As well as a vibrant theatre and music programme attended by tens of thousands of visitors annually, The Yard runs creative projects for young people aged 4-19 years, and offers regular activities and resources for local residents. The accessibility of art is a core principle for The Yard. Each year, 70 local young people take part in free weekly workshops annually, hundreds more from local schools take part in free workshops and Q&As and attend discounted shows, and roughly 12,000 visitors benefit from activity run by The Yard and local residents at the two community centres.