Who Are We?

In the pages of this website you can find out everything about what we do here at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

The range of our work is massive; whether you are a beginner, an aspirational artist or a professional we provide opportunities.  Whether you are 5 or 95 there are ways you can get involved with us and whether you want to sit passively and watch a great piece of theatre or take part in the action we can help.

Visit our Creative Engagement pages or Artists and Programming to find out everything you need to know.

In the meantime here is what we are about; this is our Vision, Mission and Manifesto and it’s what makes us proud to be West Yorkshire Playhouse, in Leeds, in Yorkshire and in touch with the rest of the world.


We will be a vital theatre, a great artistic beacon for the North, rooted in our communities and creating exceptional art.


Our mission is to create world class, relevant and compelling theatre and to transform people’s lives by the power and vitality of our work. We aim to have a company, an artistic programme and an audience that reflect the diversity of the society in which we live.


We all tell stories. Telling stories is part of being human, how we describe the world as it is and how we would like it to be. How we change things. Make difference. We love theatre because it creates a space where we make and listen to our stories; they become real, enabling us to have a conversation with ourselves, to reflect on and transform our view of the world and each other.

Vital theatre is the work writers, actors, directors need to make, theatre that audiences need to see

  • Old stories retold in new ways
  • Stories that are not told or cannot be told elsewhere
  • New voices that need to be heard
  • Theatre which makes us think about where we live, in Leeds, in Yorkshire, in the world
  • Theatre that is inspirational, creating wonder, possibility and promise

West Yorkshire Playhouse is a vital theatre. We are a creative hub for the city and beyond, a place where people and communities come to tell and share stories; to experience world class theatre that is pioneering, invigorating and relevant. We are dedicated collaborators seeking out the best companies and individual artists locally, nationally and internationally to create inspirational theatre here in Leeds at the heart of Yorkshire.

We develop work with established practitioners and find new voices that we believe should be heard, providing a creative space for new writers, emerging companies and individual theatre artists. We make work with national and international ambitions yet we’re locally rooted and our distinctiveness is informed by where we are from.

Cultural organisations are vital for growth. By opening up our building, our work and our imagination we will develop theatre across many platforms from large scale spectacle to more intimate performances. We will help transform the way our city is seen. And we will transform the way we see our city, Yorkshire, the world and each other by reaching out to and working alongside communities, schools, businesses and audiences throughout Yorkshire, the UK and further afield. We are an agent for change, enabling people whatever their age or background to develop skills and transform their lives.

West Yorkshire Playhouse – Vital Theatre

Ramps On The Moon

West Yorkshire Playhouse is also proud to be part of the Ramps on the Moon consortium.

Making theatre accessible for our audiences has been at the core of our organisation for many, many years; we are proud of what we have achieved in pioneering Relaxed and Dementia Friendly Performances to enhance our offer of Audio Described, Captioned and BSL Performances.

However, alongside what we do for audiences, it is equally important that what we show on our stages reflects the society in which we live and the Ramps on the Moon project allows us to put Deaf and disabled actors at the heart of main stage productions – as ably demonstrated by the recent tours of The Government Inspector in 2016. Tommy in 2017 and the forthcoming tour of Our Country’s Good  in 2018.

Working with an Agent For Change we will strive to ensure we will be:-

  • Embedding understanding of Deaf and disabled people throughout the organisation
  • Putting access on the agenda of all meetings
  • Creating long term employment and training opportunities for Deaf and disabled people
  • Acting as a hub within the own region to disseminate experience, information and good practice
  • Casting more Deaf and disabled actors in our productions
  • Making our building more accessible and welcoming to all Deaf and disabled audiences
  • Actively enabling more Deaf and disabled participants in the life of our theatre.

We look forward to our continued involvement with the consortium and its contribution to changing the world view of Deaf and disabled performers and audiences alike.

James Brining Artistic Director
Robin Hawkes Executive Director

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Spring / Summer 2018 West Yorkshire Playhouse Brochure

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