We use cookies on this website to improve how it works and how it’s used. For more information on our cookie policy please read our Privacy Policy

Accept & Continue


About Us

About The Joseph Rowntree Theatre

The Joseph Rowntree Theatre is a registered charity serving the people of York and North Yorkshire. A Grade II listed theatre, it was built by the Rowntree Village Trust in 1935. It is the only remaining Rowntree building still used for its original purpose - a place for recreation and entertainment.

Today, a volunteer board of 15 trustees manages the theatre, supported by over 170 volunteers working across all areas, from stage crew to box office, fundraising and marketing.

It is a proscenium theatre, with 365 seats and full stage facilities, including the ability to fly scenery.

We have big plans for the future of our theatre. Our founders, the Joseph Rowntree Village Trustees, built the theatre as place for recreation and education. Building on that legacy, we want to expand the theatre into a space for our local community to come together, a place for everyone.

The Joseph Rowntree Theatre already has a special place in the hearts of many people in York – it’s a unique facility. But now we want to reach out further and open up our premises, both in terms of the building and people who use our facilities.

We are evolving our theatre into a vibrant community hub and creating new and exciting opportunities for more local people to get involved. Whilst the performing arts remain at the heart of what we do, we passionately believe that by opening up our theatre, more people from our neighbouring communities and across the City of York will be excited and inspired.

This is why we are embarking on a major capital project, to raise money to fund our theatre expansion and create multiple-use spaces. Achieving our ambition and realising our development plans will bring real and tangible benefit not just to our regular users and performers but also to the whole community. It will enable us to introduce more people to the experience of theatre.

We hope you will join us on our journey and help us to expand our theatre into a space where there is a place for everyone.

Our Vision
We have a clear vision, to be an inspiring community hub for performing arts and other entertainment.

Our Values
Our values are encapsulated in seven key words:

  • Accessible
  • Community
  • Hub
  • Heritage
  • Inclusive
  • Inspirational
  • Quality

Our Objectives
We have four principal objectives:

  1. To provide a quality, accessible performance venue for everyone.
  2. To extend the use of our building as a community hub.
  3. To support community productions through sharing resources and expertise.
  4. To use our volunteers effectively and support them in their volunteering.