Collective Acts


Collective acts of creativity

York Theatre Royal is a place where creativity is at the heart of everything we do and we don’t want this to stop being the case simply because our building is closed. That’s why we’ve launched Collective Acts, a programme of activities and digital events that will help our wonderful community stay connected and keep the creativity going until we can open our doors once again.

Scroll down the page to find out what we’ve got going on at the moment including projects to help with home schooling and fun activities to keep the whole family entertained. Make sure you keep an eye out on our social media pages for further updates on other ways you can get involved.

Pop-up on the Patio

Live theatre at York Theatre Royal this August

A festival of live outdoor performances on our patio stage, featuring Yorkshire’s finest theatre and dance makers.

Beat those lockdown blues away and let us entertain you with pop-up performances from some of the best home-grown talent our region has to offer. Theatre, dance, music, magic, storytelling, slam poetry – there’s something for everyone on our patio stage this August. Scroll down to view the full festival line-up.

York Radio Mysteries

Listen to these biblical stories online

At a time when life in lockdown has meant drastic changes for all of us, a sense of normality like going to the theatre would be a welcome relief. But as theatres are closed for now and social distancing seems to be with us for a while, York Theatre Royal has been working in collaboration with BBC Radio York to bring the York Mystery Plays to life on Radio.

Listen to all episodes of the York Radio Mystery Plays on BBC Sounds now.

The Plays, which date back to the 1300s, consist of a selection of biblical stories which are drawn together into a piece of theatre. The York Radio Mystery Plays are performed by a mix of community and professional actors.

Summer SHOWcase

Celebrating past summers at York Theatre Royal

August is usually a really busy time at York Theatre Royal, with our summer show in full swing and our building packed with families crafting, eating and (as was the case last summer) climbing aboard a patio pirate ship.

But our doors are currently closed and we’re missing this usual hustle and bustle. So, we thought we should have a celebration of the fantastic family fun that made our building come alive during summers past. Every week this August, we’ll be sharing photos and videos from some of our brilliant summer shows, plus some activities to keep the whole family entertained while schools are out.


Young people finding our way forward together

York Theatre Royal Futureproof is a team of young people from Yorkshire who want to have a voice in the changing landscape of Arts and culture. Through a variety of activities, events and consultations they will be asking big questions and challenging, debating and discussing the relationship between culture and young people now and into the future.

The first York Theatre Royal Futureproof event, entirely programmed by the Futureproof team, will take place on Saturday 22 August online.

Lockdown Legends

Creative Challenges for all

We’ve come up with a series of theatrical challenges for you to take part in whilst we are all staying safe at home. Our theatrical Lockdown Legends Challenges are open to all ages and just for fun. Including willing family members and pets is actively encouraged.

Get involved with every challenge and you could be in with the chance of winning some fantastic prizes!

Arts Award at Home

Home-based arts learning

In recognition of the truly exceptional circumstances we are all now living in, we have adapted the delivery of the nationally recognised Arts Award so that they can be undertaken from a home setting. Our guide is specially designed to be used by children and young people, supported by their parents/guardians, to keep them busy, engaged and inspired by the arts until our theatre reopens.

In Focus Competition

A snapshot of life in Coronavirus Britain

Thank you to everyone who submitted their ‘life in lockdown’ photos to our In Focus Competition! We received so many fantastic entries.

Our top-notch panel of judges from our very own Photography Group (John Saunders, Karen Boyes and Denise Cruden) have decided on our three winners. Check them out via the link below.

Everything Is Possible

Our epic community production

Thank you to the 10,000 people who tuned in to our online stream of Everything Is Possible: The York Suffragettes on YouTube. We hope our inspirational production brought you some hope during this difficult time.

The play was performed on a spectacular scale with a cast of over 150 and a choir of 80. We raised the purple, green and white flags and cried “Votes for Women!” to sold-out audiences.

Railway Children Audiobook

Created by The Railway Children Cast

‘“There’s no end to this tunnel,” said Phyllis, and indeed it did seem very very long. “Stick to it,” said Peter; “everything has an end, and you get to it if you only keep all on.”’

Beth Lilly and Rosalind Lailey (who played Phyllis and Bobby in our 2015 production of The Railway Children) are recording a full, unabridged audiobook of the story during lockdown.

You can listen for free, enjoy!