University launches community theatre at SPARK York

By Rachel Conlon and Jules Dorey-Richmond

York St John University’s new city centre community theatre based at SPARK York will offer and promote inspirational, community arts engagement & performance for all in the city that will challenge prejudice, promote social justice and foster creative relationships through accessible, arts participation and performance making.

The York St John University has been contributing to the global theatre industry for over 50 years and the 2 year project in partnership with SparkYork will enable sustainable community arts practice to take place alongside inspiring teaching and learning and impactful research for all involved. The synergy with SparkYork concentrates on a shared ethos of social purpose, activating meaningful & relational arts engagement and acting as a catalyst for change.

 Professor Karen Stanton, Vice Chancellor of York St John University emphasised the University’s commitment to community arts, saying: “We’re very pleased to be part of this social innovation project set in SPARK York’s exciting and innovative new space.

 “For York St John students, the new theatre will provide relevant, real world experience and an understanding of the impact of theatre within a community city setting. We hope to inspire and merge communities so that participants can come together in an arts process that emphasises collaboration, dialogue and social justice and provide great art for all”.

 The longevity of the project will aim to develop and nurture community networks, forge and sustain meaningful relationships between communities and give insight to the landscape of community arts practice in York. It will also aim to facilitate reflection & understanding in order to find out what the people of the city of York desire for now and for the future in respect to current & emerging community arts practice and performance.


Notes to Editors

  • York St John University has nine new academic Schools and an increase in the range of demand-led courses has seen a record rise in student numbers.
  • Around 100 degree course options are now available, including Games Design, Criminology, Policing Studies and Biomedical Science.
  • The University was founded on 17 May 1841, achieved University status in 2006 and Research Degree Awarding Powers for PhD and doctoral programmes in 2015.
  • The award winning campus in the heart of York has undergone a £110m transformation over the past 10 years, including new library and IT facilities, student accommodation, biomedical labs, a 57 acre sports park on Haxby Road and a new Students’ Union building.

For further information please contact Amy Lansdown-Nasson, PR & Communications Officer onT: 01904 876466 or E: or go to