Yew Tree Background Information

Yew Tree Theatre Company was established over 15 years ago by three graduates from Bretton Hall determined not to finish their degree to walk into a job in retail or catering. So the original intention behind Yew Tree was simply to keep the dream alive and despite this naivety Yew Tree enjoyed some small scale success touring a number of productions including One Year in Every Ten a play written by the company based on the life and writing of Sylvia Plath and a pantomime of Cinderella.

The name Yew Tree was chosen due to its meaning as an ancient symbol. Yew trees have been widely used through history to symbolise everlasting life and gateways or bridges to creativity.

The real turning point in the life of the company was the launch of Yew Tree Youth Theatre an element of Yew Tree’s work that has remained constant throughout the life of the company. Originally this was created in conjunction with Bretton Hall but when they found they could no longer support it we went independent and in fact have never looked back. Yew Tree Youth Theatre now has over 220 members and has sessions across Wakefield see Youth Theatre.

At the start of Yew Tree Theatre Company\'s development the company  concentrated mainly on performance however it became clear early that Yew Tree’s strength was the ability to teach, develop and train through drama. This clarity of vision saw the start of the journey that has made Yew Tree the success it is today.

By 1999 only one of the founder members remained and the name had been shortened to Yew Tree. The company itself was gaining great momentum in terms of achieving a significant position within the arts community of Yorkshire. Other professionals were on board developing the infrastructure of Yew Tree and allowing us to engage in bigger and more adventurous projects. The last eighteen months have started to see a real consolidation of this process with Yew Tree forming valuable links with prestigious partners such as St Anne’s Housing Association, Healthy Schools, Connections and the PCT.