A new “accessible” theatre opens today (22 July 2011) in east London, situated opposite the Olympic Park and built using reclaimed materials from the site for next summer’s games. The Yard, a 120-seater converted from a dormant warehouse in Hackney Wick, will be open for one season only, from now until 29 October 2011.

With affordability for both audiences and artists in mind, visiting companies will be offered free rehearsal and performance space and 51% of box office takings, and ticket prices for The Yard’s diverse programme of theatre, dance and opera will range from just £4 to a maximum of £10.

The Yard is the brainchild of a group of directors, led by artist director Jay Miller, who had grown frustrated at the lack of opportunities for emerging artists in London. One of their principle stated aims with the project is “to increase transparency and access in theatre, making the building a magnet for audience and artists alike”. For each new production, the rehearsal process will be open to the public via “workshop performances”.

The launch programme this month at The Yard includes David Greig’s short plays Fragile and Cello, Made in China collaborations Stationary Excess and Dreams of a House High on a Hill and Stewart Melton’s Imagine You are Everyone Everywhere at Once and Everything Seen, Heard, Said and Done Is by You and For and to You, which dramatises the Twitter response to the persecution of Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei.