The Courtyard Theatre is set in the beautifully landscaped gardens of Ballyearl Arts & Leisure Centre. The Courtyard officially opened in January 1993 and was built as the name suggests in the courtyard and stable area of Burnview House. The House was refurbished at the same time to provide large and small rooms and is the basis for the many arts and crafts classes that run at Ballyearl. Each of the rooms of the house has its own name, which is associated with the area around the centre.
The Courtyard is home to Newtownabbey theatre group Theatre 3 and a plaque listing their many productions is on display in the main auditorium. The mezzanine also bears a plaque to Newtownabbey film star Stephen Boyd - best known for his roll in Ben Hur.
The arts centre hosts an annual arts and crafts summer scheme, which has just celebrated its 11th year in operation. The Smarty Arty club and Youth Drama meet here on Saturdays.
The Courtyard is home to many of the festivals in Newtownabbey including the Mossgrove Youth Musical Festival, the Ballyclare Dance and Music Festivals, the One and Three act drama festivals to name but some.
Over the years the Courtyard has played host to countless amateur drama groups as well as the household names familiar to Northern Ireland - Patrick Keilty, The Whole in the Wall Gang, Peter Corry and the wee man from Strabane Uncle Hugo are just a few.
The auditorium has been named The Dorsten Hall to celebrate Newtownabbey's twinning with Dorsten in German.
Ballyearl Arts and Leisure Centre
585 Doagh Road, Newtownabbey
Members of Mandy who have worked for The Courtyard Theatre