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Growing up in New York, I was fortunate to have access to Broadway shows. Not only was Manhattan less than a half hour from my house, but my parents placed tremendous value on my sisters and I having the theater experience. As a member of my school’s chorus, we would take field trips to Broadway shows (which was, admittedly, pretty cool).  I grew up with the importance of theater drilled into my head.

It’s not something I’ve lost, either. As an adult, I still love going to Broadway shows. The problem, besides living 2 hours away from Manhattan, is that ticket prices are phenomenally high, even for long running shows. Forget the prices for a high profile show with big name talent…those are off the charts expensive (not to mention almost impossible to get tickets to). So what’s a theater lovin’ gal to do?

Fortunately, there are ways to have the Broadway experience for less:

  • Traveling companies. Almost every major Broadway musical will have a traveling company version. In other words, a cast is formed and that cast travels to different cities for a week or so to perform the shows. Since it’s not on Broadway, and the cast is usually lesser known actors, the tickets are substantially cheaper. But, you still get to see the show closer to home, which also saves on your travel budget.
  • Go local. If a traveling company is still too expensive, why not go see a show at a local community theater, college or high school? The production value won’t be as high but you’ll still get the same experience, support your local schools and give back to your local economy. Plus, tickets are usually super cheap. One of the best theater experiences I ever had was at a community theater in Idaho so there’s definitely something to be said for local theater.
  • The Theater Development Fund. This is a program designed for teachers, students, nonprofit employees, civil servants, members of the armed forces and clergy, and a few other professions to receive tickets at a deeply discounted price. There are some program restrictions: only select shows and dates are typically available, the dates are only available about 2 weeks in advance, and you must provide proof of your eligibility. If you’re willing to abide by those rules, this is a terrific program, especially if you live in the NYC area. Tickets are available to very popular shows and, if you’re a member, you can order up to 9 tickets at a time. For complete info, go to their website, TDF.org.
  • Discount tickets. Outlets like StubHub are great for buying last minute tickets but the prices could be jacked up (unless the ticket holder really wants to unload them) or for buying the tickets for cheap in advance. However, if you’re like me and don’t trust those outlets, there are TKTS booths (run and operated by TDF) that sell cheap last minute tickets to Broadway shows. Take note though. Each of the booths sells tickets for different performances so make sure you’re getting your tickets through the right one.
  • Other ways to save: Volunteer at a theater. Check to see if any organizations you belong to offer discounts. Buy group tickets. See an off-Broadway show. Get on an email list like the one from Playbill.com. Attend a matinee (this is more effective for shows not on Broadway).

Is going to plays and musicals important to you? How do you fit it into your budget or save money  on the tickets?

Article publié pour la première fois le 27/02/2012

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