Going to the Theatre Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

HowtosnapupcheaptheatreticketsThere is a common misconception that seeing a play or musical is an expensive outing. While that can be true, there are several ways to alleviate the financial strain of a night at the theatre both here in the Twin Cities and in New York City. For example, rush and lotto tickets generally cost between $15 – $40, and usually offer some of the best views of the stage.

I’ll breakdown the options in both cities over the course of two posts. But first, the options for the Twin Cities theatre scene

Children’s Theatre Company

$10 Ticket Program

Tickets are available online, over the phone, and in person for all regular season productions starting when single tickets go on sale to the general public.

Preview Performances

The first Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday performances of each show are Preview Performances. Previews allow you to be one of the first people to view our productions before they are reviewed by the critics at a discounted rate. Preview tickets can be purchased in advance for $16 (plus applicable service fees).

Public Rush Tickets

Starting 2 hours prior to each performance any unsold seats will go on sale to the general public for $15 each at the CTC Ticket Office.

Guthrie Theater

30 Below

A program for theatergoers 30 years old and younger, members have the opportunity to purchase up to four tickets the day of the show by phone or at the box office. To enroll you must sign up in person at the Guthrie Box Office with a valid ID. For more information contact the Guthrie Box Office at 612-377-2224. Tickets for 30 Below are subject to availability and best available seating at the time of order.

Public Rush Line

Public Rush Tickets are made available for all shows. However, the availability of Public Rush tickets for a particular performance is dependent on ticket availability of that performance. Rush tickets are sold 15 – 30 minutes prior to curtain time. The lines form by the Box Office in the main lobby. Make sure you are in the right line for the show you are wishing to see as there will be one line for each show currently playing. Payment can be made by cash or check only.

Hennepin Theatre Trust

Public Lotto

In the past some larger touring shows like Wicked, The Book of Mormon and The Lion King have offered a Public Lotto open to the general public. With this, entries usually must be submitted in person about two and half hours prior to the show. With winners announced about thirty minutes later. Based on prior experience you are limited to two tickets, the winner must be present to win, provide proper identification and pay in cash. Check Hennepin Theatre Trust’s website to see if the show you’d like to see if offering a Public Lotto.

Student and Educator Rush

Rush Tickets are typically limited to Student & Educators for most shows. In order to qualify for this opportunity you must have a current student ID or employee ID for a school, school ID or college/university. Limited to 2 tickets, cash only.

The Scene

Hennepin Theatre Trust’s club for 20 and 30 somethings. Tickets are discounted for touring Broadway productions and generally include access to a post-show cast party. However, there is a $20 annual membership fee. Other benefits include discounts at the Orpheum, State, Pantages and New Century Theatre bars.

Park Square Theatre

Bargain Preview

Usually takes place on the Tuesday during previews. All seats are 99 cents. Limit 4 tickets per person. Seats are assigned at time of purchase. You can begin lining up 2 hours before tickets go on sale. Bargain Previews often sell out.

Showtime 7:30 pm – Tickets go on sale at 6:45 pm at the Box Office window only

Showtime 2:00 pm – Tickets go on sale at 1:15 pm at the Box Office window only

Pay What You Can Night

Some shows offer Monday performances where you can pay what you can to see the show. Seats are assigned at time of purchase. You can begin lining up 2 hours before tickets go on sale.

Showtime 7:30 pm – Tickets go on sale at 6:45 pm at the Box Office window only

Showtime 2:00 pm – Tickets go on sale at 1:15 pm at the Box Office window only

Rush Tickets

Available one hour before performance time, subject to availability. Call the box office on the day of the show to check availability of tickets. $24 – cash only

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Student and Educator Rush

Rush tickets may be available 30 minutes prior to curtain and are limited to high school students, college students and educators. School identification cards are required. Two tickets per valid I.D. Cash only. Tickets are subject to availability

Ordway Urbanites

Urbanites provides exclusive opportunities to young professionals age 21-35. More than just a ticket discount, this group creates a unique experience for professional and cultural development while also providing a variety of fun entertainment. Benefits include complimentary drinks/food at social events hosted by the Ordway and socializing and networking with other young professionals who love the performing arts.

Other Options

Discounted Tickets

GoldStar offers tickets usually discounted up to 50% off for plays, musicals, comedy and other performing arts events. Sometimes if you’re lucky you can even find tickets for free. You will usually find tickets for smaller theatres with local productions on this site. You can also purchase tickets in other cities across the country as well.

Pay What You Can

Many smaller theatres will offer at least one Pay What You Can Night. Sometimes this will be during previews, when you’re not seeing a final product as tweaks are still being made before the show officially opens. Others will offer this night during a Monday evening performance or “Industry Night” when other theatre professionals can come see the show as there show is dark for the night.

Some theatres don’t have standard rush or discount policies. If ticket sales are sluggish for a particular show a last minute discount of some sort may be offered. To ensure you are receiving the latest news regarding ticket and discount opportunities make sure you are subscribed to the theatre’s email list and following them on all social media platforms.

One thought on “Going to the Theatre Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

  1. Pingback: How to Avoid Breaking the Bank on Theatre in New York City | Girl Meets Broadway

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