The Frugal TheaterGoer Guide to Discount Tickets

Give a man a discount code, you have found him a discount for today. Teach a man to find a discount code and you have found him discounts for a lifetime. Author unknown

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The New York Times Arts and Leisure Weekend is January 7-10, 2009.


The New York Times and NY Daily News both recently published articles about frugal theatergoing options.


There will be new Season of Savings.  Sign up for their mailing list now.


New York Theater Workshop has several discount programs, including CheapTix Sundays.  All tickets for all Sunday evening performances at 7:00 PM are $20 (Limit 4 per customer and subject to availability). Tickets are available in advance but must be purchased at the NYTW box office on a cash-only basis. Student tickets ($20) are still available for these performances.


Signature Theater Company is offering tickets to its entire season for $20.


Also according to Time Out New York, a pay service called Club Free Time offers detailed listings of free movies, concerts and plays.  You can browse the list (without details) for free.


The next Kids Night on Broadway is Tuesday February 2, Wednesday February 3, and Sunday February 27.  Kids attend participating shows for free when accompanied by an adult with a full price ticket.  Tickets go on sale at noon Monday November 9.




Check out the theater clubs on the following sites for discounts that you can obtain in advance:

Off Broadway On Line





Season of Savings




For a very comprehensive listing of available discounts, check out Some of the codes are unique to the site; some of them are from other sites. Other sites that compile offers are and NYC Show Discounts.  (Note that, in some cases, you cannot use printouts of the codes from these sites at the box office – you can only use them if you purchase tickets on the phone or over the internet.)


In some cases, you need to join the site’s club/mailing list in order to see the listing of discounts. These clubs are free to join. Most of the sites have similar discounts. has some off-Broadway discounts that are not available at other sites. has City Opera discounts.


Playbill has a site called PlaybillArts. You can sign up for discount ticket offers for classical music, opera, dance, and jazz events.


Check out Goldstar Events for discounts on theater and other events in several U.S. cities. Discount tickets are purchased directly from Goldstar.


Roundabout Theatre Company offers $10 tickets to 100 audience members for the first preview of each production this season. Tickets go very quickly.  (Note that recently the tickets have been available for the first few previews.)




Rush Tickets: For information on rush and SRO policies check out the discussion board on Talkin' Broadway. The Telecharge web site lists Rush policies under the “Getting Tickets” section of each show. Check out the links below under subscription programs and other Off-Broadway theaters for more specific information.


The Metropolitan Opera has initiated a new rush policy. The new Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Rush Tickets program offers 200 orchestra-level seats—regularly priced at $100 each—at $20 each for most performances Monday through Thursday this season. Tickets will be made available at the box office beginning two hours before curtain on the day of the performance and are limited to two per person. There are no refunds, exchanges, or adjustments to previous orders. Casts are subject to change.



Students/Seniors: TDF's website has an extensive listing of student discounts and student rush. Teens should also check out the High 5 Tickets to the Arts web site for information on $5 tickets for students aged 13 through 18. New York City Opera has special arrangements for students. Librarians, teachers, students and their families can pick up vouchers for 30 to 50% off at the School Theater Ticket Program.  Check out the information on Carnegie Hall and their student and senior citizen discounts, as well as a $10 ticket program. The Metropolitan Opera has $25 discounted tickets for students, $35 on weekends.


Students can also join Lincoln Center Theater's StudenTix program for free and purchase $20 tickets in advance.


BAM has student rush for $7 movies (Monday through Thursday, excluding holidays) and $10 theater, music, dance, and opera. Student ID and proof of age (25 and under) required at box office day of show. Tickets subject to availability.


City Center has a Peer to Peer P2P program.


35 and Younger: If you are young and like opera, check out the Big Deal Program available at City Opera. Carnegie Hall has the Club 57th & 7th program. Roundabout has the HipTix program.


Mailing Lists: Yahoo Groups has a mailing list for discount codes. To learn more about the theater codes group, please visit Yahoo Groups. Once you have joined the group, you can start sending messages to members of this group by simply send email to Google has a similar group, but there has been almost no activity on the group.


If the show you want to see has a website, join the mailing list. Some shows e-mail discounts to their mailing list. There is a list of Broadway web sites below.


You can join both the Tele-charge and Ticketmaster e-mail service and get periodic mailings with discounts. You can order tickets using discount codes through this Telecharge site, but not all of the Telecharge codes can be used at this site. You can sign up for the Telecharge list here.


Check out the NY Times Ticket Watch. You can have discounts mailed directly to your e-mail account.


For information on smaller OB and OOB theaters, check out SmartTix. They have a mailing list which frequently sends out discount offers.


Check out the Village Voice site. You can get a Village Voice card and get a weekly mailing that includes theater discounts.


I recently heard about two different sites, but have not used either one. Givenik is a site that offers discount theater tickets and will contribute 5% of your purchase to the charity of your choice. The second is NYTix, a site with discounts for theater, television tickets, and guides to New York City. And they will pay you a $25 reward if you are the first person to find a discount better than the one they offer.




TKTS: To get a general idea of what is available at TKTS, check Entertainment Link.  If you join the site, you can get more up-to-date TKTS information. In addition to Broadway and Off-Broadway, TKTS also sells tickets to NYC Opera and City Center. You can also get information at the TDF site.


Lincoln Center Theater: Lincoln Center is no longer accepting memberships, but check the site to see if they open again. It’s a great bargain. Pay $40 to join and you can get tickets to their shows for $40 in previews and $50 during the run. If you go once a year, the membership pays for itself.


Public Theater: The Public Theater has a Quik Tix Program, where a limited number of discounted rush tickets are made available to the general public beginning one half-hour before curtain to any non-sold-out Public Theater performance. Quik Tix are $15, cash only, with a limit of two per person.


New York Theatre Workshop: New York Theater Workshop offers Cheap Tix. Check out their site for details.


Playwrights Horizons: Playwrights Horizons has changed its policy of offering the first preview as Pay What You Can. They now offer a lottery.


Free Ticket / Papering Organizations: There are several programs that offer almost-free tickets to subscribers. Check out Audience Extras, Play by Play, the Theatermania Gold Program and Theater Extras.


Actors Equity: Members can get discounts listed on the Actors Equity website.


PBS: Members of PBS can get discounts detailed here.


New Jersey: For discounts on New Jersey performing arts, check out the Hot Tickets page at NJTix.or.g


Dance: If you are a dance fan, check out DanceLink. You can get discounts if you buy tickets at participating venues. If you join their mailing list, you can receive discount offers to dance events in New York, including discounts to Joyce Theater and BAM.


Audience Rewards: The Audience Rewards program is a frequent-flyer program for Broadway and Off-Broadway.





Other Discount Information:

For more information on discounts, check out Talkin' Broadway FAQ.


For more information on Off Off Broadway, check out Off Off Online, with reviews, listings, and theater profiles for Off Off Broadway show. Prices are generally under $25.


For Contests, go to Time Out New York. Most weeks, they have a contest where the winner gets free show tickets. The magazine usually has discounts in its Theater section as well as other sections of the magazine. And readers of this page have actually won the contest.


You can also see if you are eligible to join TDF and get cheap tickets through them. Take a look at Theater Development Fund to see if you are eligible to join. Their site also has a listing of shows that are generally available at TKTS. TDF also has on-line listings where you can buy tickets using a credit card. (The on-line listing program is excellent.)


The Tourist Bureau across from TKTS has discount coupons that used to be called two-fers. Ask at the information booth to see the list of shows for which discounts are available.


Hit Show Club now has a web site.  Call or Fax 212-820-9798 to become a member of the Hit Show Club and receive regular free mailings of Hit Show Club discount offers and access to a regularly updated information phone line. Email to join and receive weekly email updates of discount offers. Coupons are available around the New York metropolitan area or at Hit Show Club offices located in the Times Square area, 630 Ninth Avenue, 8th Floor, between 44th and 45th Streets, open 9 am - 4pm Monday to Friday. They are also available from NYC and Company Convention and Visitors Center, 810 Seventh Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets; call (212) 484-1200 for opening hours.


An organization called SVM sends discounts to companies for distribution to employees. Contact SVM at for more information. Do a google search for “SVM Discount Entertainment Guide” and the name of the current month and you should be able to come up with the current month’s listing of available discounts. (Update: SVM is now called Plum.)


Join the Time Out New York e-mail club and receive a weekly email with offerings for theater, movie, and store discounts.


Check out the promotions available to Time Warner Cable subscribers. (No promotions available at this time.)


Check out the Daily News’ User's guide to the city’s cut-price cabaret.


Check out New York Magazine’s guide called That's the Ticket, a guide to cheap theater, dance, opera and other amusements.


Dodger Theatricals has a web site. Sign up for their Stage Door Club and receive e-mail discount offers.


You can volunteer usher at several different theater organizations. Check out web sites of the different theater companies below, or look at the article from New York Magazine.


And completely unrelated to theater - check to see if your name is listed with New York State for some free money.


Want tickets to that show you want to see (for a price):


Best Seats in the House, a program that benefits The Actors Fund.

Caretix, a program that benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.

Damon Runyon Foundation, a program that supports cancer research


For a less benevolent attempt to find those hard-to-get tickets, check out Inner Circle.



Subscriptions: The following theater companies are among the more popular subscription programs:


Atlantic Theater Company

Classic Stage Company

Jean Cocteau Rep

Broadway by the Year

Drama Dept.

Keen Company

LABrynth Theater

Manhattan Class Company

New Group Theater

Lincoln Center Theater

Manhattan Theatre Club

New Victory Theater

Manhattan Ensemble Theater

Mint Theater Company

New York Theater Workshop

Pearl Theatre Company

The Public Theater

2econd Stage Theatre

Playwrights Horizons

Rattlestick Theatre

Signature Theatre

Primary Stages

Cherry Lane Theater

Roundabout Theatre

The Actors Company

Irish Repertory Theatre

Theater for the New City

Theatre for a New Audience

The York Theatre

Vineyard Theatre

Women’s Project & Productions





Other Off-Broadway and Miscellaneous Listings:

92nd Street Y

Abingdon Theatre Company

Apollo Theater

Brooklyn Academy of Music

City Center

Classical Theater of Harlem

Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre

Inverse Theater


LaMaMa Theatre

McCarter Theatre

the Nuclear Family

NY Musical Theater Festival

PanAsian Rep

Papermill Theater

Personal Space Theatrics

The Play Company

Prospect Theater Company

P.S. 122

Raw Impressions

Red Bull Theater

St. Ann’s Warehouse

Seth Rudetsky's Chatterbox

Soho Rep

Symphony Space

Theater Row

Vital Theatre Company

Young Playwrights Inc.

Works & Process



For a listing of more off-Broadway theater companies, check out



On Broadway

39 Steps

After Miss Julie

Billy Elliott

Burn the Floor

Bye Bye Birdie


Finian’s Rainbow

God of Carnage




In the Heights

In the Next Room

Jersey Boys

Lion King

Little Night Music

Mamma Mia

Mary Poppins


Next To Normal


Phantom of the Opera



Rock of Ages

Royal Family

Shrek (until January 3)

South Pacific

Superior Donuts

West Side Story

White Christmas


Wishful Drinking









This Season

All About Me (February 19)

Addams Family (March 4)

Behanding in Spokane (March 2010)

Collected Stories (April 6)


Fences (April 2010)

Hughie / Krapp’s (April 12)

La Cage Aux Follles (April 6)

Million $r Quartet (March 13)


Miracle Worker (February 12)

Next Fall (February 10)

Present Laughter (January 2)

Promises, Promises (Mar. 28)


Spider-Man (Feb 25)

Sondheim on Sondheim (March 19)

Time Stands Still (January 5)

View From The Bridge (Dec. 28)











In the works

Accidental Death of an Anarchist

American Idiot

American in Paris

American Psycho


Anything Goes 

Babes in Arms



Betty Boop (2010-2011)

Breath of Life

Brief Encounter

Brigadoon (Postponed)

Bruce Lee: Journey to the West

Busker Alley





Catch Me If You Can

Come Fly With Me

Count of Monte Cristo

Dancin (2010-2010)

Death Takes a Holiday

Dirty Dancing

Don Juan De Marco

Don’t Dress for Dinner

Elf (late 2010)

Enron (April 2010)

Enter Laughing (2010)

Ever After

Fallen Angels (2010)

Father of the Bride

Female of the Species

Finding Neverland

First You Dream

First Wives Club

Folding the Monster

Fool for Love

For Colored Girls

Godspell (Postponed)

Ghost Brothers of Darkland

Going Hollywood

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner



Hitchcock Blonde

Houdini (2010)

Jerry Springer


Kiss of the Spider Woman

Kristina Fran Duvemala

Leap of Faith

Lend Me a Tenor

Like Water for Chocolate

Little Miss Sunshine

Lone Star Love (cancelled)

Look Homeward Angel

Lombari (Fall 2010)

Love Never Dies (November 2010)



Me, Myself, & I

Merrily We Roll Along

Michael Jackson’s Thriller


Mormon Musical



New Jerusalem

Nice Work if You Can Get It


Nutty Professor

Old Times

Once (2010-2011)

Once Around the Sun


Our Town

Paradise Found

Picnic (Fall 2010)


Pitmen Painters (2010)

Porgy and Bess


Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (March 2011)

Pure Country

Red Rose Girls (2010/11)

Road to Qatar

Robin and the 7 Hoods (2010/2011)

Russian on the Side


Secondhand Lions (2011)

Separate Peace

Side Show

Sister Act

Sleepless in Seattle

Stalag 17

Star is Born


Tales of the City


Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Turn of the Century

Untitled Mandela Project (2010)

Wanda’s World

War Horse


When The Rain Stops Falling

Whisper House

Women on the Verge








 For shows with no website, see the links or PBOL stories. Thanks also to BroadwayStars.




Other Companies


New York City Opera

Metropolitan Opera

Amato Opera

Dicapo Opera


Dance Theater Workshop


Joyce Theater


Keigwin & Company


Les Arts Florissants


Mark Morris Dance Group


Parsons Dance Company


Paul Taylor Dance Company


Pearson Widrig DanceTheatre


American Ballet Theater












 Frugal TheaterGoer makes the papers:


The article from the New York Times and the sidebar article have been moved the pay section of the site.


Check out the Newsday article on Cheap Entertainment. There’s also a sidebar article with sources for theater and other discounts.


The article in USA Today is also still accessible.




Comments or additions? Contact us at












Los Angeles:

Goldstar Events

LA Stage Alliance


New Jersey:




Philly Fun Guide


San Diego:



Silicon Valley:



Washington DC:




Other Links 





Cast Album Database

NY Coming Attractions


Internet Broadway Database


Internet Off Broadway Database


New York City Marathon


Mary Dunleavy


Live Broadway


New York City Triathlon


Joe Iconis


The Last Smoker in America


YANK!  A New Musical






Updated November 24, 2009


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