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Guide to support students in theater classes


NYC has one of the best theater scenes in the entire world and offers everything from huge broadway venues to tiny underground performance spaces. This page has some resources for ways to get discounted tickets to NYC shows and highlights some affordable (and slightly less affordable) theater venues beyond Broadway in NYC. Many of the spaces listed below are offering free or cheap virtual programming during the pandemic. 

Discounts & Young Member Programs

  • Theater Discount Fund (TDF): TDF manages the TKTS booths where you can get same day inexpensive tickets to Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway shows (their offerings also include dance, comedy, and music venues). Students can become TDF members for a small annual fee and get heavily discount ticket prices online. 
  • Club Free Time: Keeps an updated calendar of free and discounted shows. In addition to their public offerings, members (who pay a small annual fee) can get heavily discounted theater tickets (sometimes as cheap as $5) to plays, dance performances, comedy shows, and concerts.
  • TodayTix: App with discounted tickets to select Broadway and Off-Broadway performances--including same day shows. 
  • LincTix: The Lincoln Center which runs a Broadway and several Off-broadways houses has a LincTix program to encourage more young people to go to the theater. People 21-35 years old can get 1 $30 ticket to any show at the Lincoln Center.
  • SoHo Rep 99cents Sundays: This Off-Broadway performance venue offers 99cents tickets on select Sundays to all of their performances.
  • Playwrights Horizons Young Memberships: This Off-Broadway theater offers free memberships to theatergoers who are 35 years old or younger. Membership includes $25 tickets to all shows and discounted guest tickets.

Good Cheap (and Free!) Theater

  • The Lark: Venue with readings of works-in-progress that are free to attend. 
  • Signature Theater: Affordability is part of the mission of this Off-Broadway space. $30 Tickets are available for most shows during previews.
  • Clubbed Thumb: This company supports new artists and features free workshop performances as part of their early career directorial fellowships every winter. Their Summerworks showcase of new plays is super affordable--tickets usually start at $20. 
  • Ars Nova: Affordable, experimental theater including festival programming featuring work by emerging artists.
  • Bushwick Starr: Affordable, experimental theater in Brooklyn featuring work by emerging artists.
  •  DIxon Place: Incubator space with affordable experimental programing that includes workshop pieces, performance art, and works in progress. Lots of weird stuff (in a good way, usually).
  • Repertorio Espanol: Affordable spanish language theater. 
  • Theater of War: Company that stages free classical theater followed by townhall style discussions with audience members and community organizations about contemporary social issues. Amazing virtual programming on zoom during the pandemic.
  • National Black Theater: Off-Broadway venue established in 1968 in Harlem that produces work by Black theater-rmakers about Black experience. 
  • LaMama Experimental Theater Club: A legendary downtown performance venue with experimental performance art, puppet shows, festivals, and more. Offering free virtual programing during the pandemic. 
  • Here: Downtown performance venue with experimental shows and works by new artists. Offering free virtual programming during the pandemic #stillhere.
  • The Brick: Affordable theater venue in Brooklyn with educational programing and free streaming performances during the pandemic. 
  • Theater for a New City: Eclectic space in the Lower East Side with inexpensive performances. Weird stuff! Free virtual programming during the pandemic. 
  • The Flea:  Inexpensive downtown Off-off-Broadway performance venue.
  • Shakespeare in the Parking Lot: Free Shakespeare performances at various "pop up" parking lot venues in NYC during the summer.
  • Theater Row: Literal "row" of Off-Broadway theaters in midtown Manhattan that features everything from experimental contemporary work to classic productions by rotating companies in residence. 
  • The Tank: Space for new and emerging artists. Very Off-off Broadway. 
  • 3LD: Experimental venue for highly technical and multimedia performance art and installations. 

Good Less CheapTheater

  • The Public Theater / Joe's Pub: Well-known for Shakespeare in the park, this Off-Broadway venue hosts contemporary performances and does an experimental festival (Under the Radar) every year. Some virtual programming available during the pandemic!
  • New York Theater Workshop (and NYTW Nextdoor): Downtown Off-Broadway venue with musical theater and contemporary drama offerings. 
  • St Ann's Warehouse: Highly regarded Off--Broadway venue in a repurposed warehouse in Dumbo with lots of international programming and unique stage productions.  
  • 59E59: American and international Off-Broadway performances in upper Manhattan with an affordable summer festival line up.
  • Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM): Downtown Brooklyn venue with several performance spaces and a festival line up (Next Wave) that features classic, international, and experimental theater in addition to dance and musical performance. 
  • Classic Stage Company: Downtown Off-Broadway venue that thoughtfully presents classical theater work in an intimate setting. 
  • Theater for a New Audience: Off-Broadway venue in downtown Brooklyn that often features international work. 
  • WP Theater: Company focused on producing work by female artists. 
  • Park Avenue Armory: Arts, music, and theater programming in a historic venue on Park Avenue. Known for visually unusual work. 
  • The Shed: New and architecturally controversial performance and fine arts venue in Hudson Yards.