Going to see a play can be expensive. If you want, you can pay $250 to see “The Book of Mormon” at the Kennedy Center. However, this is not necessary. Finding cheap tickets for a show in Washington D.C. is possible; you just have to know where to find them.
According to The Washington Post, the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (D Street, northwest) was the group that locally spearheaded the concept of “pay-what-you-can” performances. The Woolly Mammoth offers the PWYC shows for the first two performances of each play. The evening of the show you wish to see, you pick up your ticket and pay whatever amount of money you feel like mustering up that night.
“Part of the reasoning behind this decision [to have PWYC shows] was in keeping with our mission and community engagement. We did not want to limit our audiences based on a price point and the performances provide access to regardless of economic means,” said Rachel Loose, the audience services manager at Woolly Mammoth. “Therefore we started pay what you can performances as an opportunity for folks to enjoy the theater at whatever cost they could.”
The Woolly Mammoth also offers discounted tickets for their preview performances since, “we consider the technical process to still be in progress. It allows audiences to see a high quality performance but where technical aspects are still being tweaked and perfected prior to opening night. It’s an opportunity for us to get folks in the house who will then spread the word about the show and build excitement within their networks,” Loose said.
At the Arena Stage (Sixth Street, southwest) they have similar ticketing programs. They have the “pay-your-age” tickets for costumers ages 30 and younger. Or if you live in southwest D.C., the Arena offers “southwest nights,” where residents can buy discounted play tickets for allocated performances.
The Studio Theatre (14th Street, northwest) offers $15 rush tickets for students and $30 rush tickets for everyone else. The $30 rush tickets go on sale 30 minutes for curtain call. Like Arena, the Studio Theatre has discounted tickets for those who live or work nearby the theater.
Fortunately, these are not the only theaters in town with cheap tickets. Most theaters do offer discounts, but specifically check out the websites for the Shakespeare Theatre Company, the Round House Theatre, and the Signature Theatre.
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