How to Experience Theater on a Budget

Washington D.C. is a major hub for the performing arts in the United States. In the heart of the city sits the Kennedy Center which serves as a national cultural center for the arts. While D.C. has theaters both large and small, they all have one thing in common - expensive tickets.

On a college budget it is hard to see a musical or play, but what many don’t know is that most D.C. theaters offer a discount ticket program for students. Here are a few discount ticket tips and theater highlights to get you close to the stage.

The Kennedy Center's student price program called MyTix offers discounted tickets to most of their shows. Provide your email to become a member and you are on your way to your next show. Prices vary per performance and art type. The only downside is that the tickets are snapped up quickly after a show is announced. Check the MyTix site regularly for updates to get ahead and find the perfect seat. All are eligible for the MyTix program until they are 30, giving you loads of time to enjoy the Kennedy Center’s offerings.

The historic Ford’s Theater offers discounted tickets as well. This theater offers multiple programs to make sure that all have equitable access to the arts. One that stands out is the Generation Abe Program, which discounts seats for people under 35. The second option is the discounted previews area in which you can see some of the first performances of a show from $5-$20 a seat. All discount programs are located on the theater’s main website.  

In addition to going on the theater’s website, the app Today Tix puts all ticket deals in one easy place. The app will show you all eligible shows in the D.C. area, the dates that the discounts are available and the prices. This is a great way to see what is coming up on the theater scene downtown.

Lastly theater, opera and dance may also come to a movie theater near you. Even though the experience is filmed, the performances are still worth watching. Companies like Fathom Events and Atom Tickets regularly show recordings of musicals on Broadway, operas at the Metropolitan Opera House and performances from the Bolshoi Ballet company in Russia. Tickets range in price from $20-35, similar to the cost of the discounted tickets at a live theater, but the experience is amazing. A benefit from seeing the performing arts in this medium at a movie theater is that one can see different points of view due to the camera work. The full schedule of performances can be found on the Fathom Events and Atom’s websites.

With these tools at our fingertips, the arts world is waiting for you. Enjoy!

(Photo Credits: cover1, 2, 3)