Committed to developing playwrights, New Dramatists holds readings and workshops of new plays, musicals, and screenplays. Performances often feature top New York actors and directors. Readings are free and the majority are open to the public. Call for a schedule of events and make a reservation to secure your spot.
424 W. 44th St., betweeen 9th and 10th Aves.; 212-757-6960; newdramatists.org
Shakespeare in Central
Each summer The Public Theater presents a free production of a Shakespeare play at the outdoor Delacorte Theater, attracting big-name actors and a diverse crowd. Tickets are handed out daily at 1pm at The Delacorte in Central Park, from 1pm to 3pm at the Public Theater, and from 1pm to 3pm on select dates at locations in all five boroughs (call for details). Bring a blanket, book, and friend as lines begin forming early in the morning. Despite the long wait, the atmosphere tends to be lively and the people-watching fabulous. Limit of two tickets per person.
Delacorte Theater, midpark at 80th St.; Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St.; 212-539-8750; publictheater.org
HERE Performance Space
HERE strives to support emerging artists in a variety of disciplines, playing host to often edgy performances in theater, dance, music and the visual arts. Tickets usually cost no more than $15 and some shows are free. Check their online calendar for a weekly schedule. Students and seniors receive a 25 percent discount for select shows. Purchase tickets online, at the box office, or through SmartTix by calling 12-868-4444.
HERE Performance Art CafÈ, 145 Sixth Ave.; 212-647-0202; here.org
The famous red-and-white booth sells tickets to select Broadway and Off-Broadway shows for 25, 35, or 50 percent off the original price, with a $3 service charge per ticket. The same tickets are sold at both TKTS locations, so no need to hit both. Show up in the early evening ó lines are shorter, and additional tickets often go on sale just prior to curtain time. Cash or traveler's checks only.
47th St. at Broadway: Mon-Sat, 3pm-8pm for evening tickets; Wed, Sat, 10am-2pm for matinee tickets; Sun, 11am-3pm for matinees, 3pm-close for evening tickets.
South Street Seaport, corner of Front and John Sts., the rear of the Resnick/Prudential Building at 199 Water St.: Mon-Fri, 11am-6pm; Sat, 11am-7pm; Sun, 11am-4pm. At this location, matinee tickets must be bought the day before.
tdf.org/programs/tkts for additional information.
Theater Development Fund
TDF vouchers offer steep discounts to Off-Off-Broadway productions as well as other events sponsored by small, independent production companies. To qualify for their mailing list, you must be a student, teacher, staff member of a not-for-profit organization, performing arts professional, senior citizen (62 and over), union or armed forces member, or clergyman.
High Five Tickets to
Kids between 13 and 18 years old (or anyone in middle or high school) can buy tickets to participating arts events for $5 per ticket for weekends or $5 for two tickets for Monday through Thursday events. For museum events, pay $5 for two tickets any day of the week. Tickets can be bought through Ticketmaster and through the High Five website.
212-HI5-TKTS; high5tix.org (Web site includes event calendar).
Student Rush Tickets
Many Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters reserve their front orchestra rows for student rush tickets. Tickets for same-day performances must be purchased at the theater box office and generally go on sale at 10am, with lines often forming in the wee hours. Typical prices are $20 or $30, but check with Tele-charge or TicketMaster as policies vary depending on the show. Cash only.
Tele-charge, 212-239-6200; TicketMaster, 212-307-4100.
Discount Club Memberships
Offers subscribers free tickets when theaters need to fill an audience, particuarly when a show is in previews or expecting a reviewer or celebrity to attend. Expect tickets for Off and Off-Off Broadway shows, movie previews, comedy clubs, cabarets, dance, concerts, and an occasional Broadway show. Yearly membership will cost you $85, and a $30 "Personal Reserve Fund" from which a $3 per ticket service charge is taken. Check the Web for event listings.
61 Lexington Ave., Suite A; 212-686-1966; audienceextras.com
Play by Play
Provides the same service as Audience Extras, but with a slightly greater number of tickets to Broadway shows. Yearly membership is $99 with an additional $3 per ticket service charge. Participating events are listed online and members can reserve up to two tickets per event.
270 W. 36th St., 3rd fl.; 212-868-7052; play-by-play.com
Sign up for a free membership with this online club and save up to 50 percent on occasional tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. Discounts are available for a small selection of Off-Off Broadway shows as well. The site's free newsletter, TMInsider, offers the latest information on shows, discounts and ticket sales.
The Playbill Club
Playbill offers its online members discounts of up to 50 percent on Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. Subscribers also get restaurant discounts and an occasional hotel or opera deal. Membership is free, and you may request mailings about new discounts and exclusive theater-related merchandise.
New York Theatre Experience offers online coupons for a very limited number of off-Broadway shows. Bring a printout of the virtual coupon to the box office or mention the coupon code when calling Tele-charge. Savings range from a mere $2 off the ticket price to a 50 percent discount. No membership necessary.