The Cheap Theatre Series

The Cheap Theatre Series (Part 3 – Go to School)

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Welcome to The Cheap Theatre Series where I give tips and tricks on how to see theatre for cheap or even free. The post has been divided into four sections. Click on a link below to read another part in this series. Or keep scrolling to read this section.

Part 1 – Volunteer
Part 2 – Win the Lottery
Part 3 – Go to School
Part 4 – More Tips to Save Money

There should be giant asterisks beside the word “cheap” for this post because one of these “cheap” methods involves spending thousands of dollars on post-secondary tuition at a school with a theatre program. If you’re okay with that, then go ahead and get a post-secondary education. Still, this post can help students and non-students, to see theatre at an affordable price.

Student ID and Student Prices

If you are a student, there is a good chance you have some form of student ID. Keep that ID with you when you travel, because a student ID could help save money. As an example, students can save money on tickets for performances at The Edmonton International Fringe Festival. If you don’t have a student ID with your school, you can apply for an International Student ID Card. It costs $20 and requires proof you are currently a full-time student.

Theatre for Alumni

A few months ago I got an alumni email from MacEwan University (my alma mater) to attend a free performance of Carrie: The Musical. Yes, that’s the same Carrie as in the Stephen King book/horror movie. Carrie: The Musical was one of the most expensive musicals on Broadway when it debuted back in 1988. It only ran for five performances, and then it closed, costing millions of dollars. Despite being a flop, the musical has gotten somewhat of a cult following. Hotels

I was curious to see how a horror movie would translate to a stage. To my surprise, I enjoyed the show. The source material itself (the music and book from the show) wasn’t the best (I mean I can understand why it closed). The production of the musical from the MacEwan Theatre Department, however, was fantastic.

Entrance for the John L. Haar Theatre at MacEwan University. Note: this was the old west end campus building where I saw Carrie: The Musical has closed. Now performances for all MacEwan shows at the CN Theatre in downtown Edmonton.

Not a Student? Go to School Anyway

Are you not a student? You can still go to school to see a show. If I didn’t get free tickets to Carrie: The Musical it would have only been $20 to see. Check for schools with performing arts programs for upcoming shows. Chances are the tickets will be affordable. Plus you’ll see a show put on by people training to be professional actors, dancers, singers, and musicians.

Finally, I’m going to talk about the less professional school productions of shows. I was lucky enough to attend a High School that had a musical theatre program. I was in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in grade 11. In grade 12 I was in Fiddler on the Roof. Those musical theatre classes were some of the best times I had in High School. We weren’t Broadway-level stars, but we worked hard to put on a great show. It’s a fantastic feeling to see a crowd, even if it’s only 50 people, at your show. Buying a $10 ticket to watch some kids in Grease or Romeo and Juliet is a great way to support the arts. It also helps to encourage the next generation of performers and artists.

Things To Know
If you’re a student, I recommend keeping your student ID on you or getting an International Student ID Card. It comes in handy not only for shows but many companies will offer discounts if you have a valid student ID card.
Please note Take Me To The World is not advising you to choose a post-secondary education based on a school having a theatre program (unless that’s what you’re planning to study). That said if your post-secondary school has a strong theatre/arts program it’s a nice bonus for you.

Have you gone to school for a show?

6 thoughts on “The Cheap Theatre Series”

  1. Great idea! I’ve always found that there are ways to be involved with the arts without paying high ticket prices… Way to go. Sounds so fun!

  2. I love the theatre as well, but have a hard time getting friends, family to shell out the big bucks to see anything with me. I think your budget friendly way of seeing shows is a great idea! Thanks for the tip!

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