Broadway on a Budget: How to Enjoy a Live Theatre without Breaking the Bank

I’m back! Did you miss me? I had been suffering from a nasty case of writer’s block but I am back on my game!

Whenever I tell people that I am seeing yet another show either on or off Broadway, I get the same question: “How can you afford all of these shows?” The answer is simple. I am a pro at finding great deals. So if you are looking for some awesome deals to that show you have been dying to see, read on.

Lottery Tickets

If you are willing to take your chances, then lottery is the way to go. I had entered the lottery for Godspell when it was on Broadway twice (and won once) and it was a fun experience. Basically, you enter your name between a certain time span (usually 2 hours prior to curtain) and if your name gets picked, you have the option of getting one or two tickets for a discounted price (often between $27 and $42). For some shows, like Wicked, these seats are front row. For others, they are whatever is available at that show. However, for a low price like that, you can’t really go wrong. Also, if you are interested in seeing The Book of Mormon, and you are over 18 and live in either NY or the state that the tour is in, I recommend following their twitter. They do a twitter lottery a few times a week and it is definitely worth a try.

Rush Tickets

Rush tickets are similar to lottery tickets, with less risk (although not risk free). When the box office opens, a certain number of tickets are available for a low price. There is usually a limit (2 per person) and they can be anywhere in the theatre, including partial view. Some of these rush policies have limitation, such as “student rush” or “under 35 rush”, so be sure to check the policy before going.

Rush tickets are not solely for Broadway or New York Theatre though. Many regional theatres have rush policies, so if a show you are interested in comes to your town, definitely look up the theatre’s rush policy. Sometimes, you can even get tickets for as low as $15 or $20.

Student Tickets

Many theatres offer discounted student tickets, or a rush that is specifically for students. This is great if you are a poor college student like me who loves theatre. Student rush is very similar to regular rush tickets, with the obvious exception that you have to be a student. There are some websites that allow you to purchase tickets as a student, with my personal favorite (and how I got to see If/Then) being It will use your school e-mail address to verify that you are indeed a student, then allow you to purchase 1 or 2 tickets at a discounted price.

TXTS Booth

If you are in Manhattan, the TXTS Booth is the way to go for last minute discounted tickets. They offer a wide selection of tickets at 40-50% discounts, as well as offering full price seats if you are willing to pay (but let’s face it, you are reading my post for a reason and it’s not to pay full price). Fair warning: the lines here can sometimes be very long so be prepared to wait.

Tickets Discount Websites and Apps

There are many websites and apps that allow you to get tickets for Broadway, off-Broadway, and occasionally regional theatres at discounted prices. Here are a few of my favorites!


I love this app. It gives you the chance to buy discounted tickets for a handful of shows in New York (as well as Papermill Playhouse and soon they will be launching TodayTix London for all those across the pond). They also have access to exclusive lottery deals, which currently include $10 for Hamilton and $20 for On the Town. You can enter a lottery without even having to leave the comfort of your own home.

This website has a collection of some of the best deals on and off Broadway. You can usually save up to 50% on some very popular shows.

Playbill has something called “Playbill Club” which is completely free and gives you access to a ton of great discounts on shows, restaurants, attractions, and hotels. If you live in NY or are planning on visiting NY, I highly recommend signing up for this. This is hands down my most used ticket discount site.

Just an example of how good this site is: I once got $65 tickets to see Rock of Ages. They were 8th row orchestra seats and the tickets came with a drink voucher, so I was able to get a $20 alcoholic beverage for free. So yeah, definitely sign up for this.

Broadway Week and Off-Broadway Week

Four times a year (twice for Broadway and twice for Off-Broadway) two-for-one tickets are offered from some of the biggest shows in New York. Keep an eye out for these (if I remember correctly, for Broadway, one is in September and one is in late January). It’s through and, although the seats are limited, the deal is too good to miss.

Follow your Favorite Show on Social Media

Many shows have occasional discounts or contests on their Facebooks, Twitters, Instagrams, etc. Sign up for mailing lists and follow the show’s social media pages for chances to see it at a low price. I actually won two free tickets to see Once on Broadway just by happening to see a post on their Facebook about a contest to go when the writer of the music was going to be making an appearance. Best night ever I have to say. So be social media savvy and get to following!

Don’t Knock Community Theatre

When some people hear community theatre, they cringe and imagine a show that is not done well. Fortunately, that is not usually true. Many cities, especially outside of New York, have fantastic community theatre programs. I had seen Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at a theatre in upstate NY when I was on vacation one year and it was great. Many theatres have big summer seasons, especially if you live in a tourist location. Definitely look up some local theatres near your and go support their programs. You never know, you may be watching Broadway’s next big star!

These are some of the ways that I get to see so many amazing shows.

When in doubt, take the show your are looking for and just Google “[Insert show here] discounts”. You will be amazed at what you will find.

Good luck and enjoy your next show!



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