Living in New York City comes with a lot of cool perks. There’s an endless amount of food to try, so many sights to see, and incredibly diverse neighborhoods to explore. Art, in all its forms, is something that has always been extremely important to me so one perk I’ve taken advantage of is the city’s amazing theater scene. Given how expensive living in the city can be and how costly tickets typically are, I’ve gotten good at finding free or discounted tickets to fulfill my Broadway obsession. Keep reading to learn my tips!
1. Take advantage of Stern
Stern has a lot of money and they like to spend it on us! You’re paying a lot of money to go to NYU, so take advantage of that! The Cohen Arts & Culture Experience, better known as CACE, is Stern’s flagship arts event series that occurs every fall semester. For CACE, freshmen get first dibs on selecting a free ticket to a Broadway show (and if you’re not into that, you can opt to attend a sports event). Sign-ups are open to upperclassmen later. Last year, I saw Aladdin and this year I signed up for Kinky Boots (but ended up not going). Pro tip: if spots are filled, there is an option to sign up for a waitlist spot but despite the official sign-up roster and waitlist, many people don’t show up on the day of for various reasons. If you just show up, there is a chance you can grab one of those extra tickets; that’s how I got to see Mean Girls this year! Stern will even give you a Metrocard.
2. Attend events with your dorm
Not everyone lives in NYU housing, but for those who do (especially freshmen!!), there are plenty of opportunities to see shows. Most residence halls allow residents to enter lottery drawings for various events; some are free and others require a small copay (but like the RA’s say, “if funds are low, let them know” and they’ll help you out). Last year I saw Wicked and Dear Evan Hansen with Rubin and this year I’ve entered for Waiting for Godot. Check out your residence hall’s weekly newsletter and keep your eyes open for events you might be interested in!
3. Use NYU Box Office and Skirball
NYU’s Box Office sells discounted tickets to shows and movies; see their list here and check out their website for more helpful tips on finding discounts. If you like theater but don’t want to go uptown, Skirball hosts a variety of performances, including plays, dances, and talks.
The Box Office and Skirball also send out helpful newsletters. I scored free tickets to Carousel through a link to an external website in one of the Box Office emails. Sign up for Box Office emails here and Skirball’s newsletter here if you haven’t already.
These are a long shot, but that doesn’t stop me from entering for Hamilton tickets every day. Lucky Seat has a lot of shows you can enter the lottery for and many other Broadway and off-Broadway shows have their own websites—find more details here.
Hope these tips are helpful in securing your next Broadway adventure!