Monday, June 24, 2013

The Play's The Thing!

I've always been very, very lucky in that I've found ways to see cheap or discounted theatre.  A good friend used to work at one of the biggest theatres in the area, and she would always give me free tickets for preview shows--usually ones that included free food and hob-nobbing with actors afterward.  Another theatre used to drop off posters at the library and always gave us a voucher for two free tickets, which made me very happy.

Well, the good times have come to an end.  My friend who worked at the theatre has gotten another job (she's much happier, so it's a good thing), and strangely, the poster guy has stopped coming to the library.  I even called the theatre to ask why we never see him anymore, and they were as confused as I.

I recently looked into buying tickets for a show that I really wanted to see and was shocked to find out that it's $50 for a Sunday afternoon performance!  Who the hell can afford that?  So, I just accepted the fact that I won't be going to any shows for the foreseeable future, and started to make peace with that idea.

Then the universe gave me a sign.

I was having dinner with a friend who is both a librarian and an actress, and she told me that the way she gets to see most shows is by volunteering to usher.  Often you have to commit to ushering at at least two shows, but after showing people where to sit, you get to watch for free. 

I had actually forgotten up until she said this that I had actually done this back in college when the local theatre was showing MacBeth.  We were reading the play in my Shakespeare class, and the professor encouraged all of us to see the production as well. "If you can't afford a ticket, volunteer to usher and you can see it for free."  I don't know why I completely forgot that piece of advice, but I'm certainly going to take advantage now.

Unfortunately, there are not enough hours in the day for me to volunteer at all the theatres and see all the shows, but if I pick the one that's most expensive, I can at least see one season of shows for free!  I have to wait until fall to implement this plan, but I'm still pretty stoked!  Then, like always seems to happen, my friend who used to get me free theatre tickets all the time, asked if I want to accompany her to the shows she will now be seeing as a theatre reviewer!  It certainly pays to let your interests (in theatre and in free things) known.

Have you ever found a way to get free leisure activities like this?  Any tips to share?

1 comment:

  1. It isn't free, but wife and I sometimes take advantage of pretty deep groupon discounts to local shows that we wouldn't have heard of otherwise. This got us into a Christmas Carol performance last year where the characters do a comedy roast of Scrooge for 10 bucks total. Wife is also very good at nosing out free concerts and culture - like Opera in the Park events. I'd bet you see a lot of flyers at the library for such things?