While NYU students can access the city’s famous theaters on Broadway, their infamous ticket prices usually keep big musicals and rising-star performances beyond the student budget. Fortunately, New York also has a thriving downtown theater scene that offers great deals for students, and the venues are within walking distance of Washington Square Park.
Greenwich Village, which gave renowned playwright Eugene O’Neill his start, houses many hidden gems. Although some finds may be unexpected, open-mindedness will ensure that you stumble across some pretty amazing theaters without breaking the bank.
One of the most convenient theaters for an NYU student is the Classic Stage Company, located on 13th Street between Third and Fourth avenues. As a well-established off-Broadway venue that boasts such past stars as John Turturro, Christina Ricci and F. Murray Abraham, CSC offers $20 student rush tickets to every performance. A production of Anton Chekov’s “Ivanov,” starring Ethan Hawke, begins this October.
Meanwhile, the Horse Trade Theater Group manages three East Village, wallet-friendly theaters: The Kraine Theater, The Red Room and UNDER St. Marks. The Red Room and UNDER St. Marks are intimate venues that feature small-scale productions with ticket prices under $20. Some upcoming shows include “Naked Girls Reading” at UNDER, which is exactly what it sounds like, and “The Drafts Lab: A Year in Her Life,” a new play by director Heidi Grumelot.
Horse Trade’s Kraine Theater is home to the Neo-Futurists, an experimental acting troupe best known for their signature and ever-changing show, “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.” This ambitious spectacle, an attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes, shows every Friday and Saturday at 10:30 p.m. for $17.
Another affordable option is student rush tickets — discounted tickets bought on the day of the performance — are also available. Some theaters even allow students to buy cheap tickets in advance. The Public Theater and the New York Theater Workshop offer $25 student tickets to almost all of their productions. They also allow people to be ushers and catch the show for free.
The NYTW’s next show is “Red Dog Howls,” a play about uncovering the dark secrets of a family’s past. The Public Theater’s Lafayette Street location — just below Astor Place — always offers an array of high-quality and innovative productions. A notable show on the horizon is “Giant,” a new musical inspired by the Edna Ferber novel.
With so many theaters available, it’s easy to forget about the one closest to home. NYU’s own Skirball Center for the Performing Arts guarantees students will never pay more than $12 at any event. Take a look at the Skirball schedule on the NYU Home website.
The bottom line is, if you get the chance, definitely visit Times Square and catch the opening of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita in its new production, but also remember to check out some local prospects.
A version of this article appeared in the Sept. 4 print edition. Olivia George is a staff writer. Email her at email@example.com.
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