Stage Pass Tempts Just 0.1% of Students

NYU Skirball unveiled their Stage Pass, which allows students to see every Skirball show for a discounted price, but how many students actually use it?


Courtesy of Lily Dolin

Skirball Center introduced Stage Pass earlier this year.

Lily Dolin, Staff Writer

MoviePass may be on its way out but the idea of a subscription-based ticket service is here to stay. This year, NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts introduced Stage Pass, a single rate pass that allows students to see every Skirball show for a discounted price.

Each month, Skirball puts on a number of shows, from dance performances to Shakespeare readings. Tickets are never more than $15 for NYU students, but if one were to watch multiple shows per semester, the cost would add up. With Stage Pass, for $60 a semester, or $100 for the full-year, students can see almost every show at Skirball. According to the website, this adds up to roughly a $900 value. However, while Pass offers many benefits for the NYU population, it has yet to gain widespread usage among the student body.

Stage Pass was created to provide students with affordable access to shows and entertainment, explained Emily Gildea, a box office assistant manager at Skirball.

“We revamped our programming last year, and are hoping more students come to see the performances,” she said.

But how many students are actually buying Stage Passes? Not many. Gildea reported that only 50 students have signed up for the program so far. This number is low considering the fact that NYU has over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Low participation in the program could be attributed to a lack of interest in Skirball shows.

Steinhardt junior Giovanna Trabasso, who is studying Media, Culture and Communication, said she is usually unaware of Skirball offerings unless “someone big like Angela Davis is coming, or my friend is involved in the show.”

Trabasso said she probably wouldn’t be interested in buying a Stage Pass — a sentiment shared by other students WSN spoke with, who are similarly hesitant to spend money on shows they aren’t particularly interested in.

However, some students are considering buying a Stage Pass.

“If I had Stage Pass, I would be able to see a lot of the shows that I haven’t gotten to see these past years,” said Stern senior Pooja Dharan. For her, Stage Pass would be a chance to take advantage of all NYU has to offer before she graduates.

For NYU students who don’t attend Skirball shows and aren’t drawn to the theater’s current programming, Stage Pass may be an unnecessary expense. But for those who enjoy table top Shakespeare and Karl Marx festivals, Stage Pass may hold a certain appeal. Right now, the program is in its infancy, and hasn’t resonated strongly with the NYU community. However, interest may grow as the program develops. It isn’t curtain call for Stage Pass just yet.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 24 print edition. Email Lily Dolin at [email protected]