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Created by: TDFDICTIONARY Date: Jan 15, 2013


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Hurry up and buy that ticket! 

There are lots of ways to buy theatre tickets, depending on your budget and how far in advance you’re willing to book. At some performances, last-minute “rush” tickets can be your best bet, especially if you’re a student or you don’t need prime seat locations.

Many shows and theatres create rush ticket policies to help them deal with a small number of tickets that, for a variety of reasons, are left unsold in the few hours before the curtain goes up. For example, tickets returned to the box office due to last-minute cancellations can be sold to rush patrons. This may be the only way to get into a show that is otherwise sold out well in advance.

Some theatres set aside specific had-to-sell locations, such as the first or last rows, for same-day sales. These tickets are often (but not always) priced at a discount.

Other theatres offer rush tickets through a lottery system. Typically, you need to provide your name a few hours in advance. If you’re lucky enough to be chosen, you can buy one or a pair of tickets.

Student rush tickets, usually at a substantial discount, are only available to patrons with a valid college or high school ID.

If you’re in New York, you can also check for same-day discounted tickets at one TDF’s three TKTS booths.

Oh, and in many cases, rush tickets are cash-only (though the TKTS booths do accept credit cards.)

In case you were wondering, it’s called “rush” because these sales generally take place right before the performance. The transactions happen quickly so that you can, ahem, rush into your seat before the curtain rises.

–Ben Pesner


This video was made by Theatre Development Fund.

Here’s the team:

Theatre Development Fund is the nation’s largest not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts. Through a variety of programs and services that promote education, access and conversation, it ensures an enduring appreciation of and engagement with live theatre. In addition to operating the TKTS booth in Duffy Square and the satellite booths at South Street Seaport and in downtown Brooklyn, TDF’s theatre education, accessibility, affordable ticketing and audience development programs help to make the unique experience of theatre available to diverse audiences while supporting New York’s theatre industry. Since it was founded in 1968, TDF has provided over 80 million people with access to performances at affordable prices while returning over $2 billion in revenue to thousands of productions.

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