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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 05/23/2008

Interns' Guide: Discount Theater Tickets

By Fritz Hahn

Thanks to the Washington National Opera's Generation O program, it's possible to see productions like "Tamerlano" -- starring Placido Domingo -- for much less than full price. (Karin Cooper)

Live theater seems like one of those lofty post-college pastimes -- something to put off until you've moved beyond semesters of coffee-schlepping, filing and criminally low intern's wages. Theaters in D.C., however, put on shows that appeal to 20-somethings as well as octogenarians, and whether you have a college ID or not, they have the ticket prices to suit your quickly dwindling funds. So save the $10 you'd spend on a summer blockbuster (since half the three-quels in theaters this summer will probably be kind of lame anyway) and visit one of D.C.'s personality-filled theaters instead -- for the same price.

See more in our Interns' Guide.

For Students | For People 25 and Under | For People 35 and Under

For Students

The Kennedy Center
You'll see: The grand dame of D.C. performing arts, offering ballet, opera, theater and symphony, in an opulent setting.
Discount: Students are eligible for half-price tickets, which can be reserved in advance and held at will-call until the day of the show. To receive a discount, all students -- not just the person buying the ticket -- must appear in person at the box office and present ID. Millennium Stage performances, which occur every day at 6 p.m., are free.

Rorschach Theater
You'll see: Unsung talent, and plays you've never heard of before.
Discount: Student tickets are $13.50, with the first three shows of every run pay-what-you-can.

The Shakespeare Theater
You'll see: Shakespearean classics with a modern twist.
Discount: During the first week of every performance, students can order $10 tickets ahead of time by phone. Throughout the rest of the show's run, tickets can be purchased for half price at the box office an hour before the show.

Signature Theater
You'll see: Usually musicals, but this summer's performances at Signature are a little darker.
Discount: Students get 10 percent off of full-priced tickets. Reserve student tickets over the phone, and bring a student ID when you pick them up in person.

Studio Theatre
You'll see: Hip, modern playwrights in a simple setting.
Discount: Show your student ID and get an automatic $5 discount on any tickets when purchasing in advance. Beginning a half hour before curtain, student tickets are half price.

Theater J
You'll see: Jewish-themed plays and playwrights.
Discount: Students tickets, at $15, are less than half the regular price. June 27 is a pay-what-you-can performance.

For Anyone 25 and Under

Arena Stage
You'll see: A little bit of everything -- musicals, new plays, old standards.
Discount: Every Monday, tickets for the following week of performances go on sale for $10 for patrons 30-year-old and younger. Tickets can be purchased on the phone or in person, but they can only be used by patrons who are 30 or younger. (You must bring ID for age verification.) The regular student discount is 35 percent off with a student ID, but it is not valid for Saturday performances.

Round House Theatre
You'll see: Plays about Americana and adaptations of well-loved books.
Discount: Tickets for patrons under 26 with proper ID are $25. Call ahead or pick up your tickets in person to redeem this discount. Tickets for pay-what-you-can performances -- generally the first two nights of a given play -- go on sale an hour before each show.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre
You'll see: World premieres of even hipper contemporary plays. Woolly Mammoth likes to shock.
Discount: Woolly's discounts aren't just for students -- anyone 25 years old or younger with proper ID can purchase $15 tickets in advance. If you forget to order until the last minute, show up two hours before show time for stampede seats, which have a limited availability but are also $15. The first two performances of every production are pay-what-you-can.

For People 35 and Under

The Washington National Opera
You'll see: Classic operas -- Wagner, Verdi, Mozart, Handel -- presented by General Director Placido Domingo.
Discount: Join the opera's "Generation O"" program for a chance to purchase tickets for deep discounts. Buy individual tickets for three or more performances this season for $75 (premium orchestra seats) or $50 (orchestra) each, which is about half price. Tickets for individual operas are limited and go on sale at the last minute, but if you can be flexible, it's possible to score great tickets for a fraction of the usual price.

-- Maura Judkis (Updated May 20, 2008 by Fritz Hahn)

By Fritz Hahn  | May 23, 2008; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Interns' Guide, Theater  
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You forgot to mention TicketPlace as a source of discounted theatre tickets:

Posted by: anonymous | June 4, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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