The boards on a budget

Theater at movie ticket prices  
By NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  March 7, 2006

Kong's Night Out won't set you back too muchGoing to a movie is one thing: $10. More or less, depending on how many packs of Milk Duds you buy. Going to theater or dance, on the other hand, feels like an investment in an exclusive art form, high art for high incomes, and for those of us who count our nickels, off-limits entertainment. But if you’ve got a valid student ID, you can find tickets for a little more than the price of a movie. (You’ll have to sneak in the Duds, though.)

The American Repertory Theatre offers the venerable student-rush option. Any high-school or college student can present his or her ID on the day of the show and grab a ticket, if the show isn’t sold out, for $15; go to the box office (64 Brattle St, Cambridge) or call (617.547.8300). Or the ART Student Pass gets you five admissions for $60. Orpheus X , Rinde Eckert & Robert Woodruff’s contemporary retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice story, runs March 25–April 23 at Zero Arrow Theatre; Pierre Marivaux’s Island of Slaves runs May 13–June 11.

The Huntington Theatre (264 Huntington Ave, Boston; 617.266.0800) has Pay Your Age Previews for theatergoers 35 and under. Coming up: The Road Home: Re-Membering America , March 24–28, and Love’s Labour’s Lost , May 12–16. Night Club, for ages 21–35, includes a cocktail reception, a backstage tour, and discounted $35 tickets for the April 6 performance of The Road Home .

“Great theater shouldn’t break anyone’s budget” argue the folks at Trinity Rep (201 Washington St, Providence; 401.351.4242), and they back it up with “Pay What You Can Nights.” On the first Friday of a play’s run, tickets go on sale one hour before curtain and you pay 50 cents or 50 bucks. Your call. This spring’s first Fridays include Boots on the Ground , which is based on Rhode Islanders’ experience of the Iraq war, April 14, and, in the Chace Theater, Cyrano , May 12. For shows at the Chace, cool kids who like to sit in the back can opt for the Bench Seats: 70 seats in the back row for $10 each. And all student tickets are $15.

The Lyric Stage Company (140 Clarendon St, Boston, 617.585.5678) has a Student 6 Tix Package of six tickets in any combination for $60, which includes season-ticket-holder benefits like exchange privileges and restaurant discounts. Or show up 30 minutes before the performance for $10 student-rush tickets. Lanford Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning WW2 love story Talley’s Folly runs March 24–April 22; it’s followed by Jack Neary’s Kong’s Night Out May 5–June 3.

SpeakEasy Stage Company (Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St, Boston; 617.933.8600) also has student-rush tickets available two hours before curtain, $10, cash only. Its current production, Donald Margulies’s Brooklyn Boy , through April 1, is the story of an aspiring novelist and his struggle to leave the past behind; Tony Kushner’s Caroline, or Change opens May 5.

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