Tips and Tricks: Cheap Theater Tickets

I go see Broadway shows a lot, and I also get asked often how I manage to afford to do that. I have acquired a lot of knowledge over the years that I am here to share with you.

Here are some of my top ways to get cheap theater tickets.

Rush/Lottery/Standing Room

Rush, Lottery, and Standing Room are all ways to get cheap (usually $30-$50) last minute tickets to Broadway shows. Playbill has a useful breakdown of each show’s policies here.


Rush refers to cheap tickets you can purchase the day of the show (usually when the box office opens). Some shows offer digital rush through TodayTix (see more details below). The digital rush can be tricky (and tends to go very fast) as it’s easier to use the app than to actually go to a theater’s box office.

These tickets are sometimes partial view, but that usually only affects a small sliver of the stage

Depending on which show you’re interesting in rushing, you may need to show up considerably before the box office opens in order to line up to buy rush tickets.


Many shows offer a digital lottery where you can enter for the chance to win cheap tickets. The platform for each lottery depends on the company that owns the theater.

  • Shows playing in Jujamcyn theaters use Lucky Seat. This system allows you to enter for a week’s worth of lotteries at a time which is AWESOME.
  • Nederlander Theaters use Broadway Direct for their lotteries
  • Shubert Organization shows use Telecharge Digital Lottery.
  • Roundabout Theater uses TodayTix for their lotteries.

Standing Room

There are a few catches to this one. Most shows only sell standing room when the show is sold out. Of course, the other catch is that you need to stand for the duration of the show.

TDF – Theater Development Fund

TDF provides discount tickets to Broadway and off-Broadway shows. It is an awesome organization committed to making theater accessible. It is $40 a year to become a member, and you must be in one of the categories below to qualify for memebrship:

  • Artist or arts professional
  • Clergy
  • Teacher/school staff
  • Students
  • 30 and under
  • Union member
  • Retirees
  • Individuals on federal disability
  • Government employees/civil servants
  • Staff members of not-for-profit organizations
  • Non-exempt employees
  • Members of the armed forces or veterans
  • Freelancers/self-employed
  • Times Square Alliance Crossroads sibscribers

You can learn more at


TDF runs TKTS, which is a set of booths where you can get discounted day of tickets to many Broadway shows.

  • The Times Square booth only does same day matinee or evening tickets depending on the time of day you go.
  • The Seaport and Lincoln Center Booths will do next day matinee tickets in addition to same day tickets.
  • They have an app that will tell you what is being sold at TKTS and the prices of the tickets. You can also get that information here. 

You can check out what is currently available at the booths here.


TodayTix is an app that sells discounted theater tickets in many cities around the world. I highly recommend checking it out even if you don’t live in NYC. They let you know what percentage discount you would receive as you are browsing. Sometimes they have special promotions on shows, so keep an eye out for those.

They also do digital lotteries and rush for some Broadway shows as mentioned above.

BroadwayBox gives discount codes for many Broadway shows. It never hurts to take a look and see if the show you want to see has a code on there!

You can use these codes while buying tickets online or at the box office.

Their website also has fun videos and articles if you are interested in checking those out as well.

Age Based Programs

Some theater companies have age based programs that allow you to get cheap tickets to their shows. Check the fine print for all of them because some of them allow your guest to be above the age limit.

  • Lincoln Center – LincTix
    • Ages 21-35
    • $32 tickets for any Lincoln Center production
    • Each person must have their own LincTix ID, but you can buy tickets for others if you have that ID.
  • Second Stage – 30Under30
    • Anyone before their 31st birthday
    • Two $30 tickets to any Second Stage production
  • MTC – 30Under35
    • Anyone under 35
    • Two $30 tickets to any MTC production
  • Roundabout – HipTix
    • For people 18-40
    • Two $30 tickets to every Roundabout show

Obstructed/Partial View Seats

Some shows also sell obstructed or partial view seats at a discount. This usually doesn’t affect much of the stage as I noted above.

My beloved, Six, for example has cetain partial view seats that they only sell at the box office the day of the show.

Other shows will indicate as you buy tickets online if a seat might have an obstructed view.

Please let me know if I’ve missed any of your tips or tricks or if you give any of the above a try!

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