Age Has Often Been A Factor In Ticket Discounting On Broadway, But That May Now Be Coming To An End As Ageism Is Being Recognized As Prejudice or Discrimination

Ageism Is Being Recognized As Prejudice And Age-Based Discounts May Come To An End On Broadway

Of the many advantages to youth, Broadway discounts may not be at the top of the list but it’s certainly something the younger set has come to rely on over the years. From student discounts to Manhattan Theatre Club’s 30 under 35 to Roundabout’s popular Hiptix program to Lincoln Center’s LincTix to Playwrights Horizons’ Young Membership, it literally pays to be young!

But all of that might be changing.

Old People at Broadway Show

Age-Based Discount Bias Makes ‘National’ News

Washington DC’s Nationals baseball enterprise offers a “millennial” discount and they apparently messed with the wrong millennial. When “elder” millennial Nick Snyder turned 40, he was shut out of the park’s discount. Cut to opening day of this year, when Snyder filed a lawsuit against the team for age discrimination. According to Snyder (as well as a Gen-Xer and fellow fan), discounts on tickets, merchandise and concessions offered to fans ages 21 to 39 are in clear violation of D.C. law.

The Nats were apparently spooked as the program, which had already been renamed the “Young Professionals” discount this year (since the term “millennial” is arbitrary), mysteriously disappeared from the company’s website within an hour of the claim. Regardless, the lawsuit is still moving ahead. The ambitious plaintiffs are looking for both a ruling to prevent future promotions of similar ilk as well as payouts for previous funds spent by any fan over 40 who was deprived of the discount.

Should the plaintiffs win the landmark case, the new law could have a ripple effect to reach other entertainment venues in the city, and ultimately, across the country.

Kids at Broadway Theatre

First Baseball, Then Broadway? Damn, Nationals!

So, what does that mean for Broadway? Well, should the legislation pass, any discount promotion based on age could be rendered null and void. And that would have a significant effect on Broadway access for younger audiences. Without these programs offered mostly by Broadway’s non-profits, certain houses could see a significant dip in their attendance numbers.

The good news is that even if the ageist discounts were to be eliminated, there are still many ways to get Broadway deals and several of them still favor the young. Scoring rush tickets or lottery tickets can often require the kind of patience and early morning energy only found in younger folks. And those types of discounts– which almost every single Broadway show has– are not going anywhere anytime soon. Let’s take a look at which promotions are at risk.

kids leaving broadway theatre

Current Age-Based Discounts For Broadway Shows

Manhattan Theatre Club

MTC’s popular 30 under 35 program is free to join. Members can purchase up to two tickets and the guest can be of any age. In addition to the heavily discounted $30 tickets, members are invited to exclusive post-show events, where they are encouraged to break bread, mix and mingle with other young theatre lovers.

Roundabout Theatre Company

Pushing the “youth” boundary to its limit by topping out at 40, Roundabout’s long standing Hiptix low-price ticket program is also free to join. Membership provides access not only to $30 tickets to all Roundabout shows (Broadway and Off-Broadway), but also to parties and other social events.

Lincoln Center

For each new production at the Vivian Beaumont, Mitzi Newhouse and Claire Tow Theatres, and on Broadway, LincTix offers $32-$35.50 tickets to those aged 21-35. The program is free to join and the ticket price depends on the method of purchase (box office or online).

Playwrights Horizons

The Off-Broadway company known for groundbreaking plays and musicals offers a Young Membership for free, which entitles the 35 and under set to a single ticket for just $20 to every show of the season.

2nd Stage

2nd Stage’s 30 under 30 tickets are available to anyone 30 years old or younger, applicable for productions at the Tony Kiser and Helen Hayes theatres. Purchasers may also attend a special 30 Under 30 After Party, providing complimentary drinks and snacks.

All Discount Programs Are Free To Join But Require A Valid ID.

Take note, young millennials, Gen-Zers and Alphas— if you don’t want to take a chance on a lottery or get up at 6am to ensure rush seats— flash your IDs and grab those cheap tickets while you still can!