Toronto on a Budget: Live Theatre Edition

Live theatre is expensive. Especially at places like Mirvish, tickets can run well over $100 for just a couple of hours of entertainment. While it can be nice to go to the theatre (and support artists in the process!!), it can be even nicer to save money in the process.

If you’re under 30, you should check out the Soulpepper Theatre in the Distillery District. If you’re 21 or under, you can register for the MyPlay program, which allows you to see shows for free. If you’re under 30, you should register for the StagePlay program, which lets you get tickets for $20. Just a warning, the programs usually only qualify for Tuesday/Wednesday tickets and same day tickets (starting at 8 am). Also, the theatres usually feel relatively small (around 100 seats). However, the shows are generally really well done, and I’d definitely recommend them.

Also, if you’re going to a smaller theatre, look for your tickets on Groupon! The Lower Ossington Theatre puts on a lot of great productions, and their tickets on Groupon are $45, instead of $75 on their website. Groupon also tends to run a lot of bonus promotions like take an extra 25% off, so it might be worth it to get on their mailing list and keep an eye out for extra deals.

If you want to go to a play but aren’t as picky about when you see it or seeing it with others, try to get rush tickets. If you buy your tickets the day of, you can usually get a huge discount, since the seat would be empty otherwise. The downside to this is that you don’t always get the best seats, but it can definitely be worth trying.

Finally, if you just want to go out to see a play but aren’t as picky about what it is, consider checking out local or community theatres. Lots of universities also offer great programming for a fraction of the traditional cost. For example, a musical version of Legally Blonde will be playing at Hart House from January 17 – February 1, and tickets for the public cost just $28. Also, if you’re a student, you probably get discounts for your school’s plays (U of T students would pay just $12-15 for Legally Blonde tickets).

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