Being a Theatre Student in New York City

Being a Theatre Student in New York City

Rebecca Borowik

Last year, when it was time to apply and then decide where I wanted to go to college, I knew I wanted to be on the East Coast. I’m not a big fan of planes (though I have a strange love for airports) and I wanted to have easy access to be able to come home whenever I wanted to. I applied to schools in New York, Boston, Pennsylvania, and begrudgingly to one in Connecticut. By the time decisions were coming out, I decided that I would go to school in New York. 

When I accepted Marymount Manhattan College’s offer to enroll on their school as a musical theatre major (so to speak; technically, I’m a Theatre Arts major with a concentration in performance and a minor in Musical Theatre, but it might as well be it’s own major), the idea of living in New York was daunting. I didn’t want a campus, but I’d never navigated the city on my own or used the subway or the bus system before. Eventually I learned and living as a student in the city became just as easy as being a student on a normal college campus. 

With the deadline for decisions soon approaching for current high school seniors and my rounding out my first year at college, I thought about shedding some light on the perks of being a theatre student in New York. 

1. The entire city is your campus – I know this sounds terribly cliché and you probably see it on all the pamphlets, but it’s so true. You have the entire city at your disposal. A lot of my assignments this past year have been using the resources the city itself has to offer, not just the school’s library. We’re even required to see shows in some of the classes. 

2. Student Rush – This stands for itself. Being a college student means living on a budget, but if you get to the box office early enough and show your student ID, you’re likely to get an affordably priced ticket. 

3. Tix4Students – An alternative to student rush and my preferred way of getting discounted tickets. It’s $5 a year and all you have to do is submit proof you’re a student. Voila! You’re welcomed to a world where you can buy the fixed student rush price for almost any show and not have to gamble your time in line. I’m telling you, they have almost every single show available, even some from Off-Broadway.

4. Other discounted ticket offers – Roundabout has their own student rush program called Hiptix where you can buy tickets for any of their shows for $20-25. The New York Philharmonic also has their own where it only costs $20 to see any of their concerts (hence why I saw the recent concert of Show Boat three times). There are a lot of offers available out there. Unfortunately, Lincoln Center Theatre’s program isn’t available to met yet; a matter that frustrates me profusely and can be saved for another day. 

5. Lincoln Center Library – This is my favorite perk of being a theatre student in the city. There’s a whole library accessible to me that’s devoted to my area of study. They’ve got pretty much everything imaginable there, from CDs to librettos. There’s also a large sheet music library where you can find almost any song. My personal favorite part of the library is the Theatre on Film and Tape archive. Within the archive are shows upon shows upon shows. A few months ago, I went there to watch the 1994 revival of Show Boat for a paper. You have to give a valid reason as to why you’re have to watch a certain show and you’re not allowed to watch the same one twice, but it’s my favorite resource to boot. 

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