It's Time to Accept That Theatre Ticket Prices Will Never Become Cheaper

Chris Peterson

OnStage Founder & Editor-in-Chief


The other day I was chatting with a friend who told me she was headed to NYC in a couple weeks and wanted to see some shows while she's there. She then told me about her frustration about being to afford going to see shows nowadays. My reply? "Welcome to the club."

But this conversation brought up a good question. Will going to the theatre ever become cheaper? 

The answer, is unless the theatre industry fundamentally changes its ways, no.

But it's not necessarily their fault. 

Why? Because the cost of doing theatre, especially in New York City, is only going to getting expensive.

Let's talk about some what already contributes to high ticket prices: 

Salaries - Everyone has to get paid. From the actors to the crew to the musicians. And if you want to see your favorite Broadway/Hollywood stars in the show, that cost is going to rise. 

Talent Fees - Directors, writers and designers aren't usually on salary, so they need to be paid as well. 

Rehearsal Salaries/Space - Performers, crew and musicians are not only paid for performances but the rehearsal period as well. Plus, renting spaces in rehearsal studios across the city can be expensive as well.  

Insurance/Legal Fees - This can also be an expensive cost to any production, just ask Spider-Man.

Advertising/Marketing - Making sure the audience knows about and is interested in a show is costly. 

Weekly Production Costs - From the maintenance of costumes and props to repairing the set. 

Sundries - What I call "rainy-day funds", most shows set aside funds for unforeseen circumstances. 

With all of that, it's not wonder many of these productions cost upwards of $600,000 a week to produce. And with the cost of living and taxes only rising in New York City, don't expect these trends to change. 

So is there a cheaper way to see your favorite shows? Sure there is. There's always the TKTS lines or joining the Theatre Development Fund. There are also some websites like that have some good deals as well, but don't expect to see any discounts to high demand shows there. 

You could also wait for the touring production to come to your town, but those costs are rising too. 

The truth of the matter is that the cost of tickets are always going to rise, but as long as the product remains strong, audiences will always pay them.