The prices of Broadway theatre tickets are well beyond working-class people’s financial capabilities. However, the Theatre Development Fund (TDF) makes it possible to see Broadway and off-Broadway shows for reduced ticket prices, usually ranging from $10 to $20.

The normal price for tickets to Broadway shows ranges from $60 to $100 for dramatic plays and at least 25 percent more for musicals. Off-Broadway productions are divided into two ranges. Some of the off-Broadway productions price their tickets between $40 and $80. The other range is for companies that charge around $30 per production.

These levels of production, called “letter of agreements” scale productions, are union productions. Actors and stage workers are represented mostly by Actors’ Equity.

Some off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway shows are produced on a special Actors’ Equity level called a “showcase production” where actors and stage personal are paid mostly expenses.

Equity negotiates these below-scale agreements so that the hundreds of actors who are unemployed – remember, actors are unemployed 80 percent of the time – have an opportunity to act.

A yearly fee of $10 makes it possible to access TDF’s web site (www.tdf.org) and also receive period offerings through the mail. Almost all Broadway and off-Broadway shows find their way into a TDF offering at some time during their performances.

For example, Tony nominee, Elephant Man, starring Billy Crudup, is available for $17.50. Crudup was the rock star in the movie, Almost Famous.

The success of this season’s theatre productions was due to some extent to special ticket pricing policies and the TDF program.

These reduced ticket prices make it possible to support this valuable cultural part of New York City.

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