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Back in Sweet Home, Chicago

Northwestern University junior Darcy Rose Coussens returns to TMU, and shares advice on how to get cheap tickets to Chicago-area theaters.

By Chicago

Darcy Rose Coussens
Darcy Rose Coussens
Welcome back to my TMU blog! I had the most wonderful experience interviewing artists and researching Chicago theaters last spring, and I have to thank you all for reading, "liking," and sharing what I have to say about them!

If you don't know me yet, allow me to introduce myself: I'm a junior at Northwestern University, just north of Chicago. I'm majoring in theatre with an emphasis on music theatre choreography, minoring in dance, and writing for the Chicago Theatre Review in addition to TheaterMania University. I hope you'll return every two weeks to check out my findings!

I'm back for fall because… let's face it, I could never cover it all. I am always hoping for more chances to head downtown, especially now that I am back from studying abroad. I continued writing this summer, blogging my experience in Arles, France, but I am really excited to be back in my favorite city in the world.

Much as I love the theater program at Northwestern, I don't just want to write about my school and myself. This fall I hope to interview a range of different Chicago theater artists and provide an honest look at the diversity of theater that we have here, from improv and sketch comedy to Shakespeare, devising to musicals.

With most theaters about to start their new seasons, it seems like a good time to figure out what's coming up and how to take advantage of it. As a college student with more than enough part-time jobs, I don't have tons of free time or money to score tickets to many of the big name Chicago theaters.

Right?

Not necessarily. More and more companies are offering student rush or student discount tickets (subject to availability). I think this is extremely important in order to expand audiences; these theaters and several others aren't just for the upper class!

Here's a look at three of Chi-town's most prominent theaters and how you can get cheap tickets if you are a student or young adult:

Lookingglass Theater Company (Lookingglasstheatre.org)
Lookingglass is located right downtown and their shows tend to be exciting and unusual—Opening their 25th season this fall is Metamorphoses, based on the myths of Ovid. The show is written and directed by Mary Zimmerman— who previously won a Tony for her direction of it— and opens September 19th.
Student rush tickets cost $20, which is more than some other student tickets, but at 68% off the regular price, it's a pretty good deal. They have to be purchased the day of the show in person, but their website says to call 312-337-0665 before trekking all the way down to Michigan Avenue, so that helps!

Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Chicagoshakes.com)
Another show I'm hoping to catch is Sunday in the Park with George at CST on Navy Pier, which opens September 26. This place doesn't just do Shakespeare! Although that is the core of their season, they also include musicals, family shows, and more.
I saw Comedy of Errors at CST in high school, and they do a great job making tickets affordable for school groups ($17). If you're not with a group, though, you can still get a great deal: anyone under 35 can buy up to 2 $20 tickets for each show. I really like that they include both "students and young professionals" in this deal.

Goodman Theatre (Goodmantheatre.org)
Goodman does a variety of productions, including their annual A Christmas Carol. Next up is Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth starting September 14.
There are two options for discounted tickets: "Mezztix" are half price tickets available at 10am each day of the show. You don't even need to purchase them in person, just type "MEZZTIX" as a promo code when you are buying tickets online that day. You can also get them in person at the box office starting at noon.
"10tix," work the same way except with their respective promo code. However, these are exclusively for students and only cost $10. They aren't the best seats, but I'm not sure you can beat $10 for this kind of quality theater!

Clearly student rush is not just for Broadway, and this fall I hope to get into the city more and take advantage of the limited time I am a student (and an under-35 "young professional!").

Stay tuned for more every two weeks, and feel free to suggest a topic or artist for me to feature in the future!

Tags: Lookingglass Theater CompanyChicago Shakespeare TheaterGoodman Theater


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