How to Score a Great Deal on Local Arts Groups' Performances

The area’s performing arts troupes beckon with bargain tickets.

By Ilene Denton October 30, 2017 Published in the November 2017 issue of Sarasota Magazine

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Under 40 or a full-time student? The area’s performing arts troupes are beckoning you with bargain tickets in hopes of turning you into a fan for life—a smart strategy for building future audiences. Here’s a sampling.

The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County’s Culture Collective offers “next generation audiences” ages 21-39 tickets to eight performances this season—from a night at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe to the Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera, Florida Studio Theatre and more—all for $125 ($240 for a couple). Behind-the-scenes tours, cocktail parties and artist meet-and-greets are included in the popular package. Some of the participating arts troupes even offer Culture Collective members additional discounts to other programs. 

 The Sarasota Opera offers $10 student rush tickets to all of its performances a half-hour before curtain time, based on availability, to both full-time students and teachers with valid I.D.s. “These are generally seats that have been turned back in or have not been sold yet and are usually very good seats,” says Sam Lowry, director of audience development. And, bargain of all bargains, students with valid student I.D.s can purchase a season pass for just $25. Hmm… maybe we’ll go back to school.

The opera also offers something new for young professionals. Its De Capo Society allows people between 21 and 45 to purchase a three-opera subscription for just $99, plus a $75 donation to the opera. “This way they get to enjoy the benefits of being both a subscriber and a donor at that level,” says Lowry. VIP receptions and networking happy hours are included. 

The Asolo Rep offers $10 tickets starting one hour before show time in the Mertz Theatre ($5 in the Cook Theatre) to full-time students 25 and younger with valid student I.D., based on availability. If you don’t want to chance a sell-out, you can purchase a half-price ticket in advance; the same parameters apply. Kids 12 and under also can purchase a half-price ticket with the purchase of a regularly priced adult ticket. Other savings offers, too; visit for details.

Students can buy a $9 ticket to any Sarasota Orchestra concert—from Masterworks to the new shorter, breezier Discovery series—based on availability. And you can buy them in advance; just come to the box office with proof of valid current student I.D.

Student rush tickets, $18 each, can be purchased 30 minutes prior to show time for any Florida Studio Theatre production. A valid student I.D. is required.

For more discount offers, including those offered by the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, contact each organization’s box office directly.

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