Save on showings: Student discounts for the arts

Sarasota can be an expensive place to live, especially in addition to college expenses. However, it is possible to take a study break without breaking the bank too. The following are popular art related venues that offer special deals to students looking to see what is outside, inside a budget.


American Stage – Rush tickets can be purchased for $10 at the box office if one arrives a half-hour prior to curtain, or anyone under 35 can purchase a NextWave Pass: six tickets for $141 that can be used for any show at any time. “Laughter on the 23rd Floor: a peek inside the writer’s room with the comedic legends of television’s Golden Era,” is playing Nov. 19 to 21, and possesses “old style comedy: fast and furious,” according to The Wall Street Journal. For more information call (727) 823-7529, or visit

Asolo Repertory Theatre and FSU/Asolo Conservatory – Students under 25 with a valid ID can purchase rush tickets an hour prior to curtain. Mertz Theatre productions are $10 and Cook Theatre (Conservatory) shows are $5. Alternatively, one can purchase a Youth Play Pass for $35 which grants admittance to 11 to 12 Asolo Repertory productions and all Conservatory shows. Asolo Repertory is featuring “The Water Engine,” by David Mamet Nov. 4 to 23, which they named “A dark drama by one of this century’s most important and thrilling playwrights,” as well as Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner “South Pacific,” until Dec. 28. For more information call (941) 351-8000, or visit

Lemon Bay Playhouse –  Students with valid ID can purchase advanced discount tickets for $12 or rush tickets available the day of the performance at varied prices. For more information call (941) 475-6756, or visit

Ringling Museum –  New College students are admitted free with a valid ID. Rated Sarasota’s best attraction by TripAdvisor, the Ringling Museum earned praise from first-year Gabriella Sanchez as well.

“The museum is beautiful,” Sanchez commented. “If you have not had a chance to go and see it, you really should. There is a lot of history there I did not know about, and it is completely free for students.”

For more information call (941) 359-5700, or visit

Sarasota Ballet – Students under 25 who present a valid ID at the box office can purchase rush tickets for $10 a half hour prior to curtain. “Balanchine, Tuckett & Bruce,” plays Friday, Nov. 21 to 22, featuring George Balanchine’s “Rubies,” Will Tuckett’s “Lux Aeternaand Christopher Bruce’s “Sergeant Early’s Dream,” named “crisp and witty” by the Sarasota Ballet. For more information call (941) 359-0099 or visit

Sarasota Opera – Students under 22 who present a valid ID at the box office can purchase rush tickets for $10 a half hour prior to curtain. The Sarasota Opera is showcasing J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic story “The Hobbit,” conducted by Jesse Martins, Nov. 15 to 16. For more information call (941) 328-1300 or

Sarasota Orchestra – Students with valid ID can purchase advance and rush tickets for $9 at the box office for all concerts. Nov. 20 to 21, the concert “Songs of Wars I Have Seen” will be performed. Music Director Anu Tali commented regarding the show, “Literature, theatre and music turn the songs into a breath-taking performance that is in the same time beautiful and realistic.” For more information call (941) 953-3434 or visit

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall – Rush tickets can be purchased for $15 for select performances each season. “Evil Dead: The Musical,” plays Nov. 18 and promises plenty of blood, dismembered limbs, demons telling bad jokes and “galvanic score of rock ‘n’ roll, pastiche tunes, and get down in the aisles and boogey music.”

First-year Mimi Chenyao saw a ballet performance at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and highly recommends it. “Their performance was extremely professional,” Chenyao commented. “I was blown away. Everyone should go at least once.” For more information call (941) 953-3368, or visit


West Coast Black Theatre Troupe – Students with valid ID can purchase rush tickets for $5 at the box office a half hour prior to curtain. “Little Shop of Horrors,” written by Alan Menken, and composed by Howard Ashman, runs until Nov. 16 and boasts “tendrils of enjoyment” for its audience. For more information call (941) 366-1505, or visit

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