The Ultimate Guide to Discount D.C. Theatre Tickets

washington dc discount theatre tickets

I believe in wholly supporting the arts—they’ve been too instrumental in my life for me to do anything but. However, as a full-time student, my wallet doesn’t always agree. And maybe yours doesn’t either. But lucky for us, theatre companies are generous and understanding, offering some pretty sweet ticketing discounts to students, young adults, and anyone willing to wait until the last minute to score seats. Through these opportunities, I’ve landed tickets to world premiere productions, cutting-edge takes on the Bard’s plays, and breathtaking musicals. Since I’ve had such unforgettable experiences, I thought I’d put these offers all in one place and pass ‘em along to you! Here’s my definitive guide to the best discount ticket policies at some of my favorite theaters in our nation’s capitol.

Check out my other rush roundups here!

Note: All seats and offers are subject to availability, natch

Pro Tip: To access a theatre’s discount ticket page, click on its name!

Arena Stage

1101 Sixth Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

Who it’s for: Anyone under 30 years old

The policy: Pay-your-age

The price: Literally, you pay your age plus a $2 facility fee. Boom. No restrictions.

The seats: Any available (I’ve gotten premium center orchestra seats on a Friday night for $20 with this deal!)


Who it’s for: Full-time students

The policy: One ticket per valid ID offered by phone or in-person for every performance

The price: 35% discount off regular ticket prices

The seats: Any available


Who it’s for: Anyone who can’t afford regularly priced tickets

The policy: A limited number of tickets are sold in-person 30 minutes before showtime for most performances, limit two tickets per person

The price: 50% discount off regular ticket prices

The seats: Any available


Ford’s Theatre

511 Tenth St NW, Washington, DC 20004

Who it’s for: Anyone under 35 years old

The policy: Purchase in advance using the code UNDER35

The price: Most recently, it has been $18 plus fees

The seats: A limited number of rear orchestra and obstructed view seats are available for certain performances (most recently, for Friday nights, which is pretty sweet since that’s a prime theatre night)


Folger Theatre

201 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

Who it’s for: Students

The policy: Available during preview performances

The price: 50% discount off regular ticket prices

The seats: Any available


Who it’s for: Students

The policy: Available during all performances post-opening

The price: $10 discount off regular tickets

The seats: Any available


Who it’s for: College students

The policy: Available during “College Night” performances (typically Friday nights, and it’s super fun seeing Shakespeare with a bunch of theatre fans who are actually your age)

The price: $15

The seats: Any available


Who it’s for: Anyone under 30 years old

The policy: Tickets must be ordered in person or by phone, limit two tickets per valid ID

The price/the seats: $30 for any seat during previews. After previews, $25 for C-price and partial view, $30 for B-price, and $40 for A-price


Keegan Theatre

1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

Who it’s for: Anyone under 25 years old

The policy: Just select the “25 & Under” option at check out

The price: $35

The seats: Any available


Kennedy Center

2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

Who it’s for: Anyone aged 18-30 years old

The policy: Weekly discounts available online on a first-come, first-served basis (slow and steady does not win this race)

The price: Varies (But they’re usually huge discounts, plus some comps are thrown in, too!)

The seats: Varies


The National Theatre

1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

Who it’s for: Anyone (Anyone at all)

The policy: Lottery (the only one on this list!) takes place 2 hours before showtime, with names being drawn 1.5 hours before. Tickets must be paid for in cash, limit two per valid ID

The price: $25

The seats: Varies


Shakespeare Theatre Company

610 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004 and 450 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Who it’s for: Anyone under 35 years old

The policy: Use the code “17UNDER35” when selecting seats for shows in the 16-17 season. Valid ID must be presented at will call.

The price: $25

The seats: Any available except for premium and “D” zone seating


Signature Theatre

4200 Campbell Ave, Arlington, Virginia 22206

Who it’s for: Full-time students

The policy: One ticket per valid ID using the code STU25 at checkout

The price: $25

The seats: Available in Tiers 2 and 3 (read: rear and obstructed view seats) for every performance


Who it’s for: Anyone (yes, anyone!)

The policy: Discounted tickets available for the first two Tuesday public performances of every run

The price: $22

The seats: Located in Tier 2 (I’m sensing a theme of two’s here…)

Notes: I know Signature is technically in VA, but its heart beats with the D.C. theatre scene


Studio Theatre

1501 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

Who it’s for: Anyone under 30 years old

The policy: Those eligible get access to discounted tickets for every performance, as well as invites to special events, happy hours, and meet-the-actor receptions (score!)

The price: $25

The seats: Any available


Who it’s for: College AND high school students

The policy: Two tickets per valid student ID

The price: $20

The seats: Any available


Who it’s for: Anyone (even you!)

The policy: A limited number of tickets sold in-person 30 minutes before showtime

The price: $30

The seats: Any available


Woolly Mammoth

641 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

Who it’s for: Full-time college students AND anyone under 30 years old

The policy: Tickets available for any performance, must show valid ID

The price: $20

The seats: Subject to availability


Who it’s for: Anyone (yes, anyone!)

The policy: Tickets sold box office two hours prior to showtime on a first-come, first-served basis, limit two tickets per person

The price: $15

The seats: Located in the balcony 


What’s the best show you’ve ever gotten discount tickets for? Let me know in the comments below!

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More about Kelly

Hi, I’m Kelly! I’m here to give busy college students a guide to navigating the modern theatre world. I’m passionate about spreading my love of theatre, traveling, and trying new things.

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