A Month After Disaster, Downtown TKTS To Go Back in (Show) Business

News   A Month After Disaster, Downtown TKTS To Go Back in (Show) Business On Sept. 11, the Theatre Development Fund's discount theatre ticket service, TKTS, in 2 World Trade Center, was destroyed along with the twin towers. The good news was that no TDF employees were lost in the terrorist attack.

On Sept. 11, the Theatre Development Fund's discount theatre ticket service, TKTS, in 2 World Trade Center, was destroyed along with the twin towers. The good news was that no TDF employees were lost in the terrorist attack.

Now TDF has even more good news: TKTS will return to downtown Manhattan starting 11 AM, Oct. 11. A temporary booth will open at Bowling Green Park Plaza, which is next to the IRT 4 and 5 subway lines. According to TDF spokesperson David LeShay, Sciame Construction donated a trailer, from whence the same-day discount ducats will be dispensed. The booth will be open Monday-Friday, 11 AM-5:30 PM, Saturdays 11 AM-3:30 PM. Unlike the midtown booth in Duffy Square (West 47th Street), matinee tickets must be purchased the day before.

"We felt it imperative that we move as quickly as possible to resume operations downtown to serve New Yorkers who live and work in the area," said TDF executive director Victoria Bailey in a statement. "TKTS has been an integral part of Lower Manhattan's downtown cultural scene."

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A TDF employee was opening up the office at the time of the morning plane crashes on Sept. 11 and was able to escape, spokesperson LeShay told Playbill On-Line Sept. 12. The discount ticket location in the World Trade Center is the sister of the more visible Times Square-Duffy Square TKTS Booth that offers theatregoers a chance to see Broadway, Off-Broadway and other performing events at a discount when bought the same day of the performance. The downtown booth on the mezzanine level of the 2 World Trade Center sold between 900-1,000 tickets a day, according to TDF and was open every day but Sunday. At its busiest time of the week, 4-6 employees would work the booth. The following announcement was posted on the TDF website (www.tdf.org): "All of us at TDF are saddened by the recent tragedies and we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected. We are grateful that all TDF staff who worked at the TKTS Booth at 2 World Trade Center are safe."

The world was shocked by the deliberate terrorist attack on New York's famed twin towers. On the morning of Sept. 11, hijackers commandeered two commercial jetliners with passengers and plowed one each into the towers, causing great loss of life in the planes, buildings and on the ground. Theatres in New York and around the country followed the lead of the federal, state and local governments and shut down Sept. 11. Broadway and most Off-Broadway houses didn't reopen until Sept. 13. A few shows closed (A Thousand Clowns, Stones in His Pockets), many delayed previews or opening performances, some took hiatuses (Tony n' Tina's Wedding, The Syringa Tree), but most have pressed on with their regular schedules.

— By David Lefkowitz and Kenneth Jones