Since May 26, senior and junior high school students have been able to buy $5 seats to more than 450 New York City arts events through Ticketmaster and the High 5 ticket discount service.
Participating theatre companies include Jean Cocteau Repertory, Thalia Spanish Theatre, The York Theatre Company, Women's Project & Productions, Second Stage Theatre, Classic Stage Company, City Center, Primary Stages, Target Margin Theater, P.S. 122, Repertorio Espanol and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Other discounts available include ballet, contemporary dance, museums, opera and symphony orchestras.
One Off-Off-Broadway show, Surface Transit, is even setting aside a night -- Aug. 10 -- specifically for teens using the High 5 program. Writer and actress Sarah Jones will then do a post-performance Q&A with the audience.
Fleet Bank and High 5 purchased all the tickets for that performance are selling them not only in the usual discount way, but also allowing one adult to "Take 5" -- that is, take five students for $25 total (or two adults can take four students for that price).
Solo performer Jones' Surface Transit, runs at P.S. 122 through Aug. 26, after starting performances there June 14 and officially opening June 18. The show had initially been targeting Off-Broadway's American Place Theatre and had a presentation there for an invited audience last August. Gloria Feliciano directed and Danny Hoch (Some People) is producing the piece by Jones, a 1997 Nuyorican Grand Slam winner.
Transit features slices of the lives of eight ordinary people, old and young, poor and rich, male and female, who are either victims of hate or the victimizers. Jones performs characters including Miss Lady, an elderly street person, Joe, a racist Italian-American cop, and Rashid, a recovering addict.
Jones, born into a mixed marriage in Baltimore but raised in Queens, is a 25 year old "zebra" as she calls herself. Other projects have included fine-tuning The Capeman, the poetry piece "Blood" and tracks on the hip hop albums, "Eargasms" and "Lyricist Lounge Vol. 1."
For information on Surface Transit at P.S. 122, 150 First Ave (9th Street), call (212) 477-5288.
Not only do High 5 discounts run on the weekend performances, but if high schoolers want to see a show on a school night, the $5 rate buys two tickets (i.e., $2.50 apiece).
High 5's free spring Catalog, published in Spanish and English, can be picked up at participating Ticketmaster outlets, NYC's public libraries, various Barnes and Noble and Borders bookstores, and Coliseum Books (Broadway at 57th Street). The Catalog can also be viewed on-line at www.high5tix.org, or call (212) 445-8587.
On July 19, High 5 received an award from the Dedicating Resources for Education and Motivation Awards (D.R.E.A.M.), which honors groups who promote quality education and serve as role models for New York City's youth.
-- By Christine Ehren and David Lefkowitz