Rushing to the Theatre: A Guide to Student Rush, Lottery and Standing-Room-Only Tickets

By Carey Purcell
20 Jul 2013

Do Your Homework 

If you're planning on rushing when friends or family are in town and they are dead-set on seeing a star, call the ticket sellers or check the ticket seller's website before your guests arrive and ask if any of the lead performers are scheduled to be on vacation during that time.

Look on the theatre's website to see if you need to have one or two student ID cards to purchase student rush tickets. Some theatres will sell two tickets per ID, but others let people buy only one.

Timing is Everything

Find out what time box offices are open for business and plan on getting there at least 30 minutes before the show. If the show is very popular, got rave reviews or won several Tony Awards, you should get there about two hours in advance.

If you can plan ahead even further, keep in mind that you have better chances of seeing a show before it is reviewed. Find out when the previews begin and try to see one of those performances. Less people will be lining up before the critics publish their reviews, and the less people in line, the better your chances.

Divide and Conquer

If you and a friend want to see a show together, find two different shows that give two tickets per ID and attempt securing tickets from each. If one of you tries for one lottery and one of you enters the other, you have double the chances of seeing a show. 

If you're flying solo that day or night, look for other singles in the crowd and pair up with them. This will also double your chances of winning.