As a kid, one of my favorite traditions was going to see plays and musicals with my mom. Together, we frequented the Pantages and other theaters to watch live productions including “Wicked,” “Les Miserables,” “The Sound of Music,” and “The Lion King,” to name some of my favorites. The thrill of watching actors perform and sing right in front of me never failed to captivate me. Even though we haven’t had the time to keep up our tradition in more recent years, my love for live theater hasn’t diminished.
This summer, the Center Theatre Group (CTG) started allowing theater-goers ages 25 and younger to attend the first preview of every production for free. The CTG is a Los Angeles based theatre company that performs year round at the Mark Taper Forum, the Ahmanson Theatre and the Kirk Douglas Theatre.
The offer is part of an effort to promote theater attendance in a younger audience that has yet to engage with the world of live theater. This opportunity will remove the ticket price barrier that prevents many young individuals from going to experience plays and musicals, giving them the opportunity to experience the thrill of a live performance without having to worry about what it will cost.
“It’s imperative that we strive to create a more vibrant Los Angeles with a stronger cultural fabric that supports such accessible experiences,” CTG Artistic Director Michael Ritchie said in a press release.
Today, live theater has already made a name for itself among young people in the recent rise of blockbuster level productions such as “Hamilton” (Lin-Manuel Miranda) and “Soft Power” (David Henry Hwang).
Like generations before us, the use of plays as a means for both art and political expression has proven to be a success with the audiences everywhere. However, in an age where society increasingly popularizes entertainment through social media livestreams and online streaming services, this may be the perfect solution to draw new fans in.
For many people like myself who either stopped going or never had the chance to experience live theater due to financial barriers or lack of time, this opportunity gives the chance to be re-immersed in the art.
Tickets for the play “Quack” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre from October 21-23 are available now. Reservations are free when they are made in person at the box office, and they cost $5 when made online.