For students in the New York City area, the price of admission will finally be affordable.
“The Music Man” producers Barry Diller, David Geffen and Kate Horton are making available 10,000 tickets priced at $20 to New York City students, their families and their teachers.
Created and spearheaded by the Music Man’s Black Theatre Coalition fellow Amy Marie Haven, the effort hopes to make Broadway more accessible to the masses. Reduced ticket prices were made possible through partnerships with the New York City Department of Education and a dozen local youth non-profits, including Artists Striving to End Poverty, Art Start, Arts For All, Arthur Miller Foundation, On Broadway Training Program, Young People’s Chorus of NYC, Education Through Music, Rosie’s Theatre Kids, R.Evolucion Latina and Broadway Bridges.
“For me, ‘The Music Man’ is all about transformation,” Haven said in a statement. “Theatre totally transformed my life. I was a displaced, low-income student that ultimately became an arts teacher/ nonprofit administrator because of accessible programming. With ‘The Music Man’s’ Audience Development Initiative, we are hoping to plant the seed for further transformation — investing in and cultivating our next generation of citizens and storytellers.”
Horton added, “As a long-term advocate of accessible ticketing and arts access schemes, I’m delighted to be launching our Audience Development Initiative, particularly given the struggles and difficulties faced by school communities over the past two years. Live events have a unique power to heal, and it is both our responsibility and privilege to provide access in this moment in particular, when it is so badly needed.”
This broad effort is comprised of four separate initiatives: The first is Teachers Night Out, in which “The Music Man” is inviting teachers from all five boroughs to attend for $20 on various Tuesdays throughout the run of the production. The second is Family Shows, which will allow students from traditionally under-resourced communities to bring their entire families to ‘The Music Man,’ with sets of four tickets being offered to each participating student. Each Wednesday night will be earmarked as a Family Show, accommodating 10 families per week. The third is a Classroom Ticket initiative, where approximately 3,500 tickets will be allotted annually, offering tickets to schools and education non-profits as part of a larger, integrated curriculum. The final push is Student Matinees, where two Wednesdays in September will be reserved for 600 students at each performance in honor of “back-to-school” month. The cast will sit for a Q&A immediately following the shows.
“Diverse audiences are the lifeblood and creative spark for theater,” said Hope Knight, Empire State development acting commissioner and president and CEO-designate. “‘The Music Man’s’ effort to make Broadway more affordable and accessible to deserving students, their families and their teachers not only provides meaningful educational opportunities, but ensures the future strength of New York’s vibrant entertainment industry.”
The new version of Meredith Wilson’s classic musical, about a con man’s attempt to pull a fast one on a naive midwestern town, features Jackman as Professor Harold Hill and Foster as Marian Paroo. After several COVID-related delays, the show began preview performances last December and officially opens in early 2022 at Winter Garden Theatre.
“‘The Music Man’ is a story about hope and that is something we all need right now. It is an honor to share this story with New York City teachers, students and their families,” said Rashad V. Chambers, associated producer of “The Music Man.”