Friday, August 24, 2007



Ever want to know the basics of how TKTS really works?

There's a quick encapsulation at Playbill that explains how a show may offer up tickets as well as the "why" behind how many. TKTS, of course, offers up greatly discounted seats for both Broadway and Off-Broadway shows the day of a performance.

TKTS is run by the Theatre Development Fund (TDF), a non profit organization serving the performing arts. The Theatre Development Fund was founded in 1968, the same year it began providing subsidies for students wishing to see the Tony-winning Best Play of 1969 The Great White Hope, which including Tony-winning turns by Jane Alexander and James Earl Jones.

In just 39 short years, TDF has become the United States' largest performing arts nonprofit. During its years in operation, it has supported over 900 musicals and plays and "returning upwards of $1.5 billion in revenue to thousands of Broadway, Off-Broadway and off Off-Broadway music and dance productions."

Five years into operation in 1973, TDF opened its first TKTS booth in Father Duffy Square. A second TKTS booth opened on William Street in Lower Manhattan one year later in 1974.

A British version began operations in 1980 at Leicester Square.

In 1983, the Lower Manhattan TKTS booth was moved to the World Trade Center. This booth would be moved temporarily after the 1993 World Trade Center bomb explosion, and then again after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Shortly after the attack, TKTS operated out of Bowling Green Plaza and then moved to the South Street Seaport in 2002.

It was 1988 when the larger TKTS booth was installed in Times Square. Just over ten years later in 1999, a design competition for a new TKTS booth was announced called the TKTS2K Competition. Last year, the Times Square TKTS booth moved temporarily to the base of the New York Marriott Marquis so that ground could be broken on the Duffy Square renovation, which is ongoing.

To take a look at what shows were offered on the TKTS board just last week, click here. If you'd like to show your appreciation to the Theatre Development Fund for helping make theatre affordable and accessible to everyone by making a donation toward TDF's noble efforts, click here.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Photo above by Stephanie Wien.

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