Theatre on a budget in Victoria

Monday Magazine's Janis La Couvee breaks down all the theatre you can handle without breaking the bank.

When I ask people if they go to live theatre, one of the most common remarks is “it’s expensive”.  Yet, the opportunities to see theatre locally on a budget abound. Tickets can be found for less than the price of a good martini or a burger and beer.

First, a shout-out to the Victoria Fringe Festival (August 23-September 3) with all tickets for $11 or less.  You will need to purchase a Fringe button ($6) which is good for all performances.  Ticket sales go directly to the artists with proceeds from the buttons benefiting Intrepid Theatre to assist with producing this beloved festival. If you want to save even more, purchase a shareable 5-Show Munch Card or a 10-Show Frequent Fringer (valid for door tickets only).

Intrepid Theatre also hosts two other festivals–Uno Fest and OUTstages—with savings to be had with passes or by attending Pay What You Can evenings (UNO Fest).

Theatre Inconnu, Victoria’s longest-running alternative theatre company, also offers a Pay What You Can night for every one of their season’s shows.

Season’s tickets are another way to find savings, particularly if the company offers previews—bargains can be had at Langham Court Theatre (home of 2 for $20 previews), St Luke’s Players, Blue Bridge Theatre, UVic Phoenix and the Belfry. Preview nights for cabarets produced by the award-winning Atomic Vaudeville are currently $18. Theatre Inconnu season’s passes are another good buy.

Victoria is home to two companies that produce a regular season of improvised theatre ­—Paper Street Theatre Company and Broad Theatrics (home to Sin City, the Live Improvised Serial) with affordable ticket options (regular tickets $15), including an even more affordable season pass or munch card.

If the idea of taking a chance at last minute seats appeals to you, the Belfry Theatre offers rush tickets (40% off) for every one of their performances (subject to availability) and Blue Bridge Theatre has student rush tickets.

Several institutions train the next generation of theatre artists—the University of Victoria, Canadian College of Performing Arts and the Victoria Academy of Dramatic Arts (VADA)—and often offer work in development. Entrance to the TD Festival of New Works (March 2018) at CCPA is by donation with proceeds to benefit student scholarships. SATCo (Student Alternative Theatre Company) at UVic offers lunch time shows during winter and spring with a suggested donation of $4. Students at VADA present a scene study showcase (tickets $10).

Intrepid Theatre’s YOU Show was started in 2010 as a platform for local emerging artists to launch their new work and offers shows from September through May. Tickets are usually $10.  Since its inception, the YOU Show has launched nearly 40 new shows from a diverse group of local artists.

Play readings, featuring actors reading a script, with limited design elements, can be experienced at the Belfry Theatre SPARK Festival, Readers’ Theatre (hosted by Langham Court Theatre) and Puente Theatre’s World Play (a series of reading of plays from around the world) and are often by donation.

One final consideration. Currently in Victoria there are over 50 theatre companies, from professional to community-based, long-established to emerging, catering to audiences from children to seniors; most have volunteer opportunities and offer free tickets in exchange for volunteer hours.  There’s a world of affordable theatre in Victoria—happy exploring!

Just Posted

Canada’s country music sweetheart brings The Gumboot Kids to town

Jessie Farrell to perform songs from her hit CBC TV series at McTavish Academy of Arts

VIFF wrap-up: Finely crafted films part of festival finale

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells puts a cap on his 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival experience

FILM REVIEWS: Race relations, refugees and racy romances featured at VIFF

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells presents round 2 from the Vancouver International Film Fest

An eye for art: The new and the notable at fall’s premier arts event

Sidney Fine Art Show shares wealth of Island talent Oct. 11 to 13

Astrocolor bringing unique funk-synth sound to the Capital Ballroom

Victoria band known for their festival shows making a rare appearance on their home turf

VIDEO: Ballet Kelowna brings steamy story, A Streetcar Named Desire, to Island

Okanagan ballet company brings a classic tale to the Cowichan Valley

INDY FILM FARE: 1970s hedonism and more at The Vic Theatre

From Studio 54 to Rocky Horror, there’s plenty of excess to observe this month

Shark-attack metal band coming to Victoria tonight

Shark Infested Daughters, a Calgary metalcore group, play the Upstairs Cabaret tonight, Oct. 13

STAGE AND SONG: Spotlight on Victoria arts groups

Learn about some of the city’s favourite theatre and musical entertainment options

Island lensman Jim Decker lands three top photography awards

During exciting photo trip to Yap in Micronesia, Cobble Hill man earns trio of firsts

Celebrate Oktoberfest Stein and Dine at the Victoria Public Market

Food, suds and German-style fun on tap at Oct. 20 event

Most Read