Theaters Offer Discounts to Furloughed Government Employees

With no end in sight to the government shutdown, many DC-area theaters are offering discounted tickets to government employees. Here is our list.

With no end to the government shutdown in sight, many DMV arts organizations are offering free or discounted tickets to federal government workers.

DMV theaters recognize that government employees have helped make the region’s theater so vibrant over the past decades as patrons, subscribers, donations-givers, actors, and technical artisans. “We are honored to offer discounts to federal employees,” said Evan Hoffmann, artistic director at NextStop Theatre.

Neal Racioppo, senior director of marketing and communications at Shakespeare Theatre Company echoed the sentiment. “Federal employees have always been there for us and we want to be there for them now. We at the Shakespeare Theatre Company are not unique in looking for ways to federal workers during these tough times. The entire theater community wants to help.”

The following is an initial list of area theaters offering special discounts to federal employees during the shutdown:

Arena Stage: Free Tickets! Arena is now offering government employees FREE TICKETS to January 18-23 performances of Kleptocracy and February 8-13 performances of The Heiress. Present your government ID at the box office when picking up your tickets.

Baltimore Center Stage: Two FREE tickets to the Thursday, January 17th 7:30 pm preview performance of Fun Home to Baltimore Area federal government employees who have been furloughed. Affected employees can walk up to the box office to claim two tickets by showing their valid Federal Government Employee ID. Tickets available first come, first served. Tickets can not be reserved online or over the phone.
Show information

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: The BSO will offer free tickets to federal employees for it’s classical Off the Cuff performances January 10-13 at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD. To claim complementary tickets, present a government ID at the box office. Two tickets per ID.
More information can be found here

Creative Cauldron: Creative Cauldron is offering up to 30 complimentary tickets to the following shows in their upcoming Passport to the World Music Series: Cecily Salutes DC (Sunday, January 6 at 6:30 pm) and Disco Grass (Sunday, January 13 at 6:30 pm). Any government worker can take advantage of the offer by using the code “GOV” upon checkout and then showing a government ID at the box office. Tickets may also be obtained by presenting a government ID directly at the box office. Maximum of two complimentary tickets per household. Subject to availability.
Ticket link and show details

George Mason University, Center for the Arts: $5 tickets are available to federal employees to the following shows and performances. Present a federal ID at the box office:
MOMIX dance company presents Opus Cactus – Friday, January 25 at 8 pm
Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra: Benny and Beyond – Saturday, January 26 at 8 pm
The Phantom Tollbooth – Sunday, January 27 at 2 pm

George Mason University, Hylton Performing Arts Center: $5 tickets are available to federal employees to the following shows and performances. Present a federal ID at the box office:
We Shall Overcome – Sunday, January 20 at 3 pm
The Phantom Tollbooth – Saturday, January 26 at 2 pm and 4 pm

NextStop Theatre: NextStop is offering 50% discounts for weekday performance of [title of show] while supplies last. New purchases only. Use code “FED19” at checkout.
Ticket link and show details

Olney Theatre Center: Olney is offering $20 same-day tickets for furloughed federal employees to remaining performances of Elf the Musical. Window purchases only, no phone or internet sales. Federal ID required. Cannot be combined with any other discount.
Ticket link and show details

Pointless Theatre: Bring a Fed for Free! Pointless is offering the following deal for the entire run of its production Visions of Love: Buy one ticket at get one free with a valid government ID. Free tickets can be reserved at the box office starting one hour prior to show time. This offer stands for the duration of the shutdown.
Ticket link and show details

Signature Theatre: Signature will present a federal government employee night for the January 23rd performance of Judy Garland: A Star Is Born. The offer includes a discounted ticket price and a complimentary glass of wine or beer (or non-alcoholic beverage). Purchase your ticket online and present a government ID at the box office. Maximum of four tickets per federal employee.
Ticket link and show details

Shakespeare Theatre Company: STC is now offering FREE tickets to Richard the Third. Free tickets are available to furloughed workers for any performance February 5-10. Use promo code “FEDERAL19” when reserving tickets. Tickets may be ordered online, by phone, or at the box office. A valid federal ID is required when picking up tickets at the box office.
Ticket link and event details

Studio Theatre: Furloughed friends enjoy 20% off tickets to Studio’s two current shows, Kings or Admissions using promo code “DCisOPEN.” Must show valid government ID. Expires January 23.
Ticket link and show details

The National Theatre: The National Theatre is offering a 30% discount to the January 16, 17, and 18 7:30 pm performances of School of Rock. Discounts can be claimed online using the discount code “FEDERAL.” A valid government ID must be presented when picking up the tickets. Offer not good on previously purchased tickets.
Ticket link and event details

Washington Improv Theater: While you don’t have to be a federal employee to attend WIT’s Free For All improv workshop, the improv group is extending a special invitation to government workers who suddenly find themselves with unexpected free time. The next Free For All workshop takes place on Tuesday, January 8th at Source Theatre. A second workshop for furloughed workers will take place on January 14th.
Sign-up link for January 14th workshop

Woolly Mammoth: Using the code “SHUTDOWN,” federal employees can get a 15% discount on tickets to any performance of Woolly’s BLKS. BLKS, by playwright/poet Aziza Barnes and directed by Nataki Garrett, runs February 4th through March 3rd.
Ticket link and show details

Workhouse Arts Center: Workhouse Arts Center is thrilled to support their friends in the federal government who are furloughed. While the government remains closed, you are invited to visit the Workhouse Arts Center and show your government ID to enjoy 10% savings on all classes, art sales, and Workhouse productions at the W-3 theater. Visit the customer service desk in building W-16 (Wednesday through Sunday, 9518 Workhouse Way, in Lorton, VA) to learn more about upcoming classes and events.
Venue details

Know of another theater offering discounts to furloughed government workers? Leave a comment and we will update our list.


  1. Riverside Center for the Performing Arts is excited to support our government friends who have been furloughed by offering a free show ticket to this Thursday’s performance of “La Cage aux Folles.” (January 24, 2019) Additional show only tickets can be purchased for $50. Arrival time is 7pm for a 7:30pm show. Must show government ID at the Box Office to receive this offer.


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