SPC Revamps Broadway Ticket Policy
By Amanda Guy, Contributor
“Kinky Boots,” “Come From Away,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” and “The Book of Mormon” are among the most popular Broadway shows in theaters. Thanks to the efforts of the Marist College Student Programming Council (SPC), Marist students can attend a show for just $25–that is, if they can get a ticket.
Students purchase tickets from the Student Activities office a few weeks before the show, although the line on the day of sales often extends from the office to the Nelly Goletti theater–sometimes it even reaches to the Rotunda. If tickets sell out, students can put their name down on the waitlist, or try SPC’s new stand-by line.
Due to high demand, the SPC Board recently updated their ticket policy for the trips. “If a student purchases a ticket to a Broadway trip but does not show up for the trip without notifying the Student Activities office [first], that student will not be able to purchase a ticket to the following Broadway Trip nor [be] allowed a refund. All tickets must be returned prior to 5 p.m. Friday on the week of the trip.”
In addition, “[s]tudents who are on the waitlist will have the opportunity to join a stand-by line the morning of the show to see if any tickets become available. If any tickets become available, the student will need to pay [the] $25 price in exact change on the spot. The stand-by line will be on a first come, first serve basis.”
Nicole Ferone ‘20 has attended eight Broadway shows through SPC.
“Last year, for ‘The Book of Mormon’ I waited four hours,” recalled Ferone. “But overall, I usually wait one to two hours.”
SPC President Norah Hartlipp said the new policy is meant to give students a last-minute opportunity to get a seat in the audience.
“We always have such huge waiting lists and we just wanted to try and get those people to have another chance to come to the show, rather than just let those tickets go to waste,” Hartlipp said.
The Student Activities fee that students pay at the beginning of the each semester within their tuition helps to subsidize the cost. Nonetheless, the original tickets are not cheap. Jennifer Unterbrink, assistant director of Student Activities and faculty adviser for SPC, said there are frequently absences on these trips.
“On average, we have four to eight students that do not show up. That’s the reason why SPC made the decision that there needs to be a consequence for not showing up,” Unterbrink said. “SPC is not paying $25 for each ticket, we pay the face value that you see on that ticket. Some of these tickets have the face value of over $200.”
Kristin Ponterio ‘20 said she appreciates how there are “more options now. This updated policy makes obtaining tickets for the shows more attainable.”
Bob Lynch, director of Student Activities, said the discounted price–which includes a ticket and a ride to and from the city on a coach bus–presents students with a special opportunity.
“At the 25 bucks, which is dirt cheap, you’re seeing a professional show, down in New York City, the greatest city in the world. There are students here on our campus who have never been to New York City, and experiencing a Broadway show gives our students an opportunity to experience the world outside of our Marist community,” Lynch said.
“Our students love these tickets. What I love about it is when they get in these big lines and everything, I see them talking amongst themselves, and doing their work and stuff. I think it’s college at its best.”
“Dear Evan Hansen” and “The Book of Mormon” will have ticket sales later this semester, and Hartlipp said they are expecting more sold-out shows.
“I think it’s awesome,” Ferone said. “I have seen so many Broadway shows which are typically super expensive and I might get the chance to buy another ticket next week. I am very grateful for that.”