Real Good For Free: Free (or Really Cheap) Summer Theatre 2011 [GailSez]

Theatre is expensive, especially if you want to take the whole family, but luckily even some of the biggest venues in our region offer free, or really affordable (under $20 per ticket), shows and events. Lots of Shakespeare, natch, because he’s out of copyright, and lots of staged readings. I haven’t listed children’s theatre productions this year, but almost all of them charge between $4-10 per ticket.

And don’t write off your chances of seeing higher priced shows! At the Half-Price Ticket Booths (four locations in Berkshire County, MA, and one in Columbia County, NY) you can buy same-day half-priced tickets. Eight area theatre companies, two cabaret offerings, Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow, and the Berkshire Choral Festival participate. Call the ½ TIX Hotline at 413-743-1339. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis and all transactions are cash only.

There are lots of discount programs out there, especially for students, seniors and those serving in the military, so don’t be shy ASK! Shakespeare & Company offers a 40% (yes, I said 40%!) discount for full-time Berkshire County residents for all performances except Friday and Saturday evenings during the summer. (One ticket per customer and you must pick up your ticket in person and show a valid driver’s license at that time.)

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Stoptime Louis Armstrong Festival @ various locations, Saratoga Springs (Wednesday, July 6)
Freedom Park, Scotia (7pm on various days)
NYS Summer Writers Institute @ Skidmore College’s Palamountain Hall, Saratoga Springs (8pm on various days)
Free Dance Performances @ Jacob’s Pillow, Beckett (6:15pm on various days)
Monday Night Concerts in the Park @ Veteran’s Memorial Field, Thurman (7pm on Mondays)
Music in the Park @ Schodack Town Park, Schodack (6pm on Tuesdays)
Music in the Park @ Riverfront Park, Rensselaer (6pm on Tuesdays)
Concerts On the Lawn @ the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown (6pm on Tuesdays)
Tuesday Nights in the Park @ Cook Park, Colonie (6:30pm on Tuesdays)
The SCA Summer Concert Series @ the Outdoor Entertainment Center, South Glens Falls (6:30pm on Tuesdays)
Music on Mainstreet @ NBT Bank, Canajoharie (7pm on Tuesdays)
Rockin’ On the River @ the Hedley District Riverfront Parking Lot, River St., Troy (5pm on Wednesdays)
Live On the Lake @ Burbank Park, Pittsfield (6pm on Wednesdays)
Lake George Summer Concert Series @ Shepard Park, Lake George (7:30pm on Wednesdays)
Jazz On Jay @ Jay Street, Schenectady (12noon on Thursdays)
Alive at Five @ Corning Preserve’s Riverfront Park, Albany (5pm on Thursdays)
Concerts in the Park @ Wiswall Park, Ballston Spa (6pm on Thursdays)
Guilderland Performing Arts Center @ Tawasentha Park, Guilderland (7:30pm on Thursdays)
UpBeat on the Roof @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs (7pm on Fridays)
Improv Records’ Free Fridays @ Shepard Park, Lake George (7pm on Fridays)
Music at Sunset @ Greenport Town Park, Hudson (7pm on Fridays)
Concerts in the Park @ Riverfront Part, Athens (7pm on Fridays)
Canal Square Summer Concert Series @ Canal Square, Cohoes (7pm on Fridays)
Summer Sounds of Salem @ the Main Street Gazebo, Salem (11am on Saturdays)
Performing Arts at the Common @ the Clifton Park Common, Clifton Park (7pm on Sundays)
Skidmore Summer Jazz Institute Concert Series @ Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center, Saratoga Springs (June 28-July 8)
Jazz at the Lake: Lake George Jazz Weekend @ Shepard Park, Lake George (Saturday-Sunday, September 17-18)

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