Students unhappy with theater’s sudden increase in ticket prices

Formerly free, admission for students to all Temple Theater productions has a price tag this year for the first time.

As prices for most things – gas, food and college tuition – are rising, the same notion rings true for Temple Theaters, which recently upped its prices.

What was once free admission for Temple performances now costs students $5 for plays and $10 for musicals. General admission to the public increased to $20 for plays and $25 for musicals.

The university’s General Activities Fee, which is included in tuition, used to cover student admission fees. However, productions and materials are costing more to produce performances, and these factors are not keeping pace with economic inflation. Now, the GAF partially covers expenses associated with theater ticket sales.

Scott Braun, director of public relations and marketing for the department of theater, said a small surcharge is a “minimal fee for the student.” Braun said it gives the ticket a value, which will encourage students to attend performances.

While Temple Theaters plans on producing high-quality performances, the new price tag on productions raises a large concern: student turnout.

Senior theater major Brent Knobloch is worried about the cost for student admission.

“I think that Temple students are less likely to come out to shows because most of the appeal was that they were free,” Knobloch said.

Knobloch has been performing for more than three years in Temple Theaters’ plays. He said friends, students and faculty attended.

Braun said most Randall Theatre performances sell out, while Tomlinson Theater, which can seat 400, attracts more than 70 percent of students.

Braun does not anticipate a low student turnout because the department is offering Temple students with professional theatrical productions. He said students will not be deterred from attending the theater in any way.

“Part of the experience of acting is performing in front of an audience,” Knobloch said. “Without an audience, you don’t get the full experience. It’s important to be seen by your peers.”

Jennifer Campbell, a senior journalism major, attended Temple Theaters’ performances in the past. While she understands the need to pay a fee for performances, she said most college students are usually strapped for cash.

“If I really wanted to go to a performance, I would,” Campbell said, “but if it was just for something to do and it cost $5 or $10, then I wouldn’t want to go.”

Kristen van Genderen can be reached at

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