Every year, the Classic Theatre Festival’s Save-a-Seat program opens up hundreds of free theatre seats to low income and socially marginalized community members who might otherwise never have a chance to experience the joy of live, professional theatre. Working in partnership with a range of social service agencies, the Festival is able to provide tickets in dignity: Save-a-Seat tickets look just like everyone else’s, so confidentiality is always respected.
Because poverty can be socially isolating, the program has also been successful because ticket recipients sometimes call to volunteer with the Festival, bringing their skills and talents to a welcoming arena where they can connect, network, make new friends, and sometimes secure employment as well.
In the Festival’s first ten years, over 2,600 people have come through our doors under the program.
“The Save-a-Seat program was inspired in part by my parents,” explains Associate Producer Matthew Behrens. “Deborah Cass and Bernard ‘Bunny’ Behrens were part of that post-war generation of artists who took theatre to the people across the country after finishing the much shorter season at Stratford. They always believed live, professional theatre should be made accessible to everyone, regardless of their social or economic status.”
Tax-deductible charitable donations to the Save-a-Seat program can be made by clicking here: