Zack Lewin and Nicole Pingon, both 17, are hitting the theatres of Sydney pretty hard now that they can buy cheap tickets through Playwave, a game-changing affordable ticket scheme for teens aged 15-19.
Run by Shopfront Arts Co-op with seed funding from City of Sydney, Playwave offer tickets to its teenage members for as little as $5 and up to around $25 to shows around Sydney. Anyone can become a member if they are 15-19 years old by signing up on the website. Tickets are on sale as single tickets, through a credit top-up scheme, as gift vouchers, or by monthly subscription with two shows included per month.
Performing arts companies and venues offering tickets through Playwave include Sydney Theatre Company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney Festival, Australian Theatre for Young People, Hayes Theatre Company and Griffin.
“Before Playwave, I only saw musicals or really big theatre productions with my family purely because I couldn’t afford to see the things I specifically wanted to see, like new Australian theatre,” says Nicole. “But now I’ve had the opportunity to see so many great shows, little things here and there that might have just passed me by.”
Zack says it makes a huge difference seeing theatre with his friends, all on cheap tickets, than going with his parents. “When I go with my parents, it really feels like I’m ‘at the theatre’ with them. But with my friends, it feels like we’re consuming art, and we’re having a good time.”
So far, Zack has seen Declan Green’s Moth at ATYP, Silent Night at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, a play reading of Wolf Lullaby at Ensemble Theatre and Sydney Dance Company’s 2 One Another at the Roslyn Packer Theatre. “I would never have gone to that because I just don’t do dance,” he says. “But now that I’ve been introduced to dance as an art form, I’m really excited by it and I want to see more of it. We have shows coming up at Sydney Festival, like Barber Shop Chronicles and Riot and Tree of Codes, and we have access to the Village Sideshow which is a whole bunch of interesting stuff, including a Ghost Train that is a virtual reality experience, which is a whole new level of frightening.”
Nicole wants to see more Australian theatre. “We saw Plastic at the Old 505 in Newtown, which is something I wouldn’t have even known about. Playwave is really supportive of young and new Australian theatre.”
Nicole and Zack have also been writing interviews and reviews for the Playwave Creatives blog.
Playwave specials this week include Three Sisters at Sydney Theatre Company ($20), Virgins and Cowboys at Griffin ($20), Silent Night at Eternity Playhouse ($12) and The Bedlam Cabaret at Red Rattler ($16). Sydney Festival tickets include Tree of Codes ($30), Riot ($25) and Barber Shop Chronicles ($25). The Ensemble Theatre is offering tickets to David Williamson’s Sorting Out Rachel for $17.
“We are so keen to see anything that we can,” says Nicole. “So we’re just putting ourselves out there as the opportunities are given to us. It’s easy to join, you just go to the website and put in your email address and a few details. Playwave has a Facebook page and Instagram that updates pretty much daily so we always know what’s going on. So far, it’s been awesome.”