$5 tickets to students at Long Center

Program intended to expose young people to the arts


Photo Courtesy of Long Center

A professional actor portrays the lead role from the Evil Dead: The Musical at the Long Center. Austin ISD students can purchase tickets for professional shows for $5 throughout the school year.

Mark Vallejo, Entertainment Editor

The Long Center and Austin ISD is hoping they found the magic number to encourage students to see professional-grade concerts and plays – $5.

Since August, the Longer Center has offered $5 tickets to select performances to Austin ISD students. Shows have included “Evid Dead: The Musical,” “Intergalactic Nemesis: Twin Infinity,” and “Nice Work if You can Get It.”

Long Center spokesman Heath Riddles said that the arts are very important for young students.

“Young people having access to the arts is important to us,” Riddles said. “We care about all the students, especially those with financial problems. So this would be a great opportunity for them to see great shows.”

Riddles hopes that the students take advantage of this unique opportunity to see the live performances.

“We hope we attract a lot of students,” Riddles said. “Since this is our first year, we want to get the word out as much as we can and I think it will grow.”

Austin ISD Fine Arts Director Greg Goodman lead the effort on the school district’s side to establish the partnership with the Long Center.

“The Long Center representative came to me and asked me if I was interested and I thought that it was a great idea,” Goodman said. “It will open doors to students as a prize and let them see world class performances.”

Senior Airelle Phillips who is involved with theater arts and costume design at Akins had never heard of the opportunity until recently.

“I think it’s a great chance, especially if the students are interested in pursuing a career in theater,” Phillips said.

Sophomore Aldrian Johnson says that he would definitely take advantage of the opportunity. Phillips and Johnson both agree that it would help the students who struggle with financial problems.

“Students now a days are broke and need help with money, so yeah I’m all for something like that,” Johnson said.

Some parents would like to take their children to professional shows at the Long Center, but would not normally be able to pay for it, Phillips said.

Being in theater herself, junior Tyra Williams, said she is interested in the opportunity to see a professional show for the low cost of $5.

“It’s really cheap and I’ve never gone to a professional performance,” Williams said. “Considering that I actually want to go into professional acting, I think that’s a pretty cool deal.”

Debate and speech teacher Jesus Valles has gone to muliple showings at the Long Center.

“It’s important because the country is experiencing a crisis where society tells students a career in the arts isn’t possible,” Valles said. “It’s good to show students it is possible to be a profesional actor or musician.”

Heres a link to the Long Center website that shows the shows that are eligible to the students if you would like to buy tickets: http://thelongcenter.org/community/eyego-arts/