Photo courtesy of Lauren Kennedy

By: Alyson Peabody, Staff Writer

Portland Stage is expanding its demographic with membership opportunities for anyone under the age of 35 with the Rush35 program. Members can purchase discounted tickets for $15 to see any mainstage show (does not apply to the studio theater productions). In addition, Rush35 members have access to exclusive parties on the first Wednesday of the run of any mainstage play. The pre-performance receptions include complimentary food and drink from Flatbread Company, Two Fat Cats and Shipyard Brewing Company.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Kennedy

“We wanted to create an ongoing community that engaged with the theater and with one another,” said Eileen Phelan, the Director of Communications, Marketing and Engagement for Portland Stage. “Professional actors come from our local community and from away, including actors from New York City and beyond,” she added. “It is a great way to connect local actors with actors from all over the country.”

Tickets are available on the day of the performance. The mainstage currently operates as a rush ticket, which means that a person can purchase a seat the day of the performance for $15 after becoming a Rush35 member.

Since 2014, Portland Stage has gained 1,000 new members with the program and continues to grow. To become a Rush35 Member, sign-up online using a personal email at or at their box office at 25 Forest Ave, in Portland. Box office hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. It is also open one hour prior to each performance at the ticket window only.

Portland Stage also has a student discount, where students can buy tickets for $18 with a Student ID on the day of a performance.
All mainstage productions are handcrafted in the theater with the sets and costumes created in-house. The mainstage plays are performed in a theater with 287 seats. Over the course of a season, 150 mainstage shows take place, serving over 40,000 audience members across New England. Their season runs from September to May, offering six mainstage shows and a holiday show in the mainstage theater. Each production has a three to four-week run with multiple performances each week.

The first show of the season, Ben Butler by Richard Strand, came to a close on October 21, 2018.

The next available show is Refuge Malja ملجأ by local Maine playwright and performer Bess Welden, with Arabic translation by Ali Al Mshakheel. The play is mostly in English with passages of Arabic, as well as Hebrew. The show runs from Oct. 30 to Nov. 18 this year.

The Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, will run during the holiday season from Dec. 1 to Dec. 24.

Oscar Wilde’s witty play, The Importance of Being Earnest, will take the stage from Jan. 22 to Feb. 17, 2019.

The Half-Light by Monica Wood will run from Feb. 26 to March 24, 2019.

Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau will run from April 2 to April 21, 2019.

The final show of the season, The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown, will run from April 30 to May 19, 2019.

For more information and show descriptions for the 2018-2019 season check out the Portland Stage website at


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