Written by Karin Willison, Free Wheelin‘
If you have a disability and you’re traveling to New York City, you may be considering seeing a Broadway show and wondering how to get wheelchair accessible Broadway tickets. For many people, attending a musical or play is one of the highlights of a New York City vacation. If you’ve read other disability travel guides here on Free Wheelin’ or elsewhere, you may also be aware that New York City isn’t very wheelchair accessible, and theatre hasn’t always been inclusive when it comes to disability. But thankfully, things are starting to change.
In 2019, Ali Stroker became the first wheelchair user to win a Tony Award for her portrayal of Ado Annie in “Oklahoma.” It’s important for people with disabilities to be both on stage and showing our support in the audience. And luckily, getting wheelchair accessible Broadway tickets and enjoying the musical you’ve always wanted to see isn’t an impossible dream, as long as you keep a few things in mind.
I’ve loved musical theatre since I was a kid and have attended hundreds of live performances all over the country. Since my first visit to New York City in 2010, I have seen more than 20 different Broadway shows in over 10 different theatres. I’ve learned a lot over the years, and I want to share my knowledge so other people with disabilities can have the chance to enjoy Broadway musicals and plays as much as I do. Here is my guide to seeing a Broadway show if you have a mobility disability.
1. To save money on wheelchair accessible Broadway tickets, become a TDF member.
If you have some time to prepare in advance of your trip, or you plan to see shows in New York City regularly, the NYC Theatre Development Fund offers an Accessibility Membership for people with disabilities. Membership is free with proof of disability, and members are eligible for substantial discounts on tickets, including wheelchair accessible seats. This is a great way to save money on Broadway and off-Broadway show tickets.