If you haven't figured it out yet, I love theater. Thing is, if you love going as much as I do, it can put a pretty heavy strain on your wallet. Fortunately, I've found many ways to win tickets (pay attention to Facebook and Twitter people!!), but there are always shows I just can't find giveaways for or that out of town visitors specifically request. This is when I'm glad to have discovered the Theater Development Fund.
Some of you might know TDF as the organization that runs the big TKTS booth in Times Square where you can buy day-of discounted tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. TDF is so much more than just TKTS. I recently signed up as a member for an annual fee of just $30 for a year and now have access to all sorts of tickets for even cheaper than they are sold at TKTS. Bonus - I can buy them in advance!! For example, I purchased two front orchestra tickets to see Rock of Ages and only spent $77 including all fees!! It really can't get much better than that.
Some caveats - you don't always get a choice of where your seats are, but in my experience, they have been surprisingly good. Also, not everyone can join TDF. You have to be one of the following (and provide proof): full-time students, full-time teachers, union members, retirees, civil service employees, staff members of not-for-profit organizations, performing arts professionals, members of the armed forces or clergy. If you fall into one of those categories and love theater, I would recommend signing up asap. It's just a short application and you have to send in a letter proving that you qualify for membership. You can purchase up to 10 tickets for each show on your account, so tell your friends. They won't want to miss out on the cheap tickets either!
Awesome Extra: TDF also has a great guide to Broadway and theater for newbies. It will answer all of your questions - check it out!