The following story is part of The Globe’s back-to-school content for fall 2022.
For Salt Lake Community College students, a night out at the Grand Theatre isn’t just affordable: it’s free.
Seth Miller, artistic executive director at the Grand, said other professional theaters in downtown Salt Lake City, like the Eccles Theater, provide amazing productions, but college students can’t always afford hundreds of dollars for a ticket.
“We’re trying to keep it as affordable and as accessible as possible,” Miller explained. “You’re not going to spend a lot of money when you come here. You can come dressed casually as we are just trying to make everybody feel comfortable and make theater accessible to everybody.”
The performances are free for SLCC students but also affordable to the general public. Ticket prices start at $27 per ticket with discounts for seniors and veterans. Miller encourages students to take advantage of the free shows.
Alycia Grymes, a second-year SLCC interior design student, said she’s interested in the free shows offered to students at the Grand Theatre because without it, that type of entertainment can be hard to justify financially. Extra expenses come with the looming knowledge of student debt.
“The loans aren’t always going to be there to help you; you’re going to have to start paying them back at some point,” Grymes said.
This fall, Grymes said she’s interested in viewing the upcoming dark comedy “Dead Certain,” which premieres at the Grand in October.
“Plays are my favorite,” Grymes said. “I like to go to the Hale Center Theatre for improv and things we have all seen before like ‘Matilda.’”
The Grand Theatre isn’t just for students looking for free entertainment but also to get involved.
“We get a mixture of students and amateurs, veterans and professionals,” Miller said. “Anybody’s welcome to audition for our shows.”
For those interested in behind-the-scenes work, Miller said there are many opportunities within production work, including set design, lighting and costumes.
“Just because you might not be able to act doesn’t mean you might not be great at one of these other areas,” Miller said. “If you love theater, and you really want to be a part of it, explore all the different areas of it.”
The classic art deco theatre was built in 1928 as part of the original South High School, and except for a few electrical and seismic upgrades, it has maintained its original appearance for nearly 100 years.
The theatre underwent cosmetic repairs over the summer to get ready before “Dead Certain,” which is based on a book and screenplay. Miller explained the performance is a dark comedy that will be premiering Oct. 6 and runs through Oct. 9 on the main stage.
Anyone interested in reading more about upcoming shows, auditioning, or getting involved in the production can visit the Grand Theatre’s website.