Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How early should I arrive before my show?
A: We recommend arriving at least 30 minutes before the show. Having a "hold" — a period when no one is admitted to the theater — at the top of a theatrical production is very common. For example for a show with a 10-minute hold, if you are late, you will miss the first 10 minutes of the first act. Some shows have a hold at the top of the second act as well. The hold is 100% at the discretion of the show, not at the discretion of the Straz Center. Although the reasons and the lengths of the holds are quite varied, they are not put in place to punish latecomers. They are most commonly put in place to preserve the experience for the seated audience members, assuring the intentions of the show's artistic team are preserved. The length of the hold is determined by the show's artistic and production team. While it certainly isn't the same as watching it live, we do provide televisions in most of the lobbies with a camera feed from the stage to help minimize the inconvenience. We don't want you to miss a minute of your show so please plan accordingly.
Q: Where is the Straz Center?
A: The Straz Center is in downtown Tampa at 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa, FL 33602. It's one block off Ashley Street, near the entrance and exit to I-275. For more specific directions and map, click here [link to Directions & Parking].
Q: Where do I park?
A: The Poe Parking Garage is at Ashley Street and Cass Street and is connected to the Straz Center by a covered pedestrian bridge. A portion of the parking fee supports the maintenance of the Straz Center. Parking for persons with disabilities is available at the Straz Center Arrival Plaza. Valet parking is available for most shows at the Straz Center Arrival Plaza. Other parking is available at the Howard Johnson Plaza Downtown lot and the Times Building lot.
Q: How much does parking cost?
A: $7-$17 depending on Self Park or Full Valet. The Poe Garage is $6 and surface lots $5-$8. Rates are not guaranteed. Parking prices are subject to change without notice. Parking is first come first served.
Q: What's the best way to buy tickets?
A: The Straz Center offers several ticket buying options for your convenience. Tickets can be purchased 24 hours a day on this website. Tickets may be purchased over the phone with a credit card by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Straz Center's Ticket Office. If you call the Ticket Office (813.229.7827 or 800.955.1045) the staff can send you an order form that you may mail or fax back to purchase tickets. All persons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.
Q: What are your Ticket Office hours?
A: The Straz Center's Ticket Office is open Monday through Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased 24-hours a day on this website.
Q: Do I have to pay for parking just to purchase tickets in person at the Straz Center's Ticket Office?
A: No. Temporary parking is free at the Straz Center's Arrival Plaza (entrance off Tyler Street) while you make your purchase.
Q: What do I do if I lose my tickets, or if they are stolen?
A. Call the Straz Center's Ticket Office at 813.229.STAR (7827) with your confirmation number, and the Ticket Office will issue you a lost ticket voucher.
Q: I am bringing someone to the show and it's his/her birthday. Can I have you announce that from the stage?
A: No. We do not announce anything from the stage that is not directly related to the Straz Center's performances.
Q: Are discounted tickets available?
A: Yes. There are several ways to purchase discounted tickets. Groups of 20 or more (12 or more for selected shows) receive discounts on most performances. Call 813.222.1016 or 813.222.1018 for information. Students 18 years or younger, college students with valid ID cards and adults 65 years and older qualify for special half-price tickets to selected the Straz Center-presented shows on the day of the performance, availability permitting. Limit two tickets per person, cash only. Not valid with other discounts. Tickets already purchased for events may not be exchanged or refunded. Please note: Broadway shows (except for Group Services), rentals and the Straz Center benefits are not available for discount purchases. Quantities are limited. All sales are final. No refunds.
Q: When attending a show at the Straz Center, is there a dress code that needs to be followed?
A: As in most public places, shoes and shirt are required. It is not necessary to wear a tuxedo or evening gown to a performance, though you may dress formally if you like. The Straz Center serves a very diverse population and encourages its patrons to dress in the style clothing that makes them feel comfortable.
Q: Can I dine at the Straz Center before or after a performance?
A: Yes. Buffet dining is available in Maestro's restaurant. Maestro's is located upstairs from the Jaeb Theater and is open at 5:30 p.m. prior to evening Broadway performances, as well as other selected shows, such as the Straz Center operas. Reservations are highly recommended. Call 813.229.STAR (7827). Maestro's Cafe is in the Carol Morsani Hall lobby and opens 90 minutes before most performances in Carol Morsani Hall. Reservations are recommended. Maestro's on the River, near the fountains, is open 90 minutes before most performance in Carol Morsani Hall, weather permitting. No reservations accepted.
Q: What will the restaurants be serving on any given night?
A: The menu at Maestro's Restaurant changes frequently. Go here for most up-to-date menus information.
Q: What children's programming do you have?
A: The Straz Center offers the Kid Time Series and the Wee Folk Series for children. Kid Time Series performances are recommended for children ages 5 to 11. Wee Folk Series performances are recommended for children ages 3 to 5. Both the Kid Time and Wee Folk Series are available on subscription as well as on a single-ticket basis. Kid Time performances are also available as a family four-pack subscription. For more information on children's programming, click here.
Q: What field trip opportunities do you have for students?
A: In addition to our Field Trip Performance Series shows, we offer Day at the Straz Center. During the Day at the Straz Center activities, students and educators will receive a guided tour through both the public and backstage spaces of the largest Performing Arts Center south of the Kennedy Center. During the tour, students will learn about performances and programs at the facility, discuss many theatrical points of interest, and hear colorful anecdotes about some of the many entertainers that have performed on our five stages. After the tour students will participate in a theater-based workshop geared towards their grade/age level. Through this workshop, students and teachers will gain exposure to the performing arts, and strengthen the arts education experience. Day at the Straz Center activities are recommended to be held in conjunction with field trip performances, but they can take place on their own. To book a field trip, contact the Straz Center’s Field Trip Group Coordinator at 813.222.1018. For more information on Day at the Straz Center, click here.
Q: What's the age restriction on children?
A: To ensure optimum enjoyment for all patrons, we strongly recommend that children under the age of 5 not attend shows other than those in the Kid Time and Wee Folk Series and those designated as toddler friendly. Broadway shows are not toddler friendly. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket. Additionally, even for children over the age of 5, many shows would not be enjoyable or suitable. Some shows contain mature content, language or themes. Parents are best qualified to determine what is appropriate for their children. To help you make an informed decision, we encourage you to seek additional information. If you still have a question, please contact us and we'll try to help. We do urge that parents consider their children's interests, maturity and attention span, and also the rights of people seated around them. We want the theater to be a good experience for everyone. Please note that anyone making a disturbance during a show will be asked to leave — no matter what their age.
Q: When do the theater lobbies open before a show?
A: Carol Morsani Hall, Ferguson Hall and the Jaeb Theater's lobbies open one hour prior to curtain. The Shimberg Playhouse opens 30 minutes before curtain.
Q: How can I get seating charts for the theaters?
A: Seating charts for Carol Morsani Hall, Ferguson Hall and the Jaeb Theater can be found on this website. A seating chart for the Shimberg Playhouse is not available.
Q: How can I get information on season tickets?
A: The Straz Center offers several different season tickets packages: the Bank of America Best of Broadway Tampa Bay Series, Opera Tampa Series, the Play Series, the Club Jaeb Series, the Kid Time Series and the Wee Folk Series. More information on subscription packages is available by calling 813.229.STAR (7827).
Q: Is the Straz Center accessible to persons with disabilities?
A: Yes. The Straz Center offers American Sign Language interpretation, Open Captioning and Audio Description services for select shows. Please call and inquire which shows this will be available for. Telephones, water fountains and ticket counters are placed at an appropriate height for those in wheelchairs. Companion restrooms for those needing assistance are on all levels of Carol Morsani Hall and on the Orchestra level of Louise Lykes Ferguson Hall. All other restrooms are equipped with special stalls. Wheelchair seating is available in all theaters. Infrared Listening System wireless headphones are available in Carol Morsani Hall, Louise Lykes Ferguson Hall and the Jaeb Theater at the Ambassador's station in each lobby. There is no charge for this service, but a driver's license, or major credit card is required. Special valet parking is available in the Arrival Plaza for an $8 charge. For questions or suggestions on accessibility concerns, please call the Accessibilty Coordinator at 813.222.6402. A limited number of wheelchairs are available for loan at the valet station. There is no charge, but a driver's license, or credit card is required. The Straz Center does not reserve wheelchairs.
Q: When was the Straz Center built?
A: The Straz Center opened in 1987.
Q: Who owns the Straz Center?
A: The Straz Center is owned by the City of Tampa and operated by the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Inc., a non-profit corporation.
Q: How many performance spaces do you have?
A: The Straz Center currently has five theaters: Carol Morsani Hall, Louise Lykes Ferguson Hall, the Jaeb Theater, the Hinks and Elaine Shimberg Playhouse, and the TECO Energy Foundation Theater. The Rehearsal Hall is also used as a performance space.
Q: Does the Straz Center have guided tours?
A: Yes, we are happy to schedule guided tours upon request. Tours for foreign language groups can be arranged with two (2) weeks notice. Currently, multilingual guides speaking French, German, Italian or Spanish may be available. Call 813.222.1062 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Tours begin outside the Straz Center’s Ticket Office. This 90-minute tour of the Straz Center takes you through both the public and backstage spaces. Due to performance related activities, theater access changes daily and hall access cannot be guaranteed. When making your reservation you may inquire about what the day’s tour will include.
Q: Where can I make a comment about the Straz Center?
A: We welcome your feedback. Go here to send us a comment or ask a question.
Q: How can I make a contribution to the Straz Center?
A: There are two different ways to contribute to the Straz Center. You can support the Straz Center's fund-raising efforts with a charitable contribution or you can donate your time through our volunteer program. When you make a gift to the Straz Center, you become a member and receive benefits according to the level of your gift. For more information on becoming a Straz Center member, call 813.222.1036. Information on the many other charitable giving opportunities is also availalbe on this website. When you donate your time to the Straz Center, you join hundreds of volunteers. Volunteers are needed in a number of areas, including Usher Corps, Volunteer Office Corps and Tour Guide Corps. For more information about any of these volunteer opportunities, call the Office of House Management and Volunteer Services at 813.222.1065.