BY JOANNE KAUFMAN
Greet audience members, take tickets, work the concession stands, run the elevator. Point the way to seats, restrooms, box offices and exits. These are some of the tasks of a volunteer usher at theaters across New York City.
The lure: a free ticket. The competition: increasingly fierce.
Richard Ponce, the house manager of the Helen Hayes Theater, said he has 250 more requests than slots he needs to fill for the 10-week run of “Lobby Hero,” which opens March 26, and has Chris Evans and Michael Cera in starring roles.
“It used to be this sort of secret thing,” Mr. Ponce said of the volunteer program. “Now there are hundreds and hundreds more people who want to do it.”