Getaways from NYC: Out-of-town performance fests

Culture vultures can flock to these scenic getaways from NYC for top-notch theater, dance and music.

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  • Photograph: Gabe Palacio

    Getaways from NYC: Caramoor Summer Music Festival

  • Photograph: Gabe Palacio

    Getaways from NYC: Caramoor Summer Music Festival

  • Photograph: Gabe Palacio

    Getaways from NYC: Caramoor Summer Music Festival

  • Photograph: Kevin Sprague

    Getaways from NYC: Shakespeare & Company

  • Photograph: Chad Champoux

    Getaways from NYC: Shakespeare & Company

  • Photograph: Kevin Sprague

    Getaways from NYC: Shakespeare & Company

  • Photograph: Cory Weaver

    Getaways from NYC: Bard SummerScape

  • Photograph: Paul B. Goode

    Getaways from NYC: Bard SummerScape

  • Photograph: Cory Weaver

    Getaways from NYC: Bard SummerScape

Photograph: Gabe Palacio

Getaways from NYC: Caramoor Summer Music Festival

We’ve already tipped you off to a ton of day and weekend trips to hit up this summer. But if you’re an arty sort who’d rather enjoy envelope-pushing theater, dance and live music, we’ve got you covered, too. Bonus: The seasonal series in this list of getaways from NYC take place in some seriously beautiful environs.

2013 Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

  • Critics choice

3hrs 15mins from NYC

If you’re a dance fan, consider this 81-year-old center in Western Mass your Shangri-la. More than 50 companies from all over the world perform across a variety of genres at this showcase. Just a few of the draws worth catching: 3e étage, featuring soloists from the fabled Paris Opera Ballet (July 31–Aug 4); dynamic Brazilian troupe Compagnie Käfig (Wed 26–June 30); kuchipudi legend Shantala Shivalingappa (July 3–7); and the Martha Graham Dance Company (Aug 21–25). 413-243-0745, jacobspillow.org. Free–$75.

  1. 358 George Carter Rd, Becket, MA 358 George Carter Rd
  2. Until Sun Aug 25
More info

Mount Tremper Arts Summer Festival

2hrs from NYC

Catskill State Park is home to this cutting-edge, wallet-friendly series, situated in the mountainous middle of nowhere. Choreographer Aynsley Vandenbroucke and photographer Mathew Pokoik cofounded the space in 2008 as a haven for emerging artists to develop their work. Among the diverse selections this year are contemporary dance pieces from Michelle Boulé (July 6) and Souleymane Badolo (Aug 3); a poetry reading and barbecue from Craig Dworkin and Mónica de la Torre (June 29); performance mishmash Adult Party Games from the Leisure Planet (Aug 10); and an all-day, site-specific performance of Robert Ashley’s opera Perfect Lives by experimental music collective Varispeed (Aug 17). 845-688-9893, mounttremperarts.org. Free–$20.

  1. 647 South Plank Rd, Mount Tremper, NY
  2. Through Sat Aug 24

Caramoor Summer Music Festival

1hr from NYC

Each summer, this genre-hopping series is held on a Westchester estate’s verdant grounds. Check out shows by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell (July 13), singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega (Aug 2) and Broadway chanteuse Audra McDonald (Aug 3), as well as 1963 musical She Loves Me (Sat 22, Sun 23). Opera aficionados should opt for Verdi’s Don Carlos (July 20). Other highlights include Brooklyn Rider (July 7), the Emerson String Quartet (July 21) and an alfresco swing-dance party with Dandy Wellington and His Band (Wed 26). 914-232-1492, caramoor.org. $10–$100.

  1. 149 Girdle Ridge Rd, Katonah, NY
  2. Sat Jun 22 - Wed Aug 7

Shakespeare & Company

3hrs from NYC

Since 1978, this venerable fest has been drawing classical-theaterphiles to the heart of the Berkshires for acclaimed stagings of works by its namesake, as well as newer plays. This season, Olympia Dukakis stars in Bertolt Brecht’s seminal Mother Courage and Her Children (July 26–Aug 25), and company founder Tina Packer appears in Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Aug 8–Sept 15). Those looking for Shakespeare can pick either Richard II (July 5–21) or Love’s Labour’s Lost (Sat 22–Sept 1). 413-637-3353, shakespeare.org. $15–$95.

  1. 70 Kemble St, Lenox, MA
  2. Sat Jun 22 - Sun Sept 15

Williamstown Theatre Festival

3hrs 30mins from NYC

After you’ve finished having a good laugh about the acronym WTF, head north to this star-studded fest. Williamstown boasts Robert Sean Leonard (House) in Pygmalion (July 17–27) and Ari Graynor (Fringe) in the new comedy American Hero (Jun 26–July 7), as well as the world premiere of Broadway-bound musical The Bridges of Madison County, adapted by Jason Robert Brown (Aug 1–18). We also recommend checking out eccentric Brooklyn company the Debate Society’s creepy Blood Play (Aug 7–18). 413-597-3400. Various prices; visit wtfestival.org for details.

  1. 1000 Main St, Williamstown, MA
  2. Wed Jun 26 - Sun Aug 18

Bard SummerScape

2hrs from NYC

For sheer variety, you can’t beat this multidisciplinary annual rite, which offers seven weeks of opera, theater, film, classical music and cabaret at the otherworldly-looking Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. Slavic-centric offerings include the U.S. premiere of Sergei Taneyev’s tragic opera Oresteia (July 26–Aug 4); The Master and Margarita, a stage adaptation of the Russian satirical novel (July 11–21); and A Rite, Bill T. Jones and Anne Bogart’s new dance piece inspired by A Rite of Spring (July 6, 7). 845-758-7900, fischercenter.bard.edu. $12–$110.

  1. 60 Manor Ave, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
  2. Fri July 5 - Sun Aug 18

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