Outdoor Theater, Dance and Music in the Hudson Valley

It’s several months until indoor performances will be commonplace again, but as the weather warms, the Hudson Valley has some great options for live theater, dance and music. Here are a few:

Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, Tivoli (drive time: 1 hour 30 minutes)
Longtime home to a respected summer ballet intensive program, Kaatsbaan is hosting an innovative spring festival featuring dance, poetry, music and the culinary arts. The 153-acre park, once the equestrian estate where Eleanor Roosevelt saddled up, sports two outdoor stages. The festival includes poet and guitarist Oliver Ray in concert with Patti Smith, round table discussions on the Hudson Valley food scene with Jeff Gordinier; food and drinks editor at Esquire, dance performances by members of American Ballet Theatre, Martha Graham Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance Group, Alvin Ailey, Dorrance Dance and the New York City Ballet, and a site specific commission featuring concert pianist Hunter Noack and producer/dancer Garen Scribner. Audience members will hear Noack’s live performance through headphones as they wander Kaatsbaan’s grounds and encounter solo dance performances along the way. Festival dates are May 20 - 23 and May 27 - 30. For tickets go to kaatsbaan.org

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Garrison (drive time: 50 minutes)
On the grounds of Boscobel House and Gardens, overlooking the Hudson from under a massive tent, HVSF presents its 34th season, its last at the Boscobel location before moving to a new home in Philipstown, New York. On offer is Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” directed by longtime HVSF alum Ryan Quinn and “The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington” directed by Taylor Reynolds. Productions are expertly performed and imaginatively presented. Bring a picnic and watch the sun set over West Point Academy before the show. Performances usually begin late June, but for updated scheduling and ticket sales go to hvshakespeare.org

Bard SummerScape 2021, Annandale-on-Hudson (drive time: 1 hour 30 minutes)
Bard SummerScape returns with indoor and outdoor performances of music, dance, and opera, culminating in the 31st annual Bard Music Festival, Nadia Boulanger and Her World. Boulanger (1887 - 1979), a pioneering Parisian composer, conductor and legendary teacher, shaped more than a generation of American musicians. Themed concerts, lectures and panels will pay tribute to one of the most important figures in the history of classical music. Nadia Boulanger The season also includes the premier of a new work by choreographer Pam Tanowitz with live music composed by Jessie Montgomery, a fully staged production of Ernest Chausson’s opera “King Arthur,” and open air concerts on the grounds of historic Montgomery Place. For tickets go to: fishercenter.bard.edu/summerscape