We all know that New York City is the center of the theater universe.
There are always countless numbers of amazing shows happening here, both on and off (and off off) Broadway.
But what you may not know is that there's also a ton of truly incredible, Broadway-quality theatre happening just outside the city.
And not only is it a chance to expand your cultural horizons beyond NYC (who would have thought), it's also a great excuse to take a day trip, especially if you're too busy/broke/both to take a proper vacation this summer.
The majority of these theaters happen to be located in adorably quaint small towns - a refreshing departure from the constant sirens and cramped commutes that accompany city life.
Check out these amazing theaters in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, and start planning your mini summer getaway.
Upstate New York:
1. Mac-Hadyn Theatre
This Chatham, NY theater is not only impressive because of their stellar actors, but also because of the fact that they manage to perform full scale musicals on a teeny, tiny, theater-in-the-round stage.
They jam-pack their seasons with blowout, dance-heavy musicals that are consistently of the highest caliber. Check out this year's season here!
2. Capital Repertory Theatre
The capital city's very own professional theater puts on shows all year round, and is located in the heart of Albany.
This summer, they'll be producing A Night with Janis Joplin, a show that takes the audience on a musical journey throughout Joplin's career and music. Get your tickets here!
3. Paper Mill Playhouse
This highly respected regional theater in Millburn, New Jersey brings some of the best talent to New Jersey for their productions.
This year, they were the recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, and were honored at the annual ceremony earlier this month. Check out their full season here!
4. Shakespeare & Company
This Lenox, MA theater was founded by Shakespearean scholar/director Tina Packer - but they do more than just the great works of The Bard.
This year, Shakespeare & Co will play The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Two Gentlemen of Verona, as well as some incredible new works. Check out their website here.
5. Williamstown Theatre Festival
This professional theater located in Williamstown, MA has attracted celebrities such as Bradley Cooper, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Sigourney Weaver to star in their productions.
They've transferred several successful shows to Broadway - most recently The Bridges of Madison County musical.
WTF (lol at their acronym) will be producing 7 shows over 2 stages this summer - and you can check out the full schedule here.
6. Barrington Stage Company
This regional theater in Pittsfield, MA offers Broadway-quality musicals, original plays, and their very own cabaret series every summer.
We also highly recommend popping across the street to Mary's Carrot Cake for a treat, which stays open late on show nights to accommodate theatre goers. It's amazing.
7. Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival
Turns out, you can catch high-quality ballet outside of The Met.
Jacob's Pillow is renowned as the oldest internationally acclaimed summer dance festival in the United States, and offers outdoor performances as well as educational opportunities.
It's also located in the mountains of beautiful Beckett, MA, so it's an all around dreamy experience. Check them out here.
8. American Repertory Theater
This Cambridge, MA theater has been known to produce quite a few Broadway transfers - most recently, Waitress: The Musical, which was composed by singer/songwriter/goddess Sara Barielles.
They also perform The Donkey Show every Saturday night, an insane, disco-inspired interpretation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Check out their full season here![Feature Image Courtesy Huffington Post]