The drive is short, the parking is free (or reasonable), the tickets are affordable at a professional theater closer to home.
Here’s a look at what is planned at professional theaters across the Lower Hudson Valley. (For a look at community theaters, click here.)
Axial Theatre Company: The Pleasantville-based company of playwrights, actors and directors starts its 12th season with co-founder Howard Meyer’s play “Welcome: This is a Neighborhood Watch Community,” a drama about the influence two powerful role models have on a 16-year-old private-school student. Directed by Drama Desk Award-winner Josh Hecht (“Christine Jorgensen Reveals”). Nov. 4 through 21. 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 4 p.m. Sundays. $20, $15 for students and seniors. For preview performances Nov. 4 and 5, all tickets $15. There is an opening-night reception at 6:30 p.m. before the Nov. 6 performance: reception and ticket for $50. Available through Smarttix.com. At St. John’s Episcopal Church, 8 Sunnyside Ave., Pleasantville. 914-962-8828. Go to the Axial Theatre website.
Blueberry Pond Theater Ensemble: New artistic director Anthony Valbiro charts his first fall in the post with a variety of offerings. Oct. 8 and 9, Blueberry lends its stage to M&M Productions’ “The Lady with All the Answers,” a one-woman show about Ann Landers starring Carol Eagen. Oct. 22 and 23, Merrie Nell Spence and Heather Powell perform their story of an unlikely friendship, “Lipstick and Camouflage,” directed by Elizabeth Browning with musical direction by Blake Rowe. Nov. 5, “What’s the Deal?” is billed as “an interactive night of theater for the whole family based on the innovative program of communication.” Nov. 19-21 will be a staged reading of a yet-to-be-announced full-length play from Blueberry’s writer’s lab. And Dec. 3-5, it’s “Happy Holi-plays,” a collection of 10 holiday-themed plays. Laylon Theater, 235 Cedar Lane, Ossining. 914-923-3530. Go to the Blueberry Pond website.
Emelin Theater: After reviving its theater program last year, the Mamaroneck venue has another season of live theater in the works. “Parenting 101: A Musical Guide to Raising Parents,” directed by Nancy Holson and Jay Falzone (pictured at right), will play at 8 p.m. Oct. 1 and 2 and at 3 p.m. Oct. 3. $30. Samuel Beckett’s “First Love,” about a young man out on his own, runs at 8 p.m. Nov. 5 and 6. Directed by Judy Hegarty Lovett, it features Conor Lovett. $40. Purchase Repertory Theatre makes its third trip to Library Lane, this time with “Durang Durang,” a collection of short plays by the satirist — including his spoof of “The Glass Menagerie”: “For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls.” 8 p.m. Feb. 10; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 and 12; 2 p.m. Feb 12 and 13. $20. Audiences can then see Walnut Street Theatre perform “The Glass Menagerie” at the Emelin at 8 p.m. March 5 and 3 p.m. March 6. $40. “Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell,” excerpts of the storyteller’s works, plays April 1 and 2. Anna Becker’s thought-provoking “Insights & Revelations” performance series presents “Grand Central Winter,” at 8 p.m. Nov. 11. The staged reading of a work-in-progress by Godlight Theatre Company, “Grand Central Winter” is the story of Mamaroneck’s Lee Stringer and his life of addiction, homelessness and survival. $25. (Visit www.emelin.org/insights.html for details.) 153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck. 914-698-0098. Go to the Emelin website.
Hudson Stage: The world premiere of James McLindon’s black comedy “Salvation” — about a blue-collar Boston-bred Irishman’s deathbed confession — runs weekends Oct. 30 through Nov. 13, with a preview Oct. 29. At 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 3 p.m. Oct. 31, Nov. 7 and 13. A Q&A with the artists follows the Nov. 7 matinee. Directed by Giovanna Sardelli. $30, $25 for students and seniors; group rates: one free ticket for every 10 purchased. Call Smarttix at 877-238-5596. Woodward Hall Theatre, Pace University, 235 Elm Road, Briarcliff Manor. 914-271-2811. Go to the Hudson Stage website.
Paramount Center for the Arts: Award-winning actor John Lithgow presents “Stories by Heart,” his personal take on storytelling and its role in his life. 8 p.m. Oct. 14. $35 to $55. The life of centenarian comedian George Burns is mined for laughter and tears in Nyack native and Scarsdale resident Rupert Holmes’ “Say Goodnight Gracie,” starring Alan Safier. The touring production comes to Peekskill at 8 p.m. Oct. 30. With vintage photos and videos of Burns and Allen. $28 to $48. At 1008 Brown Street, Peekskill. 877-840-0457. Go to the Paramount Center for the Arts website.
Penguin Repertory Company: The barn theater’s 33rd season ends with a flurry. The group’s annual auction, with some pretty great items including vacations and Broadway tickets, is Oct. 3. The New York premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher’s “Mrs. Mannerly,” about a demanding teacher in 1967, runs weekends Oct. 1 through 24. Carlo D’Amore’s “No Parole” — about a son and his mother, the con artist — runs on consecutive Sundays at 7 p.m.: Oct. 10, 17 and 24. $20, $15 subscribers. Penguin hosts a special presentation of the Off-Broadway hit, “Zero Hour,” written by and starring Jim Brochu as Zero Mostel (photo inset by Stan Barouh). Directed by Piper Laurie, “Zero Hour” plays one night only, 8 p.m. Sept. 25, at the Cultural Arts Center at SUNY Rockland Community College, 145 College Road, Suffern. $30, $25 for Penguin subscribers. Penguin is at 7 Crickettown Road, Stony Point. 845-786-2873. Go to the Penguin Rep website.
Schoolhouse Theater: The Croton Falls theater’s 12th season starts with Elaine Del Valle’s “Brownsville Bred,” her story of growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, in the ’80s. “Written, performed and lived” by Del Valle, it runs Sept. 30 to Oct. 17. Another memory play, Brian Friel’s “Dancing at Lughnasa,” is next, chronicling a long-ago summer spent with his Irish aunts, his mother and their ailing Uncle Jack. Directed by Schoolhouse artistic director Pamela Moller Kareman, “Lughnasa” runs March 10 to April 3. The final mainstage production is Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” another memory play, about Simon’s time in the writer’s room on Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows.” Runs May 12 to June 5, also directed by Moller Kareman. 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 4 p.m. Sundays. $30 Thursdays and Fridays; $32 Saturdays and Sundays. Subscribers — $75 for Thursdays and Fridays, $81 for Saturdays and Sundays — save 15 percent off the single-ticket price. 3 Owens Road, Croton Falls. 914-277-8477. Go to the Schoolhouse Theater website.
Westchester Broadway Theatre: The Elmsford dinner theater, marking its 36th anniversary, concludes its run of “Rent” on Sept. 25. Next up is Robert Cuccioli directing “Jekyll & Hyde,” the show for which he was a Tony nominee. “Jekyll” runs Sept. 30 to Nov. 28 and takes a holiday break from Dec. 1 to 26 when the musical “A Sleepy Hollow Christmas Carol” holds forth. “Jekyll” resumes from Dec. 29 to Feb. 5. Thursdays through Sundays, with some Wednesday matinees and evenings. Wednesday and Thursday matinees: lunch at 11:30 a.m., show at 1 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturday evenings: dinner at 6, show at 8. Sundays: lunch at noon, show at 1:30 p.m.; and dinner at 5:30 p.m. with a show at 7 p.m. $62 to $75, including a meal and the performance. 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford. 914-592-2222. Go to the Westchester Broadway Theatre website.
White Plains Performing Arts Center: A new team — Executive Director Laurence Holzman, Artistic Director Annette Jolles, Literary Manager Felicia Needleman and Managing Director Lara Holzman — is in charge, planning a season of new musicals and plays. Mainstage season starts Oct. 28 with the Holzman-Needleman musical “Wallenberg,” about the heroic Swedish diplomat who saved 100,000 Hungarian Jews. It runs through Nov. 21. Next is the Christmas-Hanukkah musical “That Time of the Year,” also by Holzman and Needleman. Feb. 3. to 13, the play “The Passion of the Hausfrau,” based on the popular zine, takes to the stage. March 24 to 13, a father, a son and a fixer-upper meet in the play “Renovations.” The season ends with the musical staging of “Enchanted April,” June 2 to 19. All are regional, Westchester or world premieres. Single tickets for musicals (“Wallenberg,” “That Time of the Year” and “Enchanted April”) are $49, $39 for previews. For plays (“Passion of the Hausfrau” and “Renovations”), single tickets are $39, $29 for previews. Subscribers to all five mainstage shows pay $141 for previews, $184 for Thursdays and Fridays, $202 for Saturdays and Sundays. 877-548-3237. There will also be a Broadway Concert Series, a “First Look” play-reading series, and a “Sunday Conversations” series. Subscriptions available. 11 City Place, White Plains, at the corner of Main Street and Mamaroneck Avenue. 914-328-1600. Go to the White Plains Performing Arts Center website.