The Midsummer Shakespeare Festival in Claremont, presented by Ophelia’s Jump Productions, returns for another summer under the stars with two entertaining productions, “Measure for Measure” and “The Pirates of Penzance.” The festival will run for two weekends, Thursday July 13 to Sunday, July 16, and Thursday, July 20 to Sunday, July 23, at Pomona College’s picturesque Sontag Greek Theater.

Ophelia Jump’s Midsummer Shakespeare Festival has become a Claremont tradition, attracting performers and theater lovers alike from all over Southern California. Each evening’s performance opens with a Green Show at 7:00 p.m. featuring local musicians and performers; “curtain” is at 8:00 p.m. Guests are welcomed to arrive early and enjoy picnicking on the Sontag’s lawn before each show. 

This year, the festival will showcase two vastly different productions that will appeal to theatergoers of all ages. Both productions will be performed in repertory, with alternating shows throughout the festival.

“Measure for Measure” (July 13, 15, 21, 23) is a complex and thought-provoking play that explores themes of morality, justice, and mercy. Set in Vienna, the play tells the story of a Duke who hands over power to a strict and unforgiving deputy, Angelo, who decides to enforce long-neglected laws to rid the city of vice. The play’s twists and turns will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

In contrast, “The Pirates of Penzance” (July 14, 16, 20, 22) is a light-hearted and hilarious operetta that follows the adventures of Frederic, a young man who was mistakenly apprenticed to a band of pirates. Full of catchy tunes, clever lyrics, and amusing characters, this production will entertain and delight audiences of all ages.

The festival’s sponsors include Pomona College and Discover Claremont. Guests who mention the “Room and Bard” package offered through Discover Claremont will receive a special welcome gift at the theater.

Tickets are available at OpheliasJump.org, or at local merchants Rio de Ojas, Aromatique and Folk Music Center. General admission is $35, and a festival pass for both weekends is $65. Student and children discounts are available.