Ophelia’s Jump Productions will open its annual Midsummer Shakespeare Festival on July 16 with Twelfth Night, followed by Titus Andronicus the following night. Performances of both shows will continue running in rep through July 26 at Pomona College’s Sontag Greek Theatre, an outdoor amphitheater originally built in 1910 and renovated in 1997. The productions are directed respectively by co-founder Caitlin Lopez with Jenny Powell and founding artistic director, Beatrice Casagran.
Twelfth Night begins with shipwrecked twins, Viola and Sebastian. Believing her brother drowned and determined to survive alone, Viola disguises herself as a boy, Cesario, and enters the service of Orsino. Orsino sends Cesario to woo Olivia on his behalf. But Olivia becomes more interested in Cesario than Orsino and the play becomes a a merry-go-round of mistaken identities, high comedy, low tricks and desperate passion.
In Titus Andronicus, a veteran general and war hero returns to the city after a period of bloody conflicts with the Goths. Titus plans to bury several of his sons who have been killed in the conflict and spend his retirement with his remaining family including his only daughter, Lavinia. However, his unwillingness to depart from the dictates of the law and show compassion for a vanquished enemy, incites the ire of the defeated Queen of the Goths and initiates a vortex of revenge that ultimately swallows them all.
On Saturdays and Sundays, arrive early and enjoy local musicians, artists, and crafts before the show beginning at 5:30 pm. Each performance opens with a 30-minute Green Show. Bring a picnic and blanket or cushion for added comfort. Tickets and more information: www.opheliasjump.org.