Gilbert and Sullivan’s famously hysterical operetta The Pirates of Penzance requires a cast of many, singing and dancing to lavish orchestral accompaniment in multi-layered Victorian costumes on a stage with a vast, ornate set. “It draws on so many sources,” says Ellen Kaplan, professor of theater, who directs the production.

Smith theatre’s The Pirates of Penzance, now in late-stage rehearsals, will open on Thursday, April 14, with performances Friday and Saturday, April 15-16 (including a 2 p.m. matinee April 16) and Thursday-Saturday, April 21-23, at 8 p.m. in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts.