The cast for “The Lion in Winter” includes five men and two women. The action takes place in King Henry II’s castle at Chinon, in France, in 1183, at Christmas time. No dialects are required or desired; this is an American play, and the lines are not written for British speakers. All ages in the character descriptions are “playing ages.”
King Henry II of England has three sons by his estranged wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. He wants the kingdom to stay united after his death, but all three sons want to rule, and it is likely to be torn apart by revolution. Henry favors the youngest, John, while Eleanor favors the eldest, Richard. Middle son Geoffrey hopes to play both ends against each other and come out on top. Henry would like to have another heir by his mistress Alais, but that would only add to the confusion. And when he invites Eleanor to his Christmas court in 1183, he finds that he and his wife still feel some passion for each other, in that emotional place where passion encompasses both love and hate. Uneasy is the head on which the crown lies, and uneasy the truce between a matchless king and queen.
Henry II, King of England: In his time, at 50, men were either old or dead. Yet Henry is still very keen as he ever was. His manipulations of family and others are spontaneous and emotional as opposed to the well-thought out stratagems of Eleanor, and the cold, calculating machinations of Geoffrey. This leaves his character being somewhat likeable, despite his many shortcomings. And his emotional connections to Eleanor are stronger than he knows. (Age: 50s–60s)
Queen Eleanor: Eleanor is the wife of Henry and a beautiful woman of great temperament, authority and presence. She has been a queen for nearly 46 years and while possessing feminine qualities, she is thoroughly capable of holding her own in a man’s world. She schemes against Henry and intensely loves him at the same time. She has contempt for the children (although her favorite is Richard), but is not willing to see them harmed by Henry. (Age: 50s–60s)
John: He is the youngest son of Henry and Eleanor, sulky and sullen, and many in the play describe him as a spoiled brat. He is pimply and smells of compost. He is Henry’s favorite, but also the weakest. He constantly vacillates throughout the play — usually not out of cleverness, but out of fear. He is easily tricked and manipulated by Geoffrey. (Age: Late teen-early 20s)
Geoffrey: He is a son of Henry and Eleanor, and a man of energy and action. He is attractive, charming and the “brains” of the family. Geoffrey is portrayed as coldly scheming with no personal warmth. His view of himself is of one who yearned greatly for the love of his parents while receiving none. (Age: Late 20s)
Richard the Lionheart: The eldest son of Henry and Eleanor, he is handsome, graceful and impressive. He has been a famous soldier since his middle teens. War is his profession and he is good at it; he is easily the strongest and toughest of the three princes. He has a very problematic love / hate relationship with his mother. He has secrets from her, as well as from everyone else. He is also a ticking time bomb. (Age: Late 20s–30s)
Alais Capet: She is beautiful and in love with Henry. Because she seems innocent, everyone underestimates her intellect, power, and ultimate ruthlessness. (Ages: 20s)
Philip Capet, King of France: He has been King of France for three years. He is not initially as accomplished as Henry in manipulating people, but acquires greater skills at this by keenly observing what happens around him. He is impressive and handsome without being pretty. (Age: 20s)
Audition dates are Aug. 22 and 23, with callbacks on Aug. 24.
Aug. 22: noon-3 p.m. Aug. 23: 5-8 p.m. Callbacks: 6–9 p.m.
The auditions will take place at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts.
The Director is Tim Moore
Show Dates are Nov. 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27; Dec. 2, 3 and 4.
Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 p.m.
Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.
All roles are paid.
The part of Richard Lionheart has been pre-cast.
Bring a copy of your acting resume and prepare a one to two minute monologue, either dramatic or serio-comic in nature. Be prepared to read selections from the script as well.
Contact Tim Moore at tim@thingtheatre or by phone at (303) 817-5006 to schedule an audition. All Auditions are by appointment only.