Auditions for staged reading of The lion in the winter

Wednesday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the Blue Hill Town Hall Theater

Directed by Erin McCormick

Performance Friday, May 26th at 7:00 p.m. at the Blue Hill Town Hall Theater

This dark comedy/drama by James Goldman imagines what might have happened between the members of England's powerful Plantagenet family during one Christmas night in 1183. The undefeated King Henry II invites his formidable, estranged wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine and their three scheming sons, Richard the Lionheart, Count Geoffrey of Anjou, and Prince John (of Robin Hood fame), to spend the holidays with him and his honored guest, the new young king of France. The official reason for this gathering is to settle a dispute about a wedding arrangement between the two nations. However, each character has come with a secret agenda of their own. As the night continues, the family plays an increasingly ruthless game of chess with each other that may have devastating consequences for all.

There will be four rehearsals for this staged reading performance, scheduled after the auditions. The Lion in the Winter will be blocked but performed with scripts in hand as part of NST's new staged reading program. For the auditions, actors will read scenes from the script.

A note from the director:

James Goldman always spoke of feeling loving and close towards these characters. As vicious as they are, I believe the heart of the play is their love for each other and their desire to have it assured. The other recurring theme is best voiced in these lines from Alais and Henry:

"I talk people and you answer back in provinces!" "They get mixed up!"

All are encouraged to audition, even if you do not fit the exact age of the character's involved.

Character Descriptions:

Henry II: The sardonic and brilliant king of England who has just turned fifty and is concerned about the future of his empire.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Henry's wife of thirty years is twelve years his senior and has been under house arrest for trying to overthrow him repeatedly throughout their marriage.

Richard the Lionheart: The eldest of their sons, Richard is in his late 20's and is famous for his prowess as a warrior.

Geoffrey of Anjou: The most intelligent, neglected and Machiavellian of their children, Geoffrey is in his mid-twenties and is slated to be the next Chancellor of England.

Prince John: The baby of family, John is a spoiled, clumsy boy of sixteen who is loved only by his father.

Princess Alais Capet: Older sister to King Philip, twenty-three year old Alais has been raised to marry one of Henry's sons but has instead become Henry's devoted mistress.

King Philip Capet: The seventeen year-old King of France who is charming, handsome and potentially dangerous.

About NST Auditions

New Surry Theatre holds auditions multiple times each year. Some directors cast their plays directly from the performing arts school, but many hold open auditions for at least some, if not all, of the roles. In the 45th season, NST is increasing opportunities for actors to get onstage. If you are not cast in the role you want at an audition, there will be other opportunities to get involved. The best way to stay up-to-date on all such opportunities is by joining our email list and following us on facebook.