Monday, November 23, 2015



By James Goldman
Directed by Jim Peskin

WHEN: Monday, December 14th, and Tuesday, December 15th, at 7:30pm
The Chatham Community Players, 23 North Passaic Avenue, Chatham, NJ 07928

Production dates are March 4 thru 19, 2016 with rehearsals to begin late-December.

Sibling rivalry, adultery and dungeons, all can be found in James Goldman’s modern day classic, The Lion in Winter. Comedic in tone, dramatic in action – the play tells the story of the Plantagenet family who are locked in a free for all of competing ambitions to inherit a kingdom. The queen, and wealthiest woman in the world, Eleanor of Aquitaine, has been kept in prison since raising an army against her husband, King Henry II. The play centers around the inner conflicts of the royal family as they fight over both a kingdom, as well as King Henry’s paramour during the Christmas of 1183. As Eleanor says, “Every family has its ups and downs,” and this royal family is no exception.

Director Jim Peskin seeks actors ranging in age from 15 to 65 to fill out his cast.

  • Auditions will consist of cold readings from sides provided in small groups.
  • Sides and Auditions Form are available prior to the auditions. 
  • To access sides and form, please visit our website at .

Character Breakdown

  • HENRY II, King of England: (Range 45-55) – Though aging, Henry is still very nearly as vital as he ever was. His manipulations of family and others are portrayed as spontaneous and emotional as opposed to the well-thought-out stratagems of Eleanor, and the cold, calculating machinations of Geoffrey.
  • QUEEN ELEANOR: (Range 45-65) – 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 her children but is not willing to see them harmed.
  • JOHN: (Range 15-20) – youngest son of Henry and Eleanor. He is sulky and sullen, with a boyish outlook on his position; many in the play describe him as a spoiled brat. He is described in the play as pimply and smelling of compost. He is Henry's favorite, but also the weakest. He constantly vacillates throughout the play, not out of cleverness, but out of fear and weakness. He is easily tricked and manipulated by Geoffrey.
  • GEOFFREY: (Range 20-30) – son of Henry and Eleanor, and a man of energy and action. He is attractive, charming and the "brains" of the family; he is also a cold, amoral schemer. His view of himself is of one who yearned greatly for the love of his parents while receiving none. Yet, the play leaves open to question whether any of Henry's three sons should be thought to have been truly loved by either Henry or Eleanor and not merely used by King and Queen as pawns in their ceaseless scheming against one another.
  • RICHARD the Lionheart: (Range 20-30) – The third, and eldest surviving, son of Henry and Eleanor, their second son, Henry, having recently died. Richard is handsome, graceful and impressive and 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 sons/princes. Richard and Philip Capet have been sexually involved prior to the action of the play. However, Philip declares that he participated in the affair purely for political purposes, whereas Richard indicates he had genuine affection for Philip.
  • ALAIS CAPET: (Range 25-30) – She is beautiful and in love with Henry. Everyone underestimates her intellect and power. She is initially portrayed as innocent, but by the end of the play has begun to acquire a ruthless streak of her own, insisting that Henry imprison his three sons for the rest of their lives in the dungeon.
  • PHILIP II, King of France: (Range 18-25) – He has been King of France for three years. He is not initially as accomplished as Henry in manipulating people, but seems to acquire greater skills at this during the play. He is impressive and handsome without being pretty.
  • ATTENDANTS: (Male/Female, Range 18+) Will serve as period costumed stage crew with stage time (NO LINES)

Auditioning actors do not necessarily have to be in the age ranges listed for the characters, but should be able to play in that age range.

The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. ALL roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition.

Any questions, please call Leslie Williams at (973) 769-3886 or email  For directions or additional information, please visit