By —Abigail Swanson, College Relations
The Chadron State College Theatre department will present The Lion in Winter in the Black Box April 7-9 at 7 p.m., April 10 at 2 p.m. and April 14-15 at 7 p.m. Seating is free and tickets can be reserved at csc.edu/theatre.
The play set in the 12th century, by James Goldman, is historical fiction about King Henry II of England and his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Other cast members are their three sons, Richard, Geoffrey, and John, Philip, the young king of France, and Alais, Philip’s older sister.
The Lion in Winter is a dramatic comedy about the struggle between power and desire. Henry and Eleanor argue about who will be Henry’s heir, who should be the recipient of Eleanor’s land, the Aquitaine, and who should marry Alais, the French princess.
Their children are also involved, which complicates the struggles and creates lighthearted squabbles.
Zak Wellnitz said he is eager to be portraying Philip. He complimented his fellow cast members who have worked to create dynamic characters.
“Philip, the character I am portraying, and I are very strategic and think out our plans, but sometimes we can get a little too wrapped up into our plans,” Wellnitz said. “Every actor has developed their characters into very interesting and fun personalities that I believe the audience will very much enjoy.”
Jarret Buchholz, who portrays Richard, describes some of the challenges the cast worked through.
“Accents are definitely a challenge. We have to sound like royalty from 1183,” Buchholz said. “The show’s set is going to be fairly minimalistic. It’ll allow the characters onstage to standout.”
Buchholz observed the differences and similarities between him and his character.
“Richard and I are quite different. We both have an ambitious drive and want to succeed, but the means we’d take are different,” Buchholz said.
Olivia Behrends, playing Alais, reflects on her experience helping put the play together.
“This show has been really fun to work. Dewayne has been very fun to work with and we all enjoy the process of making this show come to life,” Behrends said. “The cast has a lot of charisma with each other. We all get along well, and it makes it fun to apply those friendships to the characters.”
Eleanor: Kiersten Luce of Cheyenne, Wyo.
Henry: Levi O’Dell of Piedmont, S.D.
Richard: Jarret Buchholz of White River, S.D.
Geoffrey: Jarrod Paul of Gordon, Neb.
John: Caleb Twite of White River, S.D.
Alais: Olivia Behrends of Alliance, Neb.
Philip: Zak Wellnitz of Rushville, Neb.
Director: Dewayne Barrett
Scenic Design: Scott Cavin
Costume Design: Pheobe Boynton