Theatre in the Park to Present THE LION IN WINTER, Begin. 2/14

Theatre in the Park to Present THE LION IN WINTER, Begin. 2/14

Theatre In The Park opens its 2014 Season with the highly anticipated return of one of its most acclaimed productions, The Lion In Winter. Excitement is stirring with the news that Ira David Wood III and Lynda Clark will be returning as the manipulating King Henry II and Eleanor in this ultimate game of thrones.

As the sun sets on his reign, Henry Plantagenet, "the greatest power in a thousand years," calls his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their three sons to Chinon for the negotiation of a treaty and a marriage contract. Locked behind the palace doors, a deadly game of alliances and betrayals unfolds as each of The Players fueled by anger and old wounds, moves to control who will sit on the throne when Henry is gone. Insecure siblings fighting for their parents' attention; bickering spouses; even the struggle to balance work and family: these are themes as much at home in our time as they were in the twelfth century.

"This play has always been a favorite of mine, and I'm thrilled to revisit it once again," says Ira David Wood III. "I forget how funny it is, but with such brilliant banter and clever language, I find myself laughing out loud at each rehearsal. I like to say this is the royal family that put the 'fun' in dysfunctional."

But Ira David Wood and Lynda Clark aren't the only ones returning. "I'm very fortunate to have the three actors who played our bickering sons come back once again," says Wood. James Miller (Richard), seen in such productions as Hamlet, Macbeth, and Devon Does Denmark; Ira David Wood IV (Geoffrey), who recently gave a much lauded performance in The Pillowman; and Thomas Porter (John), a Triangle theatre veteran last seen in the campy Psycho Beach Party will once again fight for the crown of England. Previously seen in Theatre In The Park's Charley's Aunt, Hilary Edwards (Alais) makes her return to Theatre In The Park as Henry's mistress. Making his Theatre In The Park debut, Derek Dixon (Philip) gives the King of France a striking and cool demeanor. "I thoroughly believe this is one of the strongest casts assembled on this or any other stage this season. It certainly makes my job easier," remarks Wood.

The Lion In Winter will be performed February 14-15; 20-22; 28-March 1 at 7:30pm and February 16; 23; March 2 at 3:00pm. Tickets are $22 - Adult; $16 - Seniors 60+/Students; $15 - Groups of 10 or more and are available now through Theatre In The Park's box office 919-831-6058 or online at theatreinthepark.com.

Photo by Stephen J. Larson

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