Pioneer Theatre Company Presents THE LION IN WINTER

Pioneer Theatre Company presents The Lion in Winter, a fascinating look at two of the most iconic figures in English history. The play premiered on Broadway in 1966 and was adapted into an Academy Award-winning movie. The production runs from January 4 -19, 2019.

It's Christmas in 1183, and Henry II, King of England, is locked in a battle of wits with his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, over which of their sons will succeed him as king. A titanic struggle ensues, pitting king against queen, and prince against prince, with the future of England hanging in the balance.

The Lion in Winter was written by James Goldman, an American playwright, novelist and screenwriter who also won an Academy Award for the screen adaptation. His other work includes the screenplays for Robin and Marion, Nicholas and Alexandra and White Nights as well as the book for Stephen Sondheim's stage musical Follies.

Esau Pritchett plays the titanic and cunning King Henry II and Celeste Ciulla plays Eleanor, Henry's estranged wife whom he has had imprisoned. Pritchett has been seen on Broadway in A Free Man of Color and on television in "The Blacklist," "Chicago PD" and HBO's "The Night Of," amongst many others. Ciulla performed in Clybourne Park, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth at Pioneer Theatre Company. She has narrated over 50 audio books for Recorded Books, receiving an audiophile award for best ensemble cast for the Narration of Nicole Krauss's book Great House.

Henry and Eleanor's three sons, all of whom have desires on the throne, are played by William Connell, Austin Reed Alleman and Damian Jermaine Thompson. William Connell plays Richard the Lionheart, the eldest son. Connell was last seen at Pioneer Theatre Company in One Man, Two Guvnors. His Broadway credits include A View From the Bridge and The Coast of Utopia. He has worked on "The Blacklist" and "The Good Wife," amongst other shows and films. Austin Reed Alleman plays John, the youngest son. Off-Broadway he has been seen in The Skin of Our Teethand Daniel's Husband. Damian Jermaine Thompson plays Geoffrey, the middle son. Regionally he's performed in Little Rock, at Hartford Stage, Center Stage in Baltimore and on television in "The Player" and "The Story of The Gun."

Grayson DeJesus plays Philip, King of France. MARYAM ABDI plays Alais, a French Princess (and Henry's mistress). DeJesus was seen in the Broadway tour of War Horse. Abdi has largely worked abroad as a Fulbright Scholar, as well as a company player at Red Tape Theatre in Chicago, where she was Nanna in the Jeff-nominated piece Round Heads & Pointed Heads.

Guest Director Wes Grantom returns to PTC after directing last season's A Comedy of Tenors.He directed the world premieres of Beep Boop, created with physical comedian Richard Saudek and Civics and Humanities for Non-Majors by Jeff Talbott. Other recent credits include Toxic Avenger by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro at Pittsburgh CLO, Lone Star Spirits by Josh Tobiessen with Crowded Outlet and Eager to Lose by Matthew-Lee Erlbach. He is the artistic director of Crowded Outlet, in Queens, NY, and is the recipient of multiple Drama League Fellowships.

Jason Simms is the scenic designer, returning after designing Glass Menagerie and An Inspector Calls in 2016. Simm's New York credits include designs for The Public Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, and 2nd Stage Uptown.

DRISCOLL R. OTTO is lighting designer. Recently Otto designed lighting and projections for Iolanta at Chicago Opera Theatre. His design work has appeared in The Metropolitan Opera, the Utah Opera, Opera Philadelphia, amongst many others.

PTC Staff PHILLIP LOWE, ALLAN BRANSON, and AMANDA FRENCH design costume, sound, and hair and makeup, respectively. CATE HEINER serves as dramaturg.

For more information visit: www.pioneertheatre.org

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