The Lion In Winter

Over the course of more than twenty performing seasons Ashfield Community Theater has brought comedy, drama, romance, and music to the town hall stage, covering classics from the American canon (Our Town, Lost In Yonkers, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Crucible), biographical portrayals (Silkwood, The Amazing Einstein),  political allegories (The Mouse That Roared, It Can’t Happen Here, The Day They Kidnapped The Pope), and outright silliness (The Quick Change Room, A Delightful Quarantine).

In late February 2019 the Community Theater will open James Goldman’s play, The Lion In Winter.  The drama tells the story of the Plantagenet family, who are locked in a free for all of competing ambitions to inherit a kingdom.  The sharp-tongued, strong-willed royals manipulate, negotiate, and bargain as they try to get control of the throne of the aging King Henry II.  The taught, often comedic exchanges between them is dialogue writing at its best, and the themes – sibling rivalry, adultery, dungeons – are classic in scope. But, as Eleanor of Aquitaine says at one point, “Every family has its ups and downs.” 

Graham Christian, who directed our 2018 production of It Can’t Happen Here, directs for us again and stars in the role of King Henry II.  Barbara Friend, whom you’ve seen on our stage, plays Eleanor.  Sadie Adams plays the King’s paramour, Alais, and the three rivalrous sons are played by Winston Galt (also on the Community Theater stage last year), Owen Bragdon, and Alex Geyster.   Sebastian Arruda plays the French king. The stage manager for the production is Rose Carragher.

It’s unusual for our annual production to occur in February – the end of May is our typical season.  But when we put our planning and strategizing heads together, February turned out to be the best choice this year.  And while the play itself is set at Christmas time in a drafty castle, we assure you that the Town Hall will be warm and comfortable.

Come see the play!  Showtimes are February 22nd and 23rd, and March 1st and 2nd at 7:00 pm.  All seats are $12.00. There is a half-price matinee on Sunday February 24th at 2:00 pm.  If you have questions, send an email to  The box office opens an hour before curtain time. The theater is open seating. 

This production is supported in part by grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Commission through Local Cultural Council grants, and produced through an arrangement with Samuel French Publishing.

For twenty  years the Ashfield Community Theater has produced high quality plays performed by regional actors and enjoyed by thousands of audience members from all over southern New England.

See showtimes and buy tickets to our February 2019 production of The Lion In Winter.

Contact us to learn more and get involved.

Photos by Sadie Erin Photography, Shelburne Falls, MA