Show to debut Oct. 28 at Trinity

By Chad Koenen


John and Sharon Thalmann are returning to Henning on October 28 as they perform a new theatre production of “The Lion in Winter.” The production will be the first of several shows the small cast of seven people will perform across the region.

Sharon Thalmann is the producer and director of the show, which is by James Goldman and is a modern day classic. She received a grant to help take the show on the road, which includes stops in Henning, Barrett, Detroit Lakes and Alexandria. 

“Because I work at the Andria Theatre in Alexandria and I’ve directed for about 15 years for them, I wrote a grant through the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Lake Region Arts Council to do this production and take it to several venues in our region,” she said. 

While in Henning, the cast and crew will perform at Henning School during the day for the students and staff members. They will also perform the show at the Trinity Center that night. This will be the first time the production is performed for a live audience.

“My actors are working on it right now and we are excited to bring it to Henning.”

Sharon Thalmann

Her husband John Thalmann is the set design/set/construction manager. The Thalmanns were longtime residents of Henning before moving to Alexandria a few years ago. 

“The Lion in Winter” is comedic in tone and 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 a prison since raising an army against her husband, King Henry II. Let out only for the holidays the play centers around the inner conflicts of the royal family as they fight over a kingdom during Christmas in 1183.

Sharon said the play has a Shakespearean feel, but in a modern way. 

“It’s kind of Shakespearian in that it is about kings and queens, but it is a modern day play so there is not the difficult language,” she said. 

The cast includes: Henry II, King of England- Pete Woit; Alais, a French Princess- Meagen Lindberg; John, the youngest son- Zach Conover; Geoffrey, the middle son- Adam Hunter; Richard Lionheart, the eldest son- Philip Goellner; Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Queen- Cathy Snyder and Philip, King of France- Jon Provance.

The production will be shown at the Trinity Center on October 28 in Henning.