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Christina, The Girl King

Christina, The Girl King
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Michel Marc Bouchard
Translated by: Linda Gaboriau
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 96
Pub. Date: 2014
ISBN-10: 0889228981
ISBN-13: 9780889228986
Cast Size: 4 women, 6 men

About the Play:

Finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award (Canadian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize), 2013 (French drama), 2014 (Translation)

Christina, The Girl King (English-language version of Christine, la reine-garçon) is a full-length drama by Michel Marc Bouchard, translated by Linda Gaboriau. Enigmatic, flamboyant and unpredictable, with a passion for philosophy and the arts, Sweden's Queen Christina seeks to make her country the most sophisticated in Europe. But her personal aspirations – and her unconventional sexuality – put her profoundly at odds with her culture's expectations of her, both as a monarch and as a woman.

Christina, The Girl King tells the story of Queen Christina of Sweden, who wreaked havoc throughout northern Europe in the middle of the seventeenth century. An enigmatic monarch, a flamboyant and unpredictable intellectual, a woman eager for knowledge, and a feminist before her time, Christina reigned over an empire she hoped to make the most sophisticated in all of Europe.

In 1649, Christina summoned René Descartes to her court in Uppsala to share with her the radical new ideas emerging from science and philosophy at the time – ideas that contradicted long-held, faith-based views about the world. Astronomer Johannes Kepler had recently proposed the elliptical trajectory of planets – including Earth – around the sun, and Descartes himself contended, despite condemnation from the Church, that individuals, not God, determined their own destiny.

Descartes's ideas about free will and reason appealed to Christina, who was struggling to reconcile tensions between her rational, thinking self and emotions she dared not name – including her love for a woman. Rather than bow to pressure to conform to the expectations of a nation that demanded she give it an heir, the twenty-six-year-old queen abdicated her throne to convert to Catholicism – rendering her ineligible to rule, according to Swedish law. Was this an act of madness? Or a bold gesture of autonomy by a modern woman born out of her time – one whom the seventeenth century simply could not contain?

Christina, The Girl King had its English-language premiere at the 2014 Stratford Festival.

Cast: 4 women, 6 men

What people say:

"Christina, The Girl King is a regal romance. Bouchard once again proves himself a master of wild fantasy and the florid language to go with it, always deftly peppered with biting wit." — Montreal Gazette

About the Playwright:

Michel Marc Bouchard is one of Québec's most prominent playwrights. He has written more than 20 plays, six of which have been adapted for film. His works, translated into many languages, are regularly performed around the world. He has received numerous grants and garnered many awards including the Dora Mavor Moore Award and Chalmers Award (Toronto), National Arts Centre Award, Betty Mitchell Award (Calgary), Prix du Journal de Montréal, Primo Candoni (Italy), SACD (France) and awards from critics' associations in several countries. He received four nominations for the Governor General's Award for literature (Canadian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize), including for Christina, The Girl King.

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