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Written by Stuart Bousel, featuring Katherine Park, directed by Nick Trengove.


EXIT Theatre presents The Coronation and Crowning of Eleanor of Aquitaine, written by Stuart Bousel, featuring Katherine Park, directed by Nick Trengove

"The Coronation and Crowning of Eleanor of Aquitaine" -- the third monologue by Stuart Bousel in a quartet about the period of English history known as The Anarchy -- features Katherine Park as the Duchess Eleanor a year before her eventual crowning as Queen Consort of England.. "Eleanor of Aquitaine" is a meditation on how we learn to weather the unpredictable nature of our impossible to control world.

Eleanor of Aquitaine, 1122-1204, once the Queen of France, still the richest heiress in Europe, is married to her second husband and pregnant with their first child. While collecting flowers to weave her ceremonial "Queen of Summer" crown, the kicking baby inside of her prompts a moment of reflection on a life already well lived, but with a whole lot of living left to do. Having been at the bottom of the heap, she now finds herself ascending back to the top, but this time wiser about how easily an ascent can take a turn for the worse, and how even in the best case situations there's a cycle we're all a part of that takes away even as it gives. For the moment, she is happy, but will she stay happy? Who can say? The advice Eleanor has for her unborn child is hardly sugar-coated, but it's the best advice a mother can give.

Playwright Stuart Bousel says; "I've long been fascinated by the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. She was queen of two of the greatest kingdoms of the Middle Ages, inspired countless stories, gave birth to two kings (King John, King Richard the First), and yet spent most of her later years in prison or waging war against her second husband, who she loved but also considered the enemy of her own ambitions for her children. In my darkest moments, and there have been a lot of them in the last few years (and not just for me, but all of us), I think of her as a guiding light. A person who proved again and again, there's a whole lot you can get through which you probably never suspected."

Returning Director Nick Trengove adds: "What strikes me about Eleanor is that she had this incredible capacity to reinvent herself. Moments of change often feel like you're walking a tightrope -- if you maintain your balance you're able to cross, but on either side of you is the abyss, either imagined or real. As our world opens up, each of us is being presented with a similar opportunity -- reinvent ourselves, adapt to this new world we're stepping into, or risk having it pass you by. Eleanor offers us a model for cautious optimism, for how to keep our eyes on the horizon and to move forward one step at a time."

The play will be performed live and streamed online at and 7pm (Pacific Time) Thursday July 29, 2021 as part of EXIT Theatre Presents, hosted by Christina Augello.
Free, donation requested.

On July 26, the Monday before the live performance of "The Coronation and Crowning of Eleanor of Aquitaine," Stuart Bousel, Katherine Park and Nick Trengove will be interviewed on "Hanging Out In the EXIT Cafe," hosted by Amanda Ortmayer MONDAY JULY 26 @ 7PM streaming online on EXIT Theatre's YouTube channel and Facebook page at and

Photo Credit: Douglas Despres

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