History on Display: Elizabeth Rex

If you’re in Chicago between now and January 22, or are close enough that you can get here with no difficulty, I strongly recommend you get tickets to Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of Elizabeth Rex  by Canadian playwright Timothy Findley. *

Findley builds his story on three historical facts:

  • The Earl of Essex, a court favorite and rumored to be Elizabeth I’s lover, was beheaded for treason on Elizabeth’s order
  •  The day before he was beheaded, Elizabeth attended one of Shakespeare’s plays
  • Men played women’s roles on the Elizabethan stage.

The result in a breathtaking riff on gender, power, love, poetry, and history.  And it has a bear.

What are you waiting for?


*  If you can’t make it to Chicago, track down the DVD of the 2004 television adaptation.  Diane D’Aquila plays Elizabeth in both productions.

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