The New Place's most ambitious effort to date was mounting the Midwest Area Premiere of Timothy Findley's drama ELIZABETH REX. It beat out New York to be the second American city to produce this Canadian, Governor General's Award winner.
The play is set in England, 1601. Queen Elizabeth I is distraught after condemning her lover, Essex, to death for treason. She demands distraction and commissions William Shakespeare and his players to perform a play. Afterwards she comes to the barn, wanting to meet the actor who played Beatrice and finds him equally distraught. He is dying of syphilis. The monarch who has lived her life largely as a man is intrigued by the man who has lived his life largely as a woman. And, in each other, the two see capacities they each lack. They strike a bargain. "If you will teach me how to be a woman, I will teach you how to be a man," she says. As Shrove Tuesday passes into Ash Wednesday, the player and Queen must come to terms with who they truly are and how they will cope with the inevitable.
The production garnered Johnson LAVENDER MAGAZINE'S Twin Cities Best Actress for a Drama award and was hailed as a critical success by John Townsend of KFAI Radio and THE STAR TRIBUNE and named "Best Bet" by the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS.
Midwest Area PremiereAnne Simley Theatre