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Elizabeth the Queen

Elizabeth the Queen
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Maxwell Anderson
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 129
Pub. Date: 1961
ISBN-10: 0573608571
ISBN-13: 9780573608575
Cast Size: 7 women, 16 men, extras

About the Play:

Elizabeth the Queen is a full-length romantic drama by Maxwell Anderson. This moving story of love confronted by the realities of politics and ambition explores a number of intriguing issues: Whether it is more courageous to wage peace than war, whether women rule more wisely than men, and whether power is a stronger impulse than love.

In Elizabeth the Queen we see Queen Elizabeth and Essex, a royal favourite and popular general, in love. He is barely thirty and Elizabeth is an aging woman; their love is an extraordinary paradox. Elizabeth delights in Essex the courtier and lover, but is jealous of Essex the military leader and hero. Her constant effort is to keep him quietly at Court under her control. Essex, the last of a proud family, loves the queen but longs for action, glory, and power. He longs to over throw Elizabeth's crafty, cautious statesmanship with his own heroic endeavours. Cecil and Raleigh plot to send Essex to Ireland, juggle him out of favour, and insultingly summon him home. He arrives with an army and the situation is resolved with extraordinary poignancy and power.

Elizabeth the Queen premiered in 1930 at the Guild Theatre with Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt in the lead roles and and was successful on Broadway transferring to Martin Beck Theatre. The play was revived successfully in 1961 and 1966 and enjoyed a well-received mounting by Washington's Folger Theatre in 2003. It is an ideal choice for high school drama contests and festivals.

Cast: 7 women, 16 men, extras

About the Playwright:

Maxwell Anderson (1888-1956) was an award-winning American playwright and screenwriter. Best known for his Hollywood screen adaptations of his own plays including Key Largo, and Mary of Scotland, he was the most successful playwright of his time and most of his plays, including Mary of Scotland, enjoyed long runs on Broadway. Both Your Houses won the Pulitzer Prize and Winterset and Mary of Scotland won coveted Drama League Awards.

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