The idea of gender roles and the belief and expectations associated with them, has existed forever. In Elizabeth Rex by Timothy Findley questions around these roles take the forefront in this funny, provocative and soulful drama about a group of Shakepeare’s actors, including Shakespeare himself, as they duel and banter with each and Queen Elizabeth, when she surprises them backstage after their performance on the night before her ex-lover, the Earl of Sussex, is to be executed. Although the play takes place mostly during the Elizabeth period in London, as a society, we are still investigating and discovering what we think gender means, and we know that biases, inequality and misunderstandings still arise around this contentious subject. My favorite line in the play is, as spoken by Queen Elizabeth when she addresses the leading male actor who plays the leading female roles in the productions, is, “If you will teach me how to be a woman…I will teach you how to be a man.” Queen Elizabeth, regarded as one of the strongest monarchs that ever lived, chose not to marry, and led England with such force during very troubling times. This play explores what Elizabeth might have had to give up, in order to compete in a very male dominant world. Brilliantly, however, in this, we also hear a male point of view, suggesting that masculine characteristics are also construed by society, politics and culture. Elizabeth Rex was first produced in 2000 at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada and won the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award.