Shakespeare Gets a Modern Adaptation in "Elizabeth Rex"

OAKLAND COUNTY, Michigan – Brave, edgy and original, Oakland Community College’s production of “Elizabeth Rex” opens to the public March 10-19.

With a cast of 18 characters, ages 16-87, “Elizabeth Rex” follows the story of Queen Elizabeth on the eve of the beheading of her rumored lover, the Earl of Essex. In great need of distraction, the Queen plans to be entertained by a royal command performance by Shakespeare and his company.

“Based on this obscure historical fact, one of Canada's most acclaimed playwrights, Timothy Findley, imagines this drama in and edgy way,” said OCC faculty member Dennis North, fine & performing arts department. “The story unfolds as the Queen visits the acting troupe's lodgings and finds a kindred soul in an extraordinary male actor who plays Shakespeare's leading ladies.”

The original play premiered at the Stratford Festival of Canada in 2000. OCC’s production features current and former students, faculty and theatre adjuncts – including one with Broadway credits – and a community member in the cast. Two of the original production costumes will be used in OCC’s performances.

Show dates are March 10, 11, 12 and 17, 18, 19. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. at the Oakland Community College Smith Theatre, located on the Orchard Ridge Campus, 27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills. General admission is $15; students and seniors (age 62+) pay $5. Due to adult themes, it is not recommended for children.

Advance tickets are available at or at the Smith Theatre Box Office each night of the performance. For more information about OCC’s theatre program contact Dennis North at (248) 522-3636 or visit the College’s theatre program home page.

About OCC

With multi campus system throughout Oakland County, Oakland Community College offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields as well as university transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts. The College provides academic and developmental experiences that allow each student to reach their full potential and enhance the diverse communities they serve.  More than 45,000 students annually attend OCC and more than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. To learn more about OCC, visit


Contact: Bridget M. Kavanaugh | Marketing & Communications | T: (248) 341-2020 |