Yasmina Reza

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Yasmina Reza
Born Évelyne Agnès Yasmina Reza
(1959-05-01) 1 May 1959 (age 63)
Paris, France
Occupation Writer, actress

Yasmina Reza (born 1 May 1959[1]) is a French playwright, actress, novelist and screenwriter best known for her plays 'Art' and God of Carnage. Many of her brief satiric plays reflected on contemporary middle-class issues.

Life and career

Reza's father was a Jewish Iranian engineer, businessman, and pianist of Russian descent (whose family left Moscow after the Bolsheviks came to power), and her mother was a Jewish Hungarian violinist from Budapest.[2][3]

Before entering the acting industry, Reza completed her education in the University of Paris X, Nanterre, and at the drama school of Jacques Lacoq.

At the beginning of her career, Reza acted in several new plays as well as in plays by Molière and Marivaux.

In 1987 she wrote Conversations after a Burial, which won the Molière Award, the French equivalent of the Laurence Olivier Award or the Tony Award, for Best Author. The North American debut premiered in February 2013 at Players By The Sea in Jacksonville Beach Florida. Holly Gutshall & Joe Schwarz directed; with Set Design by Anne Roberts. The cast for this US debut was Kevin Bodge, Paul Carelli, Karen Overstreet, Dave Gowan, Holly Gutshall and Olivia Gowan Snell. Reza translated Polanski's stage version of Kafka's Metamorphosis in the late 1980s.[4] Her second play, Winter Crossing, won the 1990 Molière Award for Best Fringe Production, and her next play, The Unexpected Man, enjoyed successful productions in England, France, Scandinavia, Germany and New York.

In 1994, 'Art' premiered in Paris and went on to win the Molière Award for Best Author. Since then it has been produced worldwide and translated and performed in over 30 languages. The London production, produced by David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers, received the 1996–97 Laurence Olivier Award and Evening Standard Award. It also won the Tony Award for Best Play. Life X 3 has also been produced in Europe, North America and Australia. Screenwriting credits include See You Tomorrow, starring Jeanne Moreau and directed by Reza's then-partner Didier Martiny.

In September 1997, her first novel, Hammerklavier, was published and another work of fiction, Une Désolation, was published in 2001. Her 2007 work L'Aube le Soir ou la Nuit (Dawn Evening or Night), written after a year of following the campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy caused a sensation in France.[5]

On 24 November 2007 her play Le Dieu du Carnage (God of Carnage), directed by Jürgen Gosch and performed first in Zürich, received the Viennese [[{{{1}}}]][] for the best German-language performance of the season. It opened in London in March 2008, directed by Matthew Warchus in a translation by Christopher Hampton starring Ralph Fiennes, Tamsin Greig, Janet McTeer and Ken Stott.[6] It was produced once again by David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers. The London production won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, which Hampton accepted on her behalf. Hampton told the audience that Reza would be thrilled by the win.[7] The play premiered on Broadway with an opening night cast of James Gandolfini, Jeff Daniels, Marcia Gay Harden, and Hope Davis. God of Carnage won Best Play at the 2009 Tony Awards.

Awards and honors

  • 1987 Molière Award for Best Author (Conversations After a Burial)
  • 1988 Molière Award for Translation (Metamorphosis)
  • 1990 Molière Award for Best Fringe Production (Winter Crossing)
  • 1994 Molière Award for Best Author, Best Play and Best Production (Art)
  • 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy (Art)
  • 1998 Tony for Best Play (Art)
  • 2000 Grand Prix du Théâtre de l’Académie Française
  • 2005 Welt-Literaturpreis[8]
  • 2009 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy (God of Carnage)
  • 2009 Tony for Best Play (God of Carnage)


Work about Yasmina Reza [in French] Les fruits de la passion: le théâtre de Yasmina Reza, by Hélène Jaccomard [Bern: Peter Lang, 2013]



  • Hammerklavier,[9] 1997
  • Une désolation (Desolation), 1999
  • Adam Haberberg, 2003
  • Nulle part, 2005
  • Dans la luge d'Arthur Schopenhauer (On Arthur Schopenhauer's Sledge), 2005
  • L'Aube le soir ou la nuit, 2007
  • Heureux les heureux (Happy are The Happy), 2013


  • Jusqu'à la nuit, (Till Night) 1983 (she also acted in this)
  • Le pique-nique de Lulu Kreutz (Lulu Kreutz's picnic), 2000
  • Carnage, 2011

As actress

  • Que les gros salaires lèvent le doigt ! (Let the Fat Cats Lift a Finger!) 1982 (as a chambermaid)
  • À demain (Till Tomorrow), 1991
  • Loin (Faraway), 2001


  1. http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb409560057/PUBLIC [archive] from the general catalogue of the BnF (Bibliothèque nationale de France).
  2. Pigeat, Aurélien (2005). 'Art', 1994: Yasmina Reza (in French). Paris: Hatier. ISBN 2-218-75089-9.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. The fragility and solitude of man
  4. Day, Elizabeth (22 January 2012). "Yasmina Reza: 'There's no point in writing theatre if it's not accessible'". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Elaine Sciolino, "Portrait of President, Craving Power, Enthralls France", New York Times, 24 August 2007
  6. Paddock, Terri (24 December 2007). "Greig, McTeer & Stott Join Fiennes God of Carnage". What's on Stage. Retrieved 24 December 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Staff (8 March 2009). "Speeches: And the Laurence Olivier Winners Said". WhatsonStage.com. Retrieved 8 March 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Yasmina Reza erhält WELT-Literaturpreis 2005 für ihr Lebenswerk". Buch Markt (in German). 7 October 2005. Retrieved 11 November 2012.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. The title is a German word for 'piano', used in particular by Beethoven for a late sonata.

External links