Évelyne Agnès Yasmina Reza
1 May 1959
Yasmina Reza (born 1 May 1959) is a French playwright, actress, novelist and screenwriter best known for her plays 'Art' and God of Carnage. Many of her brief satiric plays have reflected on contemporary middle-class issues.
Reza's father was a Russian-bornBukharan Jewish engineer, businessman, and pianist and her mother was a Jewish Hungarian violinist from Budapest. During the Nazi occupation, her father was deported from Nice to Drancy internment camp. 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 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. 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, the former is the British equivalent of the Tony's. It also won the Tony Award for Best Play. 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.
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 Nestroy Theatre Prize 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. 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. 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.
In collaboration with Roman Polanski, Reza wrote the screenplay adaptation of God of Carnage for the 2011 Polanski film Carnage. She was nominated at the European Film Awards and won a César Award for her screenwriting and the film won a Little Gold Lion at the 68th Venice International Film Festival.
Work about Yasmina Reza [in French] Les fruits de la passion: le théâtre de Yasmina Reza, by Hélène Jaccomard [Bern: Peter Lang, 2013]