Talking Heads by Alan Bennett

An award-winning series of solo pieces, classics of contemporary drama, hailed for their razor-sharp wit, and deeply felt humanity. 

“a crowd pleaser…funny and mesmerizing at the same time”

Eddie Reynolds, Talkin’ Broadway

“Sublime and unspeakably funny”

Andy Brinklow, EDGE Media Network
PlaywrightAlan Bennett
VenueRoyce Gallery
Address2901 Mariposa Street, San Francisco
DirectorStephen Drewes
CastLaylah Muran De Assereto
Annie Larson
Susan Maeder
Other CreditsDuciana Thomas, Board Operator
Ted Hlavac, Sound Design
Brendan Lee, Lighting Design
Casey Loufek, Front of House
Richard Ryan, PR / Marketing
Stephen Drewes, Photography
Performance DatesMarch 11-27, 2016


Alan Bennett (Playwright) is a renowned British essayist, story writer, actor and playwright (THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE, THE HISTORY BOYS, and THE HABIT OF ART). His first great success was as a member and coauthor of the legendary satirical revue BEYOND THE FRINGE. Over his long and illustrious career, he has won more than 35 distinguished honors, including the Tony, numerous British Academy Awards, and the Laurence Olivier, Drama Desk, and NYC Critics Circle Awards. His screenplay for THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE was nominated for an Academy Award. The film version of his famous short story, THE LADY IN THE VAN, starring Dame Maggie Smith, was released in 2016.

Stephen Drewes (Director) a fifth-generation San Franciscan, accepted his first directing assignment in 1975 for The People’s Theatre in Cambridge, MA. He has since directed more than 85 productions in every genre from children’s theatre to grand opera. He has been a member of the faculty at Middlebury College, Boston University, and Colgate, and taught at CCSF for twenty years. He was Artistic Director of the Publick Theatre in Cambridge MA, where three of his productions won Boston Critics Awards for Direction. He was also resident stage Director for Pocket Opera. He co-founded Spare Stage in 2008, and won a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for his direction of THE UNEXPECTED MAN in 2009.

Susan Maeder (Susan in Bed Among the Lentils) appeared most recently in the Bay Area alongside renowned veteran actor Ken Ruta in the revival of Spare Stage’s award winning production of THE UNEXPECTED MAN. Before that she shared the stage with Phoebe Moyer in another two-hander, THE BREATH OF LIFE. Over a thirty-year career, she has played queens (Gertrude in HAMLET and Eleanor of Aquitaine in THE LION IN WINTER), scholars (Vivian Bearing in WIT and Ruth Steiner in COLLECTED STORIES), and nuns (Sister Aloysius in DOUBT) and looks forward to adding a vicar’s wife to her reparatory this time around.

Annie Larson (Miss Fozzard in Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet) has performed in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally for more than 30 years. Favorite roles include those performed in HERE (for Spare Stage), THE MARINER, SPEAKEASY, ANGELS IN AMERICA, GYPSY, HOLES, ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, THE ARCHBISHOP’S CEILING, HOT GREEKS, THE BRIDE OF DEATH, TINSEL TARTS IN A HOT COMA, and PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI. Other credits: UP YOUR ASS (off-off Broadway), MINI SUPREME, IBERIA, and I’LL BE SEEING YOU (film). She has written and performed three shows for the San Francisco Fringe Festival, receiving Best Musical Comedy Awards, which include her solo piece, FLYING HOME. Annie began her career as a founding member of the “Over Our Heads” improv troupe, who recently celebrated 25 years together.

Laylah Muran de Assereto (Celia in The Hand of God) is a San Francisco area playwright, actor, director, and producer. From 2008-2014 she produced the annual short play festival “Sheherezade,” which received a TBA Nomination for Outstanding Anthology. In 2015 she was one of the contributing playwrights to Wily West Productions’ I SAW IT. Her play FORTRESS FOUND was part of the 2015 SF Olympians Festival. Her short plays ANONYMOUS ME, JAIN, and CASH FOR CAPES were included in Wily West’s TBA Nominated “Superheroes”. She has directed for “Sheherezade”, PCSF’s Reading Series, Southern Railroad Theatre’s “I Do Declare” series, and ReproRights! Women @ Risk.  She is thrilled to return to the stage after a long hiatus.

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