Unexpected Man by Yasmina Reza

An aging novelist on a train from Paris to Frankfurt muses about the failings and frustrations of his life. He is recognized by an attractive woman sitting in the opposite seat. Should she speak to him? Or should she simply take his latest book out of her handbag and start reading?

Winner Bay Area Critics Circle
Best Director, Best Male Performance, and Best Female Performance

Under Stephen Drewes’ exquisitely nuanced direction, Ruta and Van Alyn are fascinating to watch, both separately and together. Ruta’s expressive, mobile face is endearing … Van Alyn is flawless, turning in a layered, emotionally connected portrayal. This is a gem not to be missed.” – Jean Schiffman, San Francisco Examiner


Playwright Yasmina Reza
Venue Exit Theatre
Address 156 Eddy Street, San Francisco
Director Stephen Drewes
Cast Ken Ruta
Abigail Van Alyn
Other Credits Chris Early, Board Operator
Sarah Meyeroff, Stage Manager
Ted Hlavac, Assistant to the Director
Tyler Null, Lighting Design
Belinda Taylor, PR / Marketing
Peter Prato, Photographer
Performance Dates July 9 – August 15, 2009


Yasmina Reza (Playwright) A French playwright, whose first play, Conversations apres un Enterrement, won her the Best Author Moliere Award and the New Writer Award from the SACD in 1987. Her work in theatre and cinema includes La Traversee de l’Hiver and L’Homme du Hasard and a prize-winning adaptation of Stephen Berkoff’s version of Kafka’s La Metamorphose, and the screenplays Jusqu’a la Nuit, Jim Mode Ne Pour Aider and A Demain.

Christopher Hampton (Translator) was born in Azores in 1946. He wrote his first play, When Did You Last See My Mother? at the age of eighteen. His work for the theatre, television and cinema includes The Philanthropist, adaptations from Ibsen and Moliere and the screenplays Dangerous Liaisons, Carrington, and The Secret Agent, the last two of which he also directed.

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.

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