The Tampa Bay Great Books Council invites you to our 2021 Great Books Summer Drama Festival, featuring two prize-winning plays by Yasmina Reza. The annual mid-year Drama Festival will take place on Saturday, June 12, 2021, beginning at 10:00 AM.

Known for her sparkling wit and her ability to saturate simple situations with complex meaning, Yasmina Reza has become one of the most popular playwrights of the modern era, and her Tony Award-winning creations “The God of Carnage” and “Art” form the basis for the next one-day conference presented by the Tampa Bay Great Books Council. 

Our day of theater begins with a playground fight between two boys — a common enough event, but one which spirals into inter-family squabbles, tantrums, and tears when the two sets of parents meet to discuss the situation with reason and civility.  “The God of Carnage” won the Tony Award for “Best Play” in 2009, featuring performances by actors including James Gandolfini, Jeff Daniels, Marcia Gay Harden, and Hope Davis (all of whom were nominated for Best Actor/Actress for their performances)!  The play was subsequently adapted into a film directed by Roman Polanski starring Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet.  (Book available at Barnes & Noble for around $15; “Acting Version” on Amazon for $10.)

After a midday break, you’ll re-convene with our other participants to consider the meaning of Art and the meaning of Friendship, in a discussion of Yasmina Reza’s “Art.”  The purchase of a spectacularly-expensive (but blindingly-simple) painting sets one friend against another, while a third is caught squarely between them.  “Art” enjoyed an eight-year presence on the London stage, as well as a 600-performance run on Broadway, earning a Tony Award for “Best Play of 1998” with a cast of Alan Alda, Victor Garber and Alfred Molina.  (Available at for around $15.)

Conference Registration and Details

Conference sessions will be held on Saturday, June 12, 2021, at 10:00 AM using ZOOM, To register, click here to download and compete the registration form. Detach the form at the bottom of the page, and mail it with your check for $20 payable to Tampa Bay Great Books. Participants are responsible for the purchase of the required texts. You will receive an e-mail message confirming your registration.