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BETSUYAKU Minoru
Born: 1937
Function: playwright
Company:


Profile:
Born in former Manchuria (northeastern China), Betsuyaku dropped out of Waseda University's School of Political Science and Economics. He was influenced by Beckett's Theater of the Absurd and founded the Waseda Shogekijo company together with Suzuki Tadashi. His plays Zo (The Elephant, 1962) and Macchi uri no shojo (The Little Match Girl, 1966) were highly acclaimed and he won the 13th Kishida Drama Award for Akai tori no iru fukei (A Scene With a Red Bird, 1967). In 1971 he won the Kinokuniya Theater Award for Machi to hikosen (A Town and an Airship) and Fushigi no kuni no Arisu (Alice in Wonderland). As of 2007, he has completed 130 works, including plays, children's stories, and humorous essays. His nonsense "—zukushi" series, including titles such as Mushi-zukushi (A World Full of Bugs), which turns conventional biology on its head, Mononoke-zukushi (A World Full of Ghosts) about the true nature of ghosts in ancient and modern Japan, and others on animals, birds, and fish, was a big hit. Other works such as his criminology essay Hanzai shokogun (Criminal Syndrome), an astute analysis of the darker mechanisms at work behind sensational crimes, reveal the full breadth of Betsuyaku's creative and intellectual interests. He has served as director of the Piccolo Theater Company in Hyogo since 2003.
http://hyogo-arts.or.jp/piccolo/







Photo: Kunita Shigeru; Aoyama Round Theatre Production
Byoki (Sick)
1981
The setting is a makeshift medical aid tent on a street corner. An office worker on his way home enters it on the spur of the moment, but this means that a truly sick man who comes along after him is deprived of treatment. He tries to avoid being seen as the aggressor in the situation, but things go from bad to worse. In the end, he is stripped of all his belongings and thrown out onto the street in an absurd tragicomedy on the nature of human relationships.

First staged: 1981
Acts/scenes: 1 act
Cast: 9 (7 male, 2 female)
First staged by: Bungakuza
[Translation] English: available from the Japan Playwrights Association



©Kiyama Theater Productions
Yatte kita godo (Godot Has Come)
2007
This is a sequel to the classic work of the Theater of the Absurd, Waiting for Godot. Here we have Vladimir and Estragon waiting for Godot as always, while Lucky and Pozzo, linked by the rope, naturally cavort about chattering comically about nothing much. Godot eventually turns up and announces himself, “I am Godot,” but although Vladimir and Estragon are aware of his arrival, they are unable to internalize and “experience” that fact for themselves. The Godot that is usually considered an enigmatic and philosophical work here becomes an absurd comedy.

First staged: 2007
Acts/scenes: 1 act, 2 scenes
Cast: 10 (6 male, 4 female)
First staged by: Kiyama Theater ProductionsThis is a sequel to the classic work of the Theater of the Absurd, Waiting for Godot. Here we have Vladimir and Estragon waiting for Godot as always, while Lucky and Pozzo, linked by the rope, naturally cavort about chattering comically about nothing much. Godot eventually turns up and announces himself, “I am Godot,” but although Vladimir and Estragon are aware of his arrival, they are unable to internalize and “experience” that fact for themselves. The Godot that is usually considered an enigmatic and philosophical work here becomes an absurd comedy.

First staged: 2007
Acts/scenes: 1 act, 2 scenes
Cast: 10 (6 male, 4 female)
First staged by: Kiyama Theater Productions


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