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FUKATSU Shigefumi
Function: stage director playwright
Company: Toenkai

Born in Hyogo Prefecture, Fukatsu started acting in the university drama club at Doshisha University. He founded the Toenkai theater company in 1992, writing and directing almost all of their productions. Based in Osaka, he is one of the hottest new playwrights to have emerged from the Kansai area. In his plays he uses both Kansai vernacular and standard Japanese, and exploits isolated settings to expose the loneliness and Eros deep in the human psyche. In 1998 he won the 42nd Kishida Drama Award for Uchiya matsuri (Uchiya Festival), which is set in a vacant lot in a housing development where the secrets residents harbor about a suspected serial killer get out of hand. In 2005 he won the Yomiuri Theater Awards for Best Director and Best Play for his direction of Kishida Kunio's Doin sowa (A Tale of Mobilization) at the New National Theatre, Tokyo. He also writes and directs for many other companies, and teaches at workshops.

Photo: Shirasawa Eiji; 28th Toenkai production, 2004 at Seika Theater
Uchiya matsuri (Uchiya Festival)
Set right after New Year’s Day in an empty lot of a housing development. In one corner of the lot there is a mountain of trash. Mr. Suzuki, a local resident and a suspect in some recent murders, is in the lot shooting the breeze with Mr. Yamamoto and his daughter. Another resident has come to dump trash without being seen. The fellow residents chat in the vacant lot about how the residents are all so different, but in fact their conversation reveals their secrets about their loves and hates, sex, and death. Among all the complicated rumors and secrets, Mr. Suzuki becomes confused and is no longer certain whether he actually committed the murders or not.

First staged: 1997
Acts/scenes: 1 act, 3 scenes
Cast: 13 (6 male, 7 female)
First staged by: Toenkai
[Translation] English: Half a Century of Japanese Theater I, published by Kinokuniya and available from Toenkai

Photo: Shirasawa Eiji
Tsuisokyoku, hogeki (Canon and Bombardment)
Kimoto Toshihiro, a fledgling writer living in Osaka, phones his estranged father Toshiya for the first time in twenty years in order to let him know about the memorial service marking a hundred days since the death of his grandmother. Toshiya is separated from Toshihiro’s mother and lives in Okinawa with his common-law wife. Through the telephone, the busy shopping district in the south of Osaka and the riverside in the southern island of Okinawa begin to overlap—yet it cannot heal the loneliness of father and son, so far apart. This is an autobiographical play based on author Fukatsu’s own experiences.

First staged: 2007
Acts/scenes: 1 act, 5 scenes
Cast: 12 (7 male, 5 female)
First staged by: Toenkai