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Function: stage director playwright
Company: Watanabe Genshiro Shoten

Born in Akita Prefecture, Hatasawa started out as an actor and has specialized as a playwright and director since 2000. In 2005 Ore no kabane o koete ike (Over My Dead Body) won the top prize in the short drama competition at the Japan Playwrights Association Congress 2005 in Kumamoto. In the same year, Hatasawa formed the theater production collective Watanabe Genshiro Shoten, based in Aomori, which later became a theater company in 2008. He is also involved in training local people in theater and is working to establish a new art network throughout Japan. With their blend of deep human insight and a unique sense of humor, Hatasawa's plays have been endorsed by a wide range of companies including Subaru and Seinen Gekijo. He also writes for other theater companies. In addition, he is a high school teacher and supervises the school drama club, which frequently participates in national high school drama competitions, which it won in 2005 for Shugaku ryoko (School Trip). Hatasawa has won the top prize at the National Arts Festival for his radio dramas, as well as other major awards in broadcasting.

Photo: Tanaka Nagare; Watanabe Genshiro Shoten production
Senaka kara yonjuppun (40 Minutes from the Back)
The setting is a deserted hot springs resort in northern Japan. A middle-aged man, Aimoto, is shown to his room on the top floor of a hotel on a cliff overlooking the sea. Even though it is the middle of the night, Aimoto demands a masseur. The masseur who turns up, Setsuko, seems to have other things on her mind. With just the two of them in the room, the 40-minute massage proceeds in a businesslike fashion. Just as Aimoto’s body and mind are beginning to unwind, his cell phone suddenly rings. It is a woman Aimoto is dying to meet, but there is a misunderstanding and he arows annoyed. Eventually Setsuko’s “circumstances” also become clear…

First staged: Japanese 2004, English playreading 2006
Acts/scenes: 1 act
Cast: 4 (1 male, 3 female; 2nd performance, 2 male, 2 female)
First staged by: Hirosaki Gekijo
[Translation] English: available from Watanabe Genshiro Shoten

Photo: Nishizawa Masaru
Shugaku ryoko (School Trip)
A high school in Aomori Prefecture is on a school trip to Okinawa aiming to combine pleasure with peace studies. However, it becomes too much like an extension of school with bossy teachers, hostile roommates, and complicated feelings about a particular boy, so that on the last evening the smoldering resentment of five girls explodes. Written for the high school drama group under Hatasawa’s supervision, this play won the National High School Drama Competition Excellence Award for Best Script (awarded by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) and was staged by high school drama clubs nationwide. It was also runner-up for the 2006 Youth Theater Creative Drama Award, and has since been staged by general theater companies.

First staged: 2007
Acts/scenes: 2 acts, 5 scenes
Cast: 5 (4 male, 1 female)
First staged by: Aomori Prefecture Central High School Drama Club