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Born: 1972
Function: stage director playwright
Company: Penguin Pull Pale Piles

Kuramochi was born in Kanagawa Prefecture. He started writing and acting in the student drama club in 1992 while a student of economics at Gakushuin University. He also acted in Iwamatsu Ryo's 1994 production of Ice Cream Man. In 1996 Kuramochi joined forces with fellow actors Toda Masahiro and Tanigawa Shoichiro, producing plays through their Puriseta troupe. In 2000, he started writing and performing with his own group, Penguins Pull Pale Piles. His plays are characterized by their uniquely cynical perspective with well-paced dialogue set to a solid storyline. They draw on a wide range of settings—such as a family, an unspecified location abroad, and a cave—while taking in a larger world view. They have been highly acclaimed, particularly for the way in which they pull the audience into a space between fiction and truth that appears suddenly in the course of the play. He is a winner of the 2004 Kishida Drama Award for his work Wanman sho (One Man Show).

Photo: Hikiji Nobuhiko
Wanman sho (One Man Show)
The setting is a house occupied by various characters, including a man who shuts himself away in his room endlessly filling out postcard entries for competition prizes; his wife who, instead of mailing the postcards, stores them in a cardboard box and eventually asks her brother to dispose of the box; and a couple who spy on the man who lives in the house next door… As the audience follows the various antics of the eight characters, each must work out in his or her own mind the sequence of events and relationship between them. The play comes to a rapid conclusion with the suggestion that all the characters are probably the fictitious products of one man’s imagination.

First staged: 2003
Acts/scenes: 6 acts, 16 scenes
Cast: 8 (4 male, 4 female)
First staged by: Penguin Pull Pale Piles

Photo: Hikiji Nobuhiko
Yurameki (All Aquiver)
Takamiya Susumu and Wataru are a couple in their late thirties. Wataru had been a stylist but quit work after getting married. When she goes to work on location for the first time in many years, she is chatted up by a young assistant cameraman, Ejiri. He backs off when she tells him she is married, and Wataru has a laugh about it with Susumu and their friends, Senba and Toko. But then Susumu suddenly becomes uneasy, wondering whether she was really able to push him away, and suggests inviting Ejiri over to make sure. A few days later a terrified Ejiri turns up with his friend, Asahina. Asahina’s behavior exposes the Takamiyas’ suppressed dissatisfaction with each other, as well as some hidden secrets…

First staged: 2007
Acts/scenes: 4 acts
Cast: 8 (5 male, 3 female)
First staged by: Penguin Pull Pale Piles