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Born: 1968
Function: playwright

Born in Kagawa Prefecture, Nakatani is acclaimed for her TV drama series Pokka poka (1994—). She started writing for the theater in 2002, with Beautiful Sunday. Working in both theater and TV, her works provide a warm cross-section of the daily lives of people living in close quarters in a large city, with dialogue that captures the psychology of young people. She is particularly known for her family dramas that are both funny and painful, such as Kondo wa aisaika (A Devoted Husband This Time), which depicts the small secrets between a once popular photographer known for his womanizing and the people around him, and Oto-san no koi (Father's Love), which portrays a man confined to his bed and the exchanges between his visiting children and his enigmatic nurse. Beautiful Sunday was a big hit in Seoul, South Korea, where it ran for eight months during 2006—7.

Photo: Tanaka Aki
Byutifuru sandei (Beautiful Sunday)
Akihiko is the manager of a restaurant and it is his first day off in some time. His peace is shattered, however, when he wakes up to find an unknown woman sleeping next to him. Unconcerned by Akihiko’s confusion, the woman explains calmly, “I used to live here. I was so drunk that I came back by mistake.” Even when Akihiko’s roommate-cum-lover, Hiroki, comes home, the woman, who calls herself Chihiro, doesn’t make any attempt to leave. Despite her impudence, the two men are gradually won over by her charm and a friendship grows between the three. Then the secrets they had been keeping from each other begin to spill out…

First staged: 2000
Acts/scenes: 1 act 3 scenes
Cast: 3 (2 male, 1 female)
First staged by: Third Stage

Photo: Tanaka Aki
Something Sweet
Author Kaori and Akemi, who runs a cake shop called Something Sweet, have been friends since high school. They have been living together for the past five years, but the bitter reason for this is that, while on a shopping errand for Akemi, Kaori was in a hit-and-run accident that left her semi-paralyzed. Akemi is holding back from marrying her baker fiancé, Keisuke, and continues to live with Kaori out of a sense of guilt. One day Michihiko, a fan of Kaori’s novels who Kaori has been corresponding with by e-mail, turns up at the shop and the two quickly become close. However, Reiko, who claims to be Michihiko’s fiancé, also turns up, and the past that Michihiko had been trying to keep secret is exposed.

First staged: 2007
Acts/scenes: 1 act, 4 scenes
Cast: 5 (2 male, 3 female)
First staged by: PARCO Theater