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TSUKUDA Norihiko
Born: 1964
Function: playwright actor
Company: B-kyu Yugekitai

Tsukuda was born in Aichi Prefecture and graduated from Meijo University. In 1986 he formed the B-kyu Yugekitai theater company in Nagoya, together with the director and actor Kamiya Shogo. In 1987, he began playwriting and in the same year he won the 3rd Nagoya City's Culture Promotion Award for Shinpan~horonigaki wa kyarameru no aji (The Umpire–Bittersweet is the Taste of Caramel), followed by numerous other prizes including the Japan Playwrights Association's Outstanding New Playwright Award and the Yomiuri Theater Award for Best Play. He takes outlandish situations and uses them to create a theatrical world that is straightforward yet brimming with lyricism and tinged with humor. He also writes scripts for radio and TV dramas. In 2005 he won the 50th Kishida Drama Award for Nukegara (Cast-Off Skin), a play that he wrote for a performance at the Bungakuza Atelier, directed by Matsumoto Yuko.

Photo: Iida Kenki
Nukegara (Cast-Off Skin)
Suzuki Takuya lives with his senile father. Not only has he recently lost his job, but his wife has just confronted him with divorce papers. One night his father sheds his skin and regresses twenty years in time. He proceeds to shed his skin five more times, regressing ten years each time while regaining memories from that age, until once again he is twenty years old. Talking to the father he never knew, Tatsuya learns how his parents survived the war and gradually awakens to his own identity.

First staged: 2005
Acts/scenes: 1 act, 7 scenes
Cast: 11 (7 male, 4 female)
First staged by: Bungakuza
[Translation] English script will be available from Japan Playwrights Association in 2008

Photo: Sakashita Takanori
Sanbyakurokujugo (365)
The setting is a small park in which two bodies are hanging from trees. Men and women passing through the park see them and before long they too start killing and are killed. The number of bodies beneath the trees grows... They are joined by ghosts discussing the motives for suicide and murder. A husband, wife, and lover who tell each other that they are past their "best-before date" toss away a newborn child. Nothing creates greater resentment than murder, and the focus of the play is on how outrageously light and insubstantial life becomes when people kill each other so easily.

First staged: 2007
Acts/scenes: 1 act, 4 scenes
Cast: 10 (5 male, 5 female)
First staged by: B-kyu Yugekitai