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Born: 1962
Function: stage director playwright actor
Company: Otona Keikaku

Born in Fukuoka Prefecture. After graduating in design from Kyushu Sangyo University, Matsuo moved to Tokyo to work as an illustrator. He established the Otona Keikaku theater company in 1988, and has since written, directed, and produced nearly all of its productions. The company's unique world of flawed protagonists played by idiosyncratic actors was a big hit with younger audiences, and they were at the forefront of the Shogekijo scene of the 1990s. Matsuo provides a critical, unglossed view of contemporary society, in which the ephemeral nature of reality and sense of tragic heroism are accompanied by a love for all beings in this world. He is now active in many areas, writing fiction, essays, screenplays, and scripts for TV dramas as well as directing and acting in movies. In 1997, his play Fanki! \Uchu wa mieru tokoro made shika mienai (Funky—Space Is Just as Far as You Can See) won the 41st Kishida Drama Award, and Kirei—Kamisama to machiawaseshita onna (Beautiful—A Woman's Rendezvous with God) won the 38th Golden Arrow Theater Award. In 2005 his debut work of literary fiction, Kuwaietto rumu ni yokoso (Welcome to the Quiet Room) was shortlisted for the 134th Akutagawa Prize, and in 2007 it was made into a movie with his own direction and script.

Photo: Tanaka Aki
Mashin nikki (Machine Diary)
This play features two brothers: the elder one, with an extra finger, is manic and violent, while his younger sibling is a talented mechanic but also a rapist. He rapes the wife of his elder brother, but she tenderly soothes his heart wounded from being bullied at school. Meanwhile, a woman with a fetish for machines and a mistrust of ambiguity is attracted by the younger brother’s “trashiness” and announces that she will herself become a machine. Thus develops a complex four-way relationship that emphasizes the hollowness and futility of human existence and blossoms Grand Guignol-style, replete with black humor, into a venomous flower of catharsis.

First staged: 1996
Acts/scenes: 1 act
Cast: 4 (2 male, 2 female)
First staged by: Tom Project
[Translation] English: available from The Japan Foundation / Performing Arts Network Japan

Photo: Yakou Masahiko
Kirei—Kamisama to machiawaseshita onna (Beautiful\A Woman's Rendezvous with God)
The setting is "another Japan," a country split into three parts following a century of ethnic conflict. Kegare escapes after being held captive in an underground prison for ten years and befriends a girl whose father runs a business recycling artificial soldiers made from soybeans. Keeping watch over Kegare is her adult self, Misa. This empathetic symbiosis transcends time and space. As past, present, and future get jumbled up, Kegare finally confronts an unpleasant memory that she should have forgotten.

First staged: 2000
Acts/scenes: 2 acts
Cast: 29 (15 male, 14 female in the original performance)
First staged by: Bunkamura