In 2004 the Japanese playwright and director Toshiki Okada made his breakthrough with Five Days in March. Today, this work is regarded as a milestone of contemporary Japanese theatre and has graced the stages of many renowned festivals around the world. It recalls five days in March 2003 – among them the day on which the US began bombing Iraq – from the point of view of a group of young Japanese people. What makes this work so fascinating and groundbreaking is the stark contrast: While war and protests are raging, the performers obsess about concerts, sex and friendship in the nonchalant slang of youth. As they spout strangely random, inarticulate monologues, their bodies perform completely disconnected, almost dance-like movements. Okada draws on Brecht to make the young adults’ mixture of apathy, isolation and fear tangible. Now, more than 10 years later, Okada is revisiting his work. He wants to take account of the changes in Japanese society, especially the increasing political involvement. Like a thin film, a new generation of performers lays the text over post-Fukushima Japan and examines in this Re-creation what has changed since the dawn of the new millennium – and what hasn’t.
- Artistic Team
Playwright, Direction Toshiki Okada Performers Chieko Asakura, Riki Ishikura, Yuri Itabashi, Ayaka Shibutani, Ayaka Nakama, Leon Kou Yonekawa, Manami Watanabe Set Design Torafu Architects
Technical Director Koro Suzuki Lighting Director Tomomi Ohira (ASG) Sound Director Norimasa Ushikawa Costume Kyoko Fujitani (FAIFAI) Assistant Director Mana Inukai English Translation Aya Ogawa Publicity Photography Kenta Cobayashi Associated production precog co.,LTD. Executive Producer Akane Nakamura Chief Producer Tamiko Ouki Chief Administrator Mai Hyodo
Producer Megumi Mizuno Associate Producer Takafumi Sakiyama Administration Assistant Minako Iwai, Sara Gunnare, Saki Miwa
Production chelfitsch, KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theatre (Yokohama) Co-production KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theatre (Yokohama), ROHM Theatre Kyoto, Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels)
With the support of Toyohashi Arts Theatre PLAT, Nagano City Arts Center, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media
Residency Support Toyohashi City, Toyohashi Arts Theatre PLAT In Co-operation with Steep Slope Studio, Kinosaki International Arts Center
Five Days in March, Februar 2004, Sphereamex (Tokio)
Five Days in March Re-creation, Dezember 2017, KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theatre (Yokohama)
Toshiki Okada is a playwright and director, born in Yokohama in 1973. After founding the theater company chelfitsch in 1997, he has written and directed all of the company's productions and has come to be known for his use of hyper-colloquial Japanese and unique language of body movement. In 2005, his play Five Days in March won the prestigious 49th Kishida Kunio Drama Award and made him start his international career in 2007. The Wiener Festwochen presented Freetime in 2008, Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and The Farewell Speech in 2010 und A Sonic Life of Giant Tortoise in 2011. In 2015, he staged God Bless Baseball, his first play based on Japanese-Korean collaboration, as the opening program at the Asian Culture Center in Gwangju, Republic of Korea. Between 2016 and 2018 he created three theatre works with the ensemble of Münchner Kammerspiele for the repertory of the theatre. Beside his activities as playwright and director, he writes short stories, publishes books on theatre, curates and creates work in the field of visual arts.
The theater company chelfitsch was founded in 1997 by Toshiki Okada. Applauded for its distinctive methodology, which applies the relationship between quirky speech and physical movements, it attracts keen attention, both inside and outside Japan, as a troupe in the vanguard of contemporary theater. Its slovenly, "noisy" physicality, which seems to exaggerate ordinary gestures at times and seems not to do so at others, has been likened to dance. The company made its debut abroad in 2007, when it performed Five Days in March at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels. It has since performed works in a total of 70 cities in Asia, Europe, and North America.