Toshiki Okada

© Kikuko Usuyama

Biography

Born in 1973 in Yokohama, Toshiki Okada is a dramatist and director. In 1997, he established the theatre company chelfitsch; he writes and directs all of its productions. His work is concerned with profound cultural changes and their effects on the surrounding society, especially in contemporary Japan. His unique methodology which blends quirky texts in colloquial Japanese with extraordinary physicality has profoundly influenced an entire new generation of Japanese artists and met with international acclaim. Moreover, Toshiki Okada has also published prose texts including short stories and scientific works on the theory of theatre. His productions were shown at festivals and art centres as well as by theatres in 70 cities on three continents and have won several awards, including the prestigious Kishida Kunio Drama Award for Five Days in March (2005). Between 2016 and 2020, Toshiki Okada also directed regularly for Münchner Kammerspiele, among it the play The Vacuum Cleaner (2019), which was honoured with an invitation to the Berliner Theatertreffen 2020. Also in 2020, Toshiki Okada received the Yomiuri Theater Awards Selection Committee Special Prize with his Thai artists-collaboration piece Pratthana - A Portrait of Possession. In 2022, his production Doughnuts, created for the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, was selected for the Berliner Theatertreffen. In the same year, HVALEN I ROMMET was premiered at the National Theatre in Oslo. Recently, Okada has been further enlarging the scope of his activity, as exemplified by his translation of works of Noh theater (a genre of traditional Japanese theater) into contemporary Japanese, creation of new performances using the format of Noh theater, and direction of opera. In the past, Wiener Festwochen has shown his productions Freetime (2008), Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and the Farewell Speech (2010), The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise (2011), Five Days in March – Re-creation (2019) and Eraser Mountain (2021).

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