Toshiki Okada

Born in Yokohama in 1973. Playwright / Director / Novelist. He formed the theater company chelfitsch in 1997. Since then he has written and directed all of the company's productions, practicing a distinctive methodology for creating plays, and has come to be known for his use of hyper-colloquial Japanese and unique choreography. In 2005, his play “Five Days in March” won the prestigious 49th Kishida Kunio Drama Award. He participated in Toyota Choreography Award 2005 with “Air Conditioner (Cooler)” (2005), garnering much attention. His collection of short stories titled "The End of the Special Time We Were Allowed" was published in February 2007 and awarded the Oe Kenzaburo Prize. He has been on the judging panel for the Kishida Kunio Drama Award since 2012. In 2013, his first book on theatrology was published by Kawade Shobo Shinsha. He has widened the sphere of his activity to art exhibitions as well. He displayed a video installation titled "Four Unremarkable Things You See at Train Stations" at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo in 2014, handled curation duties for some of the exhibition space for a special exhibit at the same museum in 2015, and produced new works for the 2016 Saitama Triennale. Meanwhile, he is engaged in the creation of works by the new technique of "video theater." He was in charge of the script and direction for "Wakatta-san no Kukki" in the children's program at the Kanagawa Arts Theater in the early part of 2015. In the same year, he staged "God Bless Baseball," his first play based on Japanese-Korean collaboration, as the opening program at the Asian Culture Center, the biggest cultural complex in all of Asia, in Gwangju, Republic of Korea. In 2016, he prepared and staged "in a silent way" as a performance project jointly with dancer and choreographer Mirai Moriyama under the curation of Yuko Hasegawa at the Setouchi Triennale. In the same year, he began a commission to direct works in a repertory program at the Munich Kammerspiele, one of foremost public theaters in Germany, for three consecutive seasons.


chelfitsch Theater Company was founded in 1997 by Toshiki Okada, who writes and directs all of the company’s productions. Named after a deliberate mispronunciation of the English word “selfish,” chelfitsch Theater Company began to refine its textual aesthetic as that of colloquial language representing contemporary youth culture with “Surprised by Their Hopes” which premiered in March of 2001. With “Five Days in March” (premiere in 2004 and awarded the prestigious Kunio Kishida Award for Best Script) and Mansion (2002) the company began to juxtapose a noisy choreography derived from everyday mannerisms to the text. The company’s international debut took place in 2007 when “Five Days in March” was invited to the Kunsten Festival des Arts in Brussels. In 2008, “Freetime” was jointly commissioned by and premiered at Kunsten Festival des Arts, Weiner Festwochen (Vienna) and Fesitval d’Automne (Paris). The works of chelfitsch have been presented to great acclaim at premier international theater festivals and venues throughout Europe, North America, and Asia, including Brussels, Paris, Cardiff, Salzburg and Singapore. In 2011,” Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and the Farewell Speech” received the critics’ award from the Association québécoise des critiques de théâtre for the 2010-2011 season.The troupe continues to update its methodology, which revolves around the relationship between speech and body. Since “Current Location”, which debuted in 2012, it has created works that are exploratory forays into the realm of fiction. “Ground and Floor” premiered as a play commissioned for the Kunsten Festival des Arts 2013 in May 2013 and “Super Premium Soft Double Vanilla Rich” commissioned for Theater der Welt 2014 in May 2014. chelfitsch was part of the staging of "Time's Journey Through a Room," a joint production of companies from eight cities around the world, at Kyoto Experiment in March 2016.