Time’s Journey Through a Room
An exceptional figure in new Japanese theatre first introduced to FTA audiences in 2011, Toshiki Okada exposes the human side of the effects of the Fukushima catastrophe.
Fukushima, 2011. An earthquake of potent magnitude triggers a tsunami that causes an explosion at a nuclear power plant. Terror and confusion. A leading figure of new Japanese theatre first introduced to FTA audiences in 2011, Toshiki Okada contemplates at ground level the intimate effects of the catastrophe. Crystallizing his pain, he forges a fragile theatre of interiority, of infinite melancholy.
Inviting us to first close our eyes, Okada proposes as though in a dream different time structures, conversations between the dead and the living, the intimate link between private tragedy and national disaster. A strange, enclosed love triangle emerges of a man haunted by two women. One is a ghost, the other incarnates a possible future. The characters move about discreetly in this portrait of shattered Japanese youth. Their tremors, convulsions and palpitations are magnified by the subtle, refined décor and soundscape. The poignant trio of actors raise tenuous hopes for a less desolate future. Tomorrow is another day.
Produced by chelfitsch
Written and directed by Toshiki Okada
Sound and Set Design Tsuyoshi Hisakado
Performed by Izumi Aoyagi + Mari Ando + Yo Yoshida
Technical Director Koro Suzuki
Sound Director Norimasa Ushikawa
Lighting Director Tomomi Ohira (ASG)
Stage Manager Chikage Yuyama
Sound Operator Ken Takashio
Costume Kyoko Fujitani (FAIFAI)
English Translation Aya Ogawa
Assistant Director Yuto Yanagi
Associated production precog co.+LTD.
Executive Producer Akane Nakamura (precog)
Chief Producer Tamiko Ouki
Chief Administrator Mihoka Kawamura
Production Manager Mai Hyodo
Production Assistant Megumi Mizuno
Administration Assistants Yukari Okamoto + Takafumi Sakiyama
Co-produced by Kyoto Experiment + ROHM Theatre Kyoto + Kunstenfestivaldesarts + Festival d’Automne à Paris + Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt + FFT Düsseldorf + La Bâtie ‒ Festival de Genève + HAU Hebbel am Ufer + SPRING Performing Arts Festival Utrecht In Co-operation with Nishi-Sugamo Arts Factory + Suitengu Pit Kyoto Art Center Artist in Studio Program
Supported by Japan Foundation
Written by Diane Jean
Translated by Neil Kroetsch
Premiered at Kyoto Experiment, on March 17, 2016
Toshiki Okada (Tokyo)
Recognized the world over as a significant figure in new Japanese theatre, invited to international festivals and praised by the critics, Toshiki Okada creates works of singular poetry and employs the truncated, staccato language of the streets in portraying the disillusioned youth of his native land.
Greatly influenced by cinema, he works with minimalist forms, directing the gaze of the spectator toward the telling detail, orchestrating the interaction between audio and visual elements and the actors’ bodies. He established the theatre company chelfitsch in 1997, and writes and directs all its productions.
A finalist for the Toyota Choreography Award for his piece Air Conditioner/Cooler, Okada received the prestigious Kishida Kunio Drama Award in 2005 for Five Days in March. His works include Enjoy in 2006 and the 2008 piece Free Time, both of which dealt with new definitions of work, as did the play Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and the Farewell Speech (FTA 2011). The latter piece received the Best Foreign Production award from the Quebec Association of Theatre Critics. He then published a book on theatre theory in Tokyo in 2013, followed by the première of Ground and Floor at the KunstenFestivaldesArts in Brussels, which then went on tour. His piece God Bless Baseball depicts the influence of the USA on the relation between Japan and South Korea by employing baseball as a motif. A major German theatre, the Münchner Kammerspiele, has invited him to present his work in a repertory program for three seasons, starting in 2016.