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Artist Database
OKADA Toshiki
Born: 1973
Function: playwright
Company: Chelfitsch

Born in Yokohama, Okada is leader of Chelfitsch, the production company based in Yokohama that he established in 1997. The company's name, "chelfitsch," represents a child's mispronunciation of the English word "selfish." In 2001, Okada began writing plays using dialogue emblematic of young people in Japan today with Karera no kibo ni mihare (Be Surprised with Their Hopes). In 2005, he won the 49th Kishida Drama Award with Sangatsu no itsukakan (Five Days in March), and in 2006 he presented Enjoy at the New National Theatre, Tokyo. In 2007, his collection of short stories Watashi-tachi ni yurusareta tokubetsu na jikan no owari (A Place of My Own) was published by Shinchosha. Okada was invited to the Kunsten Festival des Arts in Brussels in 2007, and in 2008 he plans to present an international production of his play Free Time at the Kunsten Festival des Arts, the Wiener Festwochen in Vienna, and the Festival d'Automne in Paris.

Photo: Rebecca Lee - Academie Anderlech; Kunsten Festival des Arts 07
Sangatsu no itsukakan (Five Days in March)
On March 21, 2003 (Japan time), the U.S. began bombing Iraq. This play takes place during the five days around this date and describes the actions of a group of youngsters in Tokyo. The seven actors appear on stage as "Actor 1," "Actor 2," and so forth. They do not assume any roles as such, but relate what happens to the characters as if they had heard the stories from the characters themselves. With language that has been described as "super-real Japanese," reflecting the ambiguity of highly abbreviated contemporary spoken Japanese, the play probes the condition of today's Japan.

First staged: 2004
Acts/scenes: 2 acts, 10 scenes
Cast: 7 (5 male, 2 female)
First staged by: Chelfitsch
[Translations] English/German: abailable from Precog
French/Flemish: available from Kunsten Festival des Arts (

Photo: Iida Kenki
Roku no owari (The End of Toil)
Starting with a wife’s slight dissatisfaction with her husband’s muttered complaint of being tired, small misunderstandings gradually turn into major stressws, leading eventually to the couple’s separation. One year passes. The wife has been sharing an apartment with a young woman who has now decided to get married. Since she will be moving out of the apartment, the wife will have to pay her share of the rent too. Thinking that maybe she should go back to her husband, she calls him. This being the situation, three male actors and two female actors take turns on stage, announcing such as, “Now I’ll play the husband!” to relate what happens.

First staged: 2005
Acts/scenes: 2 acts, 7 scenes
Cast: 5 (3 male, 2 female)
First staged by: Chelfitsch