chelfitsch 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 began to refine its textual aesthetic to reflect the colloquial language of contemporary youth culture. With Five Days in March (premiered in 2004 and awarded the prestigious Kunio Kishida Award) the company began to juxtapose a noisy choreography derived from everyday mannerisms with its texts. The company’s international debut took place in 2007 when Five Days in March was invited to Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels.
The works of chelfitsch have been presented to great acclaim at leading international theater festivals and venues throughout Europe, North America, and Asia. 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. Chelfitsch has also recently received commissions from overseas festivals, such as for Ground and Floor by Kunstenfestivaldesarts in 2013 and Super Premium Soft Double Vanilla Rich by Theater der Welt 2014.
Playwriting and direction: Toshiki OKADA
Born in Yokohama in 1973, Toshiki Okada founded chelfitsch in 1997. Five Days in March won the 49th Kishida Kunio Drama Award in 2005, while Air-Conditioner was a finalist for the Toyota Choreography Award 2005. His debut novel, The End of the Special Time We Were Allowed (2007), won the 2nd Oe Kenzaburo Award.
Since 2012, he has served on the jury for the Kishida Kunio Drama Award. He published his first collection of theater theory in 2013. Five Days in March has been performed in 70 cities around the world. Starting 2016, he will direct work in the repertoire at Münchner Kammerspiele for three seasons.
Photo: © Kikuko Usuyama
Sound and stage design: Tsuyoshi HISAKADO
Born in Kyoto in 1981, Tsuyoshi Hisakado completed an M.F.A at the department of sculpture at Kyoto University of Arts in 2007. He draws on a range of phenomena and history to create theatrical spaces reuniting the viewer with individual memories and stories through sound, light, and sculpture.
He formed the artist group SHINCHICA in 2002 while he was in university, producing sound and installation artworks for the group. Out of this, the two elements of sound and sculpture became the main features of Hisakado’s art. Since 2012, Hisakado started working as a solo artist again.
Image: Tsuyoshi Hisakado, Quantize #3, 2015, photo: Takeru Koroda, Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts