Toshiki Okada Appointed as Artistic Director of Tokyo Festival from 2025 !

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Portrait of Toshiki Okada

The Tokyo Festival Executive Committee is pleased to announce that Toshiki Okada (playwright, novelist, and director of the theater company chelfitsch) has been appointed as Artistic Director of Tokyo Festival, effective from fiscal year 2025.
Tokyo Festival is a comprehensive urban arts festival that aims to engage with the world through Tokyo’s rich and diverse arts culture. Since 2016, the festival has primarily taken place in the Ikebukuro area of Toshima Ward, and the Tokyo Festival 2024 in September will be the ninth annual event.
For the past six years, from 2018 to 2023, Satoshi Miyagi, recognized for his international performance work, served as the General Director of Tokyo Festival. Beginning in fiscal 2025, Tokyo festival will introduce fresh new conceptual ideas under the leadership of Artistic Director Okada, who has garnered attention and acclaim both domestically and internationally for his unique methodology exploring the relationship between language and the body, along with his insights into contemporary society.
Okada has also been appointed the Artistic Director (Performing Arts) at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre from April 1, 2026.

Statement by Toshiki Okada

This festival invites artists and performances, from various regions and aesthetic backgrounds, to participate in the distinctive and celebratory framework of an international performing arts festival. Some of the works emerge from the distinct realities experienced in contemporary Tokyo, but others originate elsewhere, offering intellectual and sensory stimulation to the city through their resulting freshness and heterogeneity.
This wide scope allows us to encounter the unfamiliar hidden within the familiar: humor from a different culture, or narratives waiting to be shared and brought to light. I envision Tokyo Festival as a period where these emerging ideas can take shape and intersect. My vision is that these ideas will resonate with the contextually limitless environment that spans the Tokyo megacity and its environs, inviting responses from international and future landscapes. I would be thrilled if the festival were able to contribute, even if only slightly, to dismantling the complex societal divisions of our time. Together with staff, artists, and audiences, my aim as Artistic Director is to develop Tokyo Festival into a vibrant celebration of our various contexts.

Portrait of Toshiki Okada

Toshiki Okada (岡田利規)

Toshiki Okada is a playwright, novelist, and the director of the theater company chelfitsch, and is known for exploring the unique relationship between language and the body found in his approach. In 2007, he participated in the Kunstenfestivaldesarts, held in Brussels, with his work “Five Days in March”. Since this debut of his work overseas, he has continued to present works not only domestically but also internationally, putting on performances in more than 90 cities across Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.
Since 2016, he has also consistently created and directed works in a repertory program at a renowned public theater in Germany. In 2020, his work “The Vacuum Cleaner” (at Münchner Kammerspiele) and in 2022, “Doughnuts” (at Thalia Theater, Hamburg) were selected as part of the Berliner Theatertreffen’s “10 Remarkable Productions.”
He received the 27th Yomiuri Theater Awards Selection Committee Special Prize for his work, “Pratthana - A Portrait of Possession”, a stage adaptation of a contemporary Thai novel featuring Thai actors. His work “Unfulfilled Ghost and Monster - ZAHA / TSURUGA” (KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theatre), which utilizes the narrative structure of Noh, won the 72nd Yomiuri Prize for Literature (Play/Scenario Award) and the 25th Tsuruya Namboku Drama Award.
In 2021, he directed the opera “Yuzuru” (All Japan Opera Co-Production Project ).
As a novelist, he published “The End of the Moment We Had” (Shinchōsha Publishing) in 2007, which won the 2nd Kenzaburō Ōe Prize. In 2022, he received the 35th Mishima Yukio Prize and the 64th Kumanichi Literary Award for his novel “Broccoli Revolution” (Shinchōsha).

About Tokyo Festival

Tokyo Festival is a comprehensive urban arts festival held every fall around Tokyo’s Toshima Ward, centering on the Ikebukuro area, which aims to connect with the world through Tokyo’s rich and diverse arts and culture scenes.
Tokyo Festival 2024 will be held in September 2024.

Organizers: Tokyo Festival Executive Committee [Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture (Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Arts Council Tokyo), Tokyo Metropolitan Government]
Supported by: Asahi Group Japan, Ltd.


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