Toshiki Okada: «Free Time»
Upcoming Japanese theatre director Toshiki Okada explores inventive methods of contemporary acting, focusing especially on the dissimilarity of physical movement from text. Since establishing his own company, chelfitsch, (from a child’s pronunciation of “selfish”) in 1997, he has questioned the predominant acting style of conventional theatre’s Stanislavski-method realism. Introducing a physical methodology called “noise,” producing dissonance between performers’ movements and speech, his theatre manages to express a very contemporary mood.
Okada’s 2004 award-winning piece “Five Days in March” exemplified this dramatic strategy to describe the current state of the young generation. Restless and noisy actions, with frenetic hand movements accompanied by swaying torsos, convincingly reflected the mood of young Japan today.
In “Free Time,” the stage set, designed by Torafu Architects, demands responses from the performers that go beyond the text of the script. The simple set of table and chairs, representing a family restaurant, refuses to be used as such as it is half sunk into the stage. In this way, the actors are required to develop their own acting in relation to the set, instead ...