PO Box 30393
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Saturday, Sept 22 ONLY: 7pm performance followed by post-show discussion with Kate Loewald, founding producer, The Play Company.
“I wanted to make a theater piece that also looked like a dance. I somehow anticipated that this style could get along with the subject, the instability of Japanese working circumstances.” Toshiki Okada, writer-director of Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and the Farewell Speech
“One of the most acclaimed phenomena in Japan’s theater scene.” CNN
. . . then they became friends and fell in love, and amazingly, they produced an egg. I thought, wow, that was fast, she was just a little girl but now she’s a mother, but animals mature faster than humans and in comparison humans are, you know . . .
Office workers debate what restaurant to order food from for their laid-off co-worker’s final day. A woman bemoans the office’s chilly air conditioning with a male colleague—is it poor circulation or a gender issue? The laid-off worker delivers a rambling farewell speech about imaginary penguins and an insect she crushed to death on the way to work.
From acclaimed Japanese playwright-director Toshiki Okada comes this triptych of plays that capture the malaise and instability of young low-level office workers with humor and striking movement. Set within an office break room, this trio of interconnected stories is accompanied by the performers’ choreographed gestures, everyday motions that have evolved into startling physical images of emotion and thought.
See also Toshiki Okada’s collaboration with Pig Iron Theatre Company Zero Cost House.
Written and Directed by Toshiki Okada Lighting Tomomi Ohira Set and Sound Ayumu Okubo Associate Producer precog Performers Mari Ando, Izumi Aoyagi, Saho Ito, Kei Namba, Riki Takeda, Taichi Yamagata
Toshiki Okada formed the theater company chelfitsch in 1997. He has written and directed all of the company's productions, practicing a distinctive methodology for creating plays, and is known for his use of hyper-colloquial Japanese and unique choreography. The name “chelfitsch” comes from a baby’s mispronunciation of the English word "selfish." See also Okada’s collaboration with Pig Iron Theatre Company in this year's Live Arts Festival, Zero Cost House.
Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and the Farewell Speech has been supported by Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan. Special thanks to Steep Slope Studio. This tour by chelfitsch is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.