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"Portrait of a House"

Film presentation to conclude the Valeska Gert Visiting Professorship of Toshiki Okada at Freie Universität Berlin

№ 031/2021 from Feb 19, 2021

The multi-award-winning Japanese writer, playwright, director, and holder of the Valeska Gert Visiting Professorship, Toshiki Okada, has adapted and conscientiously revised his piece The Vacuum Cleaner as a film project together with students from the Institute of Theater Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. The group explored the choreographic power of imagination during the 2020/2021 winter semester. The resulting film, Portrait of a House, can be viewed on the Akademie der Künste Berlin website. The Valeska Gert Visiting Professorship is supported by Freie Universität in collaboration with the Akademie der Künste and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Toshiki Okada was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1973. He formed the theater company chelfitsch in 1997, which has gone on to stage productions of Okada’s award-winning and critically acclaimed plays. The imagination takes center stage in Okada’s work: “I see imagination on stage as a kind of choreographer. I wanted to work with the students on observing how they can be affected by imagination and how it moves their bodies over the course of the semester. Experiencing theater as a member of the audience means entering into a relationship with the actors and their powers of imagination. I wanted to impart this way of thinking to the students in my seminar.”

Portrait of a House

Film presentation as part of the Valeska Gert Visiting Professorship, 2020/2021 winter semester, based on the piece The Vacuum Cleaner by Toshiki Okada; with German subtitles (translated from the Japanese) by Andreas Regelsberger.

The film can be viewed online at:

https://www.adk.de/de/programm/?we_objectID=61961 (DE)
https://www.adk.de/en/programme/?we_objectID=61969 (EN)

Press Photo

Valeska Gert Visiting Professor Toshiki Okada

Valeska Gert Visiting Professor Toshiki Okada
Image Credit: Kikuko Usuyama

The photo is available for download by the media. It is free of charge if used in the context of the press release and due credit is given the photographer.

Further Information


Dr. Alexander H. Schwan, Institute of Theater Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Email: alexander.schwan@fu-berlin.de