January 16, 2020 - New York, NY

NYU Skirball Presents the North American Premiere of ERASER MOUNTAIN


Toshiki Okada/chelfitsch and Teppei Kaneuji’s

Eraser Mountain

Asking the Question:

“What is our environmental responsibilities to future generations?”


Friday, February 28 & Saturday, February 29


“Japan’s foremost contemporary theater company” –The Japan Times


NYU Skirball will present the North American premiere of Toshiki Okada/chelfitsch and Teppei Kaneuji’s Eraser Mountain on Friday, February 28 and Saturday, February 29 at 7:30 pm at NYU Skirball Center. Eraser Mountain, performed in Japanese with English supertitles, considers how our present-day actions impact future generation and asks the question: “What is our environmental responsibilities to future generations?”


After Japan’s great earthquake of 2011, a tsunami almost entirely demolished the region around the city of Rikuzentakata and thousands died. The city is now undergoing immense reconstruction to elevate the area as a countermeasure against future tsunami waves. Using local rocks to raise the land, however, has led to severe damage to surrounding mountains. In Eraser Mountain, Japanese director Toshiki Okada and visual artist Teppei Kaneuji question this human-centric approach to the problem and ask us to reimagine the relationships between people, objects, and the world.


chelfitsch was founded in 1997 by Toshiki Okada, who writes and directs all of its productions. The troupe is applauded for its unique use of language and physicality, and is widely considered, both inside and outside Japan, as one of the leaders of contemporary theater. It made its debut abroad with a performance of Five Days in March in 2007 and has since performed works in more than 70 cities around the world. chelfitsch.net/


Toshiki Okada (Playwright/Director) is a theater artist, novelist and head of the theater company chelfitsch. His work has attracted attention at home and abroad for its attempts to overturn theater conventions. In 2005, his play Five Days in March won the prestigious Kishida Kunio Drama Award and he was a finalist for the Toyota Choreography Award. He made his debut as a novelist in 2007 with the collection of short stories “The End of the Special Time We Were Allowed,” winning the Oe Kenzaburo Prize the following year. Since 2016, he has undertaken a four -season commission from the Münchner Kammerspiele, one of the foremost public theaters in Germany, to direct work for its repertoire. He staged Pratthana – A Portrait of Possession, adapted from a novel by Thai author Uthis Haemamool, in Bangkok, at the Festival d’Automne à Paris, and at Resonance 2019 in Tokyo.


Teppei Kaneuji (Scenography) studied at the Royal College of Art, London. Employing a collage-like approach in his practice, Kaneuji makes his work out of the everyday objects he collects. Across a wide range of media such as sculpture, painting, video, and photography, he searches for sculptural “systems” that manifest the relationship between images and materiality. In addition to exhibitions in Japan and overseas, Kaneuji’s output also encompasses stage set and book cover designs.




Toshiki Okada

Theater that is not aimed directly at the human audience. Theater with things. Theater whose yardsticks are not human ones. Theater with interposition of something that is not human and not for human benefit in the relationship with the audience. Theater making it clear that people are not at the center of the depiction or even special entities. Theater for things. Theater of things. Theater whose world may be portrayed by objects that are not human. Theater that extends its tendrils of subject and function far beyond the theater of, by, and for people.


Teppei Kaneuji

In theater, is it possible to expand the scope of a place that is not here and a time that is not now to a completely unimaginable degree? How can we occupy the same space as objects that we sense are not directed to or for us? Can we half-erase ourselves? Objects each have their own peculiar times. People must construct a relationship or connection/non-connection with them, based on concern/unconcern and tolerance/intolerance. I envision a sort of new land art built in the virtual space that is, in a sense, theater. It could also be termed the development of “sculpture theater” as opposed to “EIZO-Theater” (chelfitsch’s new type of theater that projected video images attempt to transform exhibition space into theatrical space).



NYU Skirball, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, is one of New York City’s major presenters of international work, and has been the premier venue for cultural and performing arts events in lower Manhattan since 2003. The 800-seat theater, led by Director Jay Wegman, provides a home for internationally renowned artists, innovators and thinkers. NYU Skirball hostsover 300 events annually, from re-inventions of the classics to cutting-edge premieres, in genres ranging from dance, theater and performance arts to comedy, music and film.


NYU Skirball’s unique position within with New York University enables it to draw on the University’s intellectual riches and resources to enhance its programming with dialogues, public forums and conversations with artists, philosophers, scientists, Nobel Laureates and journalists. nyuskirball.org.



Eraser Mountain will play February 28 and 29 at 7:30 pm. Tickets begin at $25 and can be purchased online at www.nyuskirball.org,  by calling 212.998-4941, or at the box office,  Tuesday – Saturday from 12:00 pm– 6:00 pm. NYU Skirball is located at 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square, New York, New York 10012.



Production by chelfitsch. Co-produced by [Eraser Mountain] Kyoto Experiment, Wiener Festwochen, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt [Eraser Forest] 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. In co-operation with: CONNELING STUDY/YAMABUKI FACTORY, Steep Slope Studio, Kyoto City University of Arts Kyoto Art Center Artists-in-Studios program. This project consists of two versions, Eraser Mountain (premiere: October 2019 / Kyoto Experiment) and Eraser Forest (premiere: February 2020 / 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa). Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan through the Japan Arts Council, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture). This project is supported in part by The Japan Foundation.


NYU Skirball’s performance season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional generous support provided by the Booth Ferris Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Performing Arts NL, Flanders House, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Con Edison, Marta Heflin Foundation, Goethe Institut, and Harkness Foundation for Dance, as well as NYU Skirball’s Members and Skirball Business Partners.


Subways: A, B, C, D, E, F, M to West 4th St.; R & W to 8th Street; 6 to Astor Place.