The 10 Selected Productions


By Toshiki Okada
German translation from the Japanese by Andreas Regelsberger

Thalia Theater (Hamburg)

World premiere 21 January 2022

How do we go on when the world appears to stand still? Toshiki Okada’s conference delegates are unable to decide on actions and mince around the vacancy in their midst with polished sentences and elaborate, choreographed movements.

Doughnuts. Video trailer

© Thalia Theater

  • 1 h 15 min, no interval
  • In German with English surtitles

Past Dates

Public discussion
Friday, 20 May 2022 after the performance

In a hotel lobby, several guests are waiting for a taxi to take them to a conference. Outside, an increasingly dense fog envelops the city; inside, the waiting experts are conducting carefully assessing, looped discussions on how to proceed. Should they continue to wait for the taxi or try to find an alternative? Director and author Toshiki Okada and his cast have created a show of perfectly balanced rhythm and choreography, where verbal and physical acrobatics go hand in hand and there is still room for interpretation.

Statement of the jury
A foray into the theatre of high modernity: In “Doughnuts”, Toshiki Okada has assembled an illustrious group of internationally active Japanese high-achievers in a hotel lobby. Urbane cosmopolitans, the elite of academics or business, or both, it’s hard to tell. A mere banality delays them: The taxi that they ordered just isn’t coming – perhaps due to the fog outside. All they can do is wait, talk and move. They complement their lines with complicated, often reversed and yet totally organic contortions of their arms, legs and hips, executed with complete concentration. Along with these, they form complicated, compound sentences, measured to the very millimetre, wondering with unyielding rationality and relentless friendliness whether it would be better to take the bus or wait for the taxi a few minutes longer. This consistently results in judiciously weighed alternatives which block each other so effectively that nothing happens yet again. Only the Wi-Fi and the hotel’s sauna work flawlessly: It’s simply a world of doughnuts, revolving around an empty centre.

 To juror Sascha Westphalʼs video statement in the Berliner Festspiele Media Library (in German)

Artistic Team

Toshiki Okada Director
Dominic Huber Stage design
Tutia Schaad Costume design
Kazuhisa Uchihashi Music
Julia Lochte Dramaturgy
Makiko Yamaguchi Dramaturgy, translator


Johannes Hegemann Mr Kimidori, hotel receptionist
Maike Knirsch Ms Morishita, conference participant
Björn Meyer Mr Ōjima, conference participant
Toini Ruhnke Ms Sazazuka, conference participant
Steffen Siegmund Mr Funabori, conference participant
André Szymanski Mr Iwamoto, conference participant

Performance rights: Toshiki Okada

Programme brochure

to download (, 760 KB)