Past Performing Arts | Theater

Toshiki Okada: God Bless Baseball

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“Okada…reflects contemporary reality and its overstuffed inertia with perfect fidelity.”—Time Out New York

See the quintessentially American game of baseball from a whole new angle. Leading Japanese playwright and director Toshiki Okada explores baseball’s enduring cultural impact on modern Korea and Japan through a family dynamic, with the US as the parent and these Asian countries as brothers living under its sway. Best known through his acclaimed ensemble chelfitsch, Okada deftly draws on his actors’ own memories of baseball, then expands the narrative to evoke the bittersweet dimensions of East/West international relations and baseball’s use as a tool for American cultural propaganda and control. God Bless Baseball employs the left-field humor, colloquial dialogue, and quirky physical language that have become Okada’s trademark and features a set by acclaimed artist Tadasu Takamine. The result is a witty, poignant, and unexpected look at the symbolic power of the American game.

Performed in Japanese and Korean with English surtitles

God Bless Baseball is produced by chelfitsch and precog; coproduced by Asian Culture Complex - Asian Arts Theatre, Festival/Tokyo, and Taipei Arts Festival; and commissioned by Asian Culture Complex - Asian Arts Theatre. Additional commissioning support is provided by FringeArts, Philadelphia; Japan Society, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland; and Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University. Research and workshop support are provided by Doosan Art Center in cooperation with Kinosaki International Arts Center, Steep Slope Studio, and Sample.

Support for the US tour of God Bless Baseball is provided by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, in the fiscal year 2015; Tokyo Metropolitan Government; The Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program; and the Asian Cultural Council. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Performer with baseball bat

God Bless Baseball Image courtesy of Asian Arts Theatre (Moon So Young)

Performers playing baseball

God Bless Baseball Image courtesy of Asian Arts Theatre (Moon So Young)


Doris Duke Charitable Foundation



Asian Cultural Affairs

The Japan Foundation

Asian Cultural Council

National Endowment for the Arts



The Blackwell



Greater Columbus Arts Council

Columbus Foundation

Nationwide Foundation

Ohio Arts Council


Past Performing Arts

Toshiki Okada: God Bless Baseball