A meditation on desire, both personal and institutional, Petra examines race, sex, and power through the lens of service and unrequited love. Directed by Dean Moss, with music performed live by Composer Samita Sinha, and based on the Rainer Fassbinder film “The bitter Tears of Petra von Kant”, Petra merges the imagined and real lives of its female multi-diasporic cast, drawing parallels between theirs, his, and the film’s, queer, anxiety-laced explorations of ambition, subjection and dispossession. Simultaneously, (taking inspiration from “She whose head is severed” - a Hindu goddess associated with self-sacrifice, spiritual awakening, and the power of the erotic) Moss questions the institutional processes of diversity management, highlighting not only its aspirational goals, but also its self-preserving strategies. The implementation of which both support and undermine projects not unlike his own. Petra is commissioned by Performance Space 122, and will premiere at its newly renovated theater July 6-15, 2017.


Petra has been commissioned by Performance Space 122 and to date has been made possible in part by a 2014 Doris Duke Impact Award, a 2016 MAPFund Production Grant, a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency and an LMCC Governors Island Residency. Petra received a Planning Residency from City of Asylum, Pittsburgh.

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Gametophyte Inc. acknowledges the tireless support of its Board of Directors: Charlotte Mendelaar, Christopher Warnick, and Marya Warshaw.

Cast and Credits

Direction, Choreography, Media and Visual Design: Dean Moss
Performers: Mina Nishimura, Sari Nordman, Kaneza Schaal, Samita Sinha and Paz Tanjuaquio

Video Performer(s): Julia Cumming, Asher Woodworth

Lighting Design: Zack Tinkelman

Original Music: Samita Sinha

Recorded Music: The Platters, The Walker Brothers

Costumes: Layla Abromowitz

Wigs, Hair and Make-up: Amanda Miller

Dramaturgy and “The Petra Archive” Exhibition Curation: Joshua Lubin-Levy

Stage Management: Meredith Belis

Project Manager: Kacie Chang

Promotional Image: Hyangsuk Choi

Rehearsal Images: Hatnim Lee

Production Assistance: Ebony Kennedy

Kaneza Schaal as Petra

Mina Nishimura

Sari Nordman

Samita Sinha

Paz Tanjuaquio