A masochistic autobiographical meditation on desire, 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 inspired by the Rainer Fassbinder film “The bitter Tears of Petra von Kant”, Petra merges the imagined and real lives of its all women immigrant 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-serving 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 January 23-27, 2018.  GET TICKETS HERE!


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, and a 2017 Production Residency from Topaz Arts. Petra has additionally received generous donations from Women & Performance Journal, Ryutaro Ishikane and Kathryn Sanders, Jessica Bruder, Donald Verrilli, Christina Yang, Angela Dufresne, Michelle Lippitt, Florent Morellet, Shiho Tonoshima, Davidson Norris and Candy Buckley.

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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, Cassie Mey, Marya Warshaw and Asher Woodworth

Lighting Design: Zack Tinkelman

Original Music: Samita Sinha

Recorded Music: The Platters, The Walker Brothers

Dramaturgy: 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

Women & Performance

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