THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT Begins Tonight at the New Ohio Theatre

By: Feb. 17, 2017
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The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant is Third Space's latest remix smash-up of theatrical form and style.

When a new model, Karin, enters the home of famous fashion designer Petra von Kant, Petra's world-and career-rocket to manic heights. But in the midst of Petra's euphoria, her submissive assistant, Marlene, senses a threat. When Karin becomes a superstar, leaving everything behind, Marlene picks up the broken pieces. What Marlene does with those pieces will dictate the rest of her life.

Featuring an all-female cast and directed by Benjamin Viertel, Third Space's The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant delves into the tortured connections between desire and power in an industry driven by consumption.

"The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant is as important today as it was in 1972 and it continues to speak volumes about contemporary women who act against their own best interest," says Viertel, pointing out how 42% of women in America voted for Donald Trump. "The central argument of the play is more pressing now than ever."

Third Spaces's Bitter Tears boasts a new Act 5 with text from interviews with the cast members, excerpts from theoretical essays, dramaturgical interviews, and discussions with ordinary women unconnected to the project. This reimagined ending hijacks Fassbinder's very-visible/invisible hand and subverts the film. Ultimately the production asks: Can women fully escape the man that created them? Can women fully escape the mothers that bore them? Can women fully escape the society that has shaped them?

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant features Betsey Brown, Jody Doo, Caroline Gombé, Lenore Harris, Mariana Parma and Alex Spieth. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant is directed by Benjamin Viertel, with scenic design by Bryce Cutler, costume design by Emily Chalmers, lighting design by Mary Ellen Stebbins, sound design by Almeda Beynon, dramaturgy by Olivia O'Connor, stage management by Kelly Hartnett, and associate produced by Lio Sigerson.

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant was developed at the Abrons Arts Center's Resident Artists Program.

Performance Schedule:
Fri Feb 17th at 8pm * preview
Sat Feb 18th at 8pm * preview
Sun Feb 19th at 8pm * preview
Wed Feb 22nd at 8pm * preview
Thus Feb 23rd at 8pm * opening
Fri Feb 24th at 8pm
Sat Feb 25th at 8pm
Wed Mar 1st at 8pm
Thu Mar 2nd at 8pm
Fri Mar 3rd at 8pm
Sat Mar 4th at 8pm
Mon Mar 6th at 7pm * early performance
Thu Mar 9th at 8pm
Fri Mar 10th at 8pm
Sat Mar 11th at 2pm * matinee
Sat Mar 11th at 8pm

Performances play The New Ohio, located at 154 Christopher Street (b/w Greenwich and Washington Streets). 1 train to Christopher Street stop. A/B/C/D/E/F/M trains to West 4th Street stop. More information at and Tickets: $25.


BENJAMIN VIERTEL (Third Space Artistic Director and Director)
Bejamin Viertel is a director based in New York City, born in France and raised in South Florida by German and Italian parents. His upcoming works include THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT (New Ohio Theater), THE LAST PAGE by Sam French, CRIMES OF THE HEART (Bristol Valley Theater) and the Italian and London premieres of GRINDR THE MUSICAL. He directed the American premiere of Marius von Mayenburg's FIREFACE (The Brick), Sam van Wetter's CLIPPED (Atlantic Stage II), AVENUE Q (Bristol Valley Theater), and the award-winning webseries [BLANK] MY LIFE. Recent associate/assistant directing for Moisés Kaufman, Billy Porter, Loretta Grecco, Peter Kleinert, and Steve Cosson and has worked with BAM, Roundabout Theater Company, Huntington Theater Company, The New Group, and The Civilians. Benjamin is a member of the Kennedy Center Director's Lab, a Manhattan Theater Club's Directing Fellow, The Civilian's R&D Group, and a Resident Artist at The Brick and Abrons Arts Center. He is the former Artistic Manager at The National Theatre for Student Artists and the co-founder and current Artistic Director of Third Space. Education: Carnegie Mellon University.

BRYCE CUTLER (Third Space co-founder and Scenic Designer)
Bryce Cutler is a scenic and media designer based out of New York City. His work has been seen at The Guthrie Theater, New York Stage and Film, The Folger Shakespeare Library, HERE Arts, Arts@Renaissance and has designed world premieres by John Patrick Shanley, Dael Orlandersmith and Grammy Award Winner Steven Mackey. He is the recipient of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology's Rising Star Award (2017), the Lloyd Weinger Award for Stage Design and his design for The Lady In Red... was selected for international exhibition at the 2015 Prague Quadrennial. His work has also been published in the Contemporary Performance Almanac. He is a co-founder of Third Space, a political theater collective creating experiential performances in community spaces. Associate/assistant design work includes plays and musicals for Broadway, The Old Globe, The Public Theater, Berkeley Rep, Hartford Stage, Second Stage, The Vineyard Theater, The Denver Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, LA Opera & Seaworld, among others. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and is a member of the Andrew Carnegie Society and United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Playwright)
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, born on May 31, 1945, was the most important director of the New German Cinema, which helped him make a breakthrough internationally. He was an artist who succeeded in the rare synthesis of radical subjectivity in his works and audience, which could reconcile his artistic aspirations with the audience's need for entertainment, and whose death, in the eyes of many, marked the end of a major epoch of film history. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who died in 37 years in 1982, shot 44 films in just 14 years, from 1969 to 1982, including multi-part teleVision Productions. He has produced or co-produced 26 films; he has appeared in 21 films of other directors, as well as 19 of his own films, has written 14 plays, 6 reworked and 25 staged. He has composed 4 radio plays and 37 screenplays and collaborated with other authors on 13 screenplays. Fassbinder is one of the most internationally acclaimed German post-war dramatists. With his work and his personality, he was one of the most exposed and controversial artists of the Federal Republic of Germany. His work, which has already been discussed in his lifetime, has not lost any of its vitality and actuality.

About Third Space

Founded in 2014 by long-time friends, collaborators, and Carnegie Mellon graduates, Benjamin Viertel and Bryce Cutler, Third Space has developed and produced new works of theater, music, film, and art in New York City. Third Space has produced Fireface at The Brick, which the New York Times called, "inventive and sophisticated"; workshoped four new musicals: Grindr The Musical, Kragtar, Good Girl Gone Bad, and The Whale Play; hosted a festival of new works entitled Third Space @ Threes; held readings of five new plays; established a new play series entitled Pizza Party Plays; and produced over 20 episodes of [Blank] My Life. In the last three years, Third Space has received residencies at The Brick, HERE Arts, Abrons Arts Center, Title:Point, NTSA, and now The New Ohio. In 2017, Third Space will be producing The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant at The New Ohio, Kragtar at the PIT, and Grindr The Musical will go on National Tour in Italy, premiering in Milan at Teatro Elfo.


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