Kaneza Schaal

RAMP 2014

Residency Series


Public Showings: April 11 & 12

Kaneza Schaal
Residency dates: March 31 – April 12
Public Showings: April 11 & 12, 8pm
at The Chain Theatre 21-28 45th Rd, Long Island City in Queens

Kaneza Schaal is a New York City based Theater Artist. Best known for her work as an actor with The Wooster Group, Elevator Repair Service, and Richard Maxwell, Kaneza will use RAMP to begin work on her first evening length piece using the Egyptian Book of the Dead as inspiration – seeking to cultivate performance that uses text as a jumping off point and equally values visual, physical, sonic and abstract expression.

The project is made in collaboration with performers Cornell Alston, April Matthis, Greig Sargeant, Courtney Williams, sound artist Justin Hicks, visual artist Christopher Myers, dramaturge Joshua Lubin-Levy and lighting designer Ashley Vellano.

Other contributing artists include: William Nadylam, Ama Codjoe.

Kaneza is also supported by the Princess Grace Foundation Works-in-Residency at Baryshnikov Arts Center.




Kaneza Schaal is a New York City based theater artist. The daughter of a Midwesterner and an immigrant from Rwanda, she was raised in Northern California and migrated east to attend Wesleyan University in Connecticut. After working for The Wooster Group as Kate Valk’s assistant on The Summer Institute, a free program for NYC public school students, she was offered the position of Company Manager. Through the support of a Princess Grace Award to apprentice with the company she transitioned from Company Manager to performing with the group in Vieux Carre and Early Plays. She is also a member of Elevator Repair Service and performs in The Sound and the Fury, The Select, Shuffle, and Fondly, Collette Richland. Her work with these companies has brought her to over 32 cities in 18 countries. Schaal has worked with Richard Maxwell, Claude Wampler, Jay Scheib, and Lars Jan, and at venues including BAM, Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Symphony Space and The Whitney Museum. As teaching artist, Schaal has led programs with The Kitchen/Victoria Vazquez at Liberty High School, with New York Theater Workshop at Lower Manhattan Arts Academy and other locations, with Symphony Space at Harlem School for the Arts, and with Elevator Repair Service at Emerson College, Princeton University and New York Theatre Workshop. She is a resident artist with Elders Share The Arts, and is an annual collaborator on The Wooster Group’s Summer Institute.


“Drawing inspiration from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a text originally intended to provide the living with a blueprint to the afterlife, we will explore light and shadow as a physical and metaphorical architecture. Using analogue projection, sound, text, and dance to animate a series of burial vignettes we will excavate this ancient text to create a new translation. Our inquiry will focus on the scroll’s central metaphor: the weighing of the heart against a feather of the goddess Maat on her divine scale of truth to test its moral worth. The performance proposes burial not as erasure but as offering restitution, performing rites, and creating space for the presence of the absent, the imagined and the longed-for.” – Kaneza Schaal


RAMP is PS122’s new residency program designed to support early-career New York City-based artists by offering a place and space to create ambitious new work. RAMP is a unique residency program which not only provides space but also invaluable technical assistance, commissioning fees and marketing support.


RAMP artists are commissioned by Performance Space 122 with support from a 50th Anniversary Grant from the Jerome Foundation. Additional presentation support provided by Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance and Jerome Robbins Foundation.

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