A Quick Chat With Petra Kalive

Petra Kalive trained at WAAPA (acting 2004) and is the director of RAT, currently playing at La Mama in Melbourne. 

We caught up with Petra to ask her our 20 questions…

Petra Kalive
Petra Kalive

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A prima ballerina. But the girl next door wanted to be a baby buffalo and I thought that was cool. Ambitious but cool.

Who is the most important person in the world to you?
My partner, Tim.

What animal best represents you and why?
I spent two weeks as a dragon fly at acting school so I have some kind of special bond with them. I love the way they rest for a moment and then are off agin.

If you were a contestant on Deal or No Deal, how much would you need to be on offer before you walked away?
Tens of thousands.

What was the first piece of theatre/film/TV you ever appeared in and how old were you?

I was the drummer boy.I was 5. But I wanted to be the drummer girl.

Windows or MAC?
Silly question. mac.

Favourite food?

Who is the actor you would most like to work alongside?
Vivian Leigh.

What five songs would be the first you put a mix tape?

Route 66 – Natalie Cole

The Nearness of You – Norah Jones

It’s a Fire – Portishead

Get this Party Started – P!nk

Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley

What is the best thing about theatre in Australia?
Being a part of it.

What’s the worst thing about theatre in Australia?
The fact that only about 2% of the population actually engage with it.

Name one moment when you looked around, breathed happily and felt content.
Tonight as I walked along the river with my dog and my partner.

Where is the most interesting place you have travelled?

Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
Miranda Otto.

Most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?
For a while there, I couldn’t do a show without a boob popping out.

What’s your life motto?
What can I learn from this?

What’s your favourite post-show snack?

What’s your biggest phobia?
Snakes. Spiders. Cockroaches. Rats. Take your pick.

What is the worst date you’ve ever had?
Speed dating. And all the dates that followed. All bad. No ones fault. Just wrong.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’d like to be directing large scale work in Australia and overseas. There, I said it.


Petra works regularly as an actor and director and her production company, Two Blue Cherries enjoyed a national tour with Three Dog Night – a play she adapted for the stage from the book by Peter Goldsworthy.

Screen credits include lead supporting roles in Underbelly, City Homicide and Satisfaction. In 2009 Petra was appointed dramaturg at Red Stitch Actors Theatre, was assistant dramaturg at the Malthouse in 2010 and will be travelling to Washington in May this year for the New Visions / New Voices Festival at the Kennedy Centre.

RAT is playing at La Mama Theatre, Carlton until 8 April 2012

Tickets: $25 Full, $15 Concession
Bookings: 03 9347 6142 or www.lamama.com.au
La Mama Theatre: 205 Faraday Street, Carlton

Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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