Afterglow Festival

Penny Arcade

Penny Arcade, aka Susana Ventura, is an international cultural icon, revered as a performer, poet, writer, and actress who speaks truth to power. Innovative, charismatic and magnetic, she has brought experimental theatre to mainstream audiences and influenced generations of artists around the world. She occupies a rare position in the American avant-garde, though her long association with the architects of the counter culture from Andy Warhol to John Vaccaro, Jack Smith, Judith Malina, Jonas Mekas, Charles Henri Ford, H.M. Koutoukas, Charles Ludlam and Tom O’Horgan.

Since 1992 she has collaborated with former architect Steve Zehentner. Together they have redefined the role of theatrical space and the relationship with the audience. Frequently hiring artists to collaborate in their work around the world, they have left deep roots in over 40 cities around the world. With Steve’s expertise as a video producer, they have co-helmed “The Lower Eastside Biography Project – Stemming The Tide of Cultural Amnesia”, an oral history video project that has broadcast and cybercast weekly in New York since 1999. www.facebook/lowereastsidebiographyproject

Penny is the author of over ten full-length performance plays and hundreds of solo performance art pieces on racism and homophobia, feminism, the death of bohemia, the commodification of rebellion, the erasure of history, the loss of empathy and cultural amnesia.

Her text-based work, known for it’s high content humor and rich one-liners, has always focused on the other and the outsider, on individuality and authenticity. Her use of performance as a transformative act and community building as the goal of performance marks her as a true original on the world stage. Her work and her ideas have given her a mainstream presence far from America’s shores.

Penny Arcade debuted at 18 in John Vaccaro’s explosive Playhouse of the Ridiculous, New York’s legendary glitter/glam, rock and roll, seminal queer political theatre. At 19 she was a superstar for Andy Warhol’s Factory featured in the Warhol/Morrissey comedy “Women in Revolt. An independent artist for almost 50 years, she preserves the ethos of 1960’s experimental theatre.

Penny Arcade’s writing has been published in numerous newspapers, journals and