Penny Arcade (b. Susanna Ventura, 1950) is a writer, performance artist and director. Since the debut with John Vaccaro’s Playhouse of the Ridiculous at 18 and appearance in Andy Warhol’s Factory as one of Warhol’s superstars at 19, she has taken a unique position in the American counter-culture and avant-garde. One of the handful of artists who created what came to be called performance art, Penny Arcade is particularly known for her complex, long form performance pieces and her magnetic stage presence. Her work has long focused on the other and the outsider, giving voice to those marginalized by society and on the creation of community and inclusion as the goal. Using performance as a transformative act, many of her theatrical innovations have passed into the mainstream of both American and international theatre and performance. Her long associations include Andy Warhol, Charles Henri Ford, John Vaccaro, Judith Malina, Ellen Stewart, Jackie Curtis, HM Koutukas, Taylor Mead, Jonas Mekas, Jack Smith, Harry Smith, Tom O’Horgan, Charles Ludlam among others. Also founded by Penny Arcade and her long-time collaborator and video producer Steve Zehentner, the award winning documentary project, The Lower East Side Biography Project: Stemming the Tide of Cultural Amnesia, has been broadcasted weekly in NY since 1999. Cybercasts are available every Wednesday at 11pm at www.mnn.org.
Visit Penny Arcade at www.pennyarcade.tv