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Penny Arcade Aka Susana Ventura is an internationally respected performance artist, writer , poet and experimental theatre maker known for her magnetic stage presence, her take no prisoners wit and her content rich plays and one liners. She is the author of ten scripted performance plays and hundreds of performance art pieces. Her work has always focused on the other and the outsider, giving voice to those marginalized by society. Her willingness to speak truth to power at the expense of career concerns has made her an international icon of artistic resistance. Her decades long focus on the creation of community and inclusion as the goals of performance and her efforts to use performance as a transformative act mark her as a true original in American theatre and performance.

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The Designated Mourner

Letter To A Young Artist # 1

I cannot help notice that every time I have a conversation with a young artist is that when my age comes up, there is an odd sense of competion present in them mixed in with a kind of misplaced relief. I find it sad too that when I ask someone young their age they often stutter uncomfortably in order to whisper "around 25" or "around 30" as if youth is the only thing that can guarantee them a leg up.Competition may not be the best word to use to describe what I am talking about but there is a sense…

Relationship and Destiny

The driving force of my life has always been my relationship to relationship. Perhaps this is the arena , more than any other in my life, including my work,in which I have invested the most energy, shown the most commitment to and which has taught me the most about myself and human nature. People often say I am wise and if indeed I am wise, I have become so thru my interaction with people, thru my willingness to jump into the deep end of other personalities. When I was 22 living on the island of Formentera in Spain, before it…

I Loved LA

Hearing of  the LA earthquake, I  was suddenly overcome with sadness about leaving LA. I barely got to live there. I guess the sudden end of my marriage in 2008 eclipsed my feelings about leaving, an exodus I never mourned. I loved the near absolute anonymity of LA, an anonymity NY has lost since becoming suburbanized. Oh, I know everyone thinks LA is suburban but I never felt that way about it. If LA is so suburban, how come you can never find a gas station? I loved the stony winter sunlight, the stillness of the desert that lies beneath…

Queerer Than The Queer

One of the most frightening aspects of organized hatred is how the Christian Right has taken  it's fight against Homosexuality and exported it to third world countries where the issues are not  same sex  marriage or adoption but the right to life: Theirs. Yes, the right to life for homosexuals. In Africa, The Middle East, Asia and the Caribbean coming out amounts to a death sentence. In many  countries I have traveled in, I have seen see up close the choice between  violence or silence regarding homosexuality. How the Christian Right can balance Christ's message of Love with hate mongering…


Lower East Side Biography Project