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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

The Tyrany of Fragility

I feel the pain of people who have been physically, emotionally , psychologically and sexually violated. Who have been demeaned and made to feel like they are less, less than others, less than human. I have been one of those people for most of my life. To be honest, my entire life has been an exercise in vanquishing the inner self loathing that is the legacy of those painful experiences. .I have borne those scars and still carry some open wounds from those violations. Some were from strangers but some were from my own family and in some cases from…

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…


Lower East Side Biography Project