Penny Arcade

Born 15 July 1950.

Biography

Penny Arcade (born Susana Ventura, July 15, 1950), is an American performance artist, actress, and playwright based in New York City.

Ventura's long association with avant-garde performance began at age 17, when she performed with John Vaccaro's Playhouse of the Ridiculous, and appeared in the Jackie Curtis play Femme Fatale, followed by an appearance in the Andy Warhol film, Women in Revolt. She traveled Europe during the 1970s, returning to New York in 1981, where she worked with many underground theatre artists, including Jack Smith, Charles Ludlam and the Angels of Light. She co-starred with Quentin Crisp in the long-running performance/interview piece, The Last Will and Testament of Quentin Crisp.

As Penny Arcade, she has been performing her own monologues since 1985, mostly in New York. In the late 1980s she created a character named Margo Howard-Howard, a 50-year-old drag queen with a scandalous past, for her performances. The New York Times refers to the character as "patently unbelievable", but in a later article acknowledges that her monologue was "based on real Lower East Side residents." Howard-Howard received an obituary in The Village Voice.

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