Baruch Performing Arts Center Presents PENNY ARCADE:  THE FAGHAG & HER FRIENDS IN THE SUMMER OF LOVE

Baruch Performing Arts Center (BPAC) presents Penny Arcade's The Faghag & Her Friends in The Summer of Love, a new work in development, December 6-8, 2018, at 7:30 pm. Tickets range from $11 - $46 and can be purchased here. Baruch Performing Arts Center is located at 55 Lexington Ave. (enter 25th Street between 3rd & Lexington Avenues), NYC.

In The Faghag & Her Friends in The Summer of Love, the veteran playwright/performer Penny Arcade is at the peak of her powers. The productions features Arcade's spot-on impersonations and intoxicating improvisational style. She and longtime collaborator Steve Zehentner move into new territory, embedding Penny's take-no-prisoners narrative into a filmic landscape that traverses 1967 Provincetown to Andy Warhol's Factory and the cafes and nightclubs of New York City's celebrated demimonde, where tragedy and transformation walked hand in hand and created a breeding ground for revolutionary thinking and artistic innovation. It's an intoxicating combination you won't want to miss!

The Faghag and Her Friends...blends personal memoir and oral histories from the elders of the queer underground into an evocative aural & cinematic experience that evokes the magic and memory of the gay men who raised her and took young Penny from performing on the mean streets of 1960's New York City to the stages of The Playhouse of the Ridiculous and the Warhol Factory.

"When I was 14, 15, 16... my goal every night was to sit at the table with the old queens. A difficult invitation to get for a teenage girl when the word faghag was only a pejorative, only a put down. But the old queens recognized my curiosity, my wit, my acceptance of their superiority to me. The old queens knew everything I wanted to know and for them conversation was more than an art, it was the existential nectar that gave form to the power of the word. The old queens knew everything about history, about precedence, about the human condition. They did not tolerate banality nor mediocrity and theirs was a fierce and unapologetic intelligence and wit. Just sitting at a table of old queens in a dark bar or fluorescent coffee shop, lifted your IQ twenty points!" - Penny Arcade

"Penny's work cuts straight to the chase, "says BPAC Director Ted Altschuler. "She and Steve are ideal creators to have here in residence at BPAC. They exemplify what is means to create iconoclastic work coupling recent history, with contemporary art, sociology and politics. They make art right where we live and every performance bears witness to process - even though it is written and rehearsed, it is newly created right in front of us!"

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.

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 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.

She has toured extensively in Australia, the UK, and Europe. In late 2016, Penny Arcade debuted Longing Lasts Longer at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn which has been presented in over 39 cities around the world and continues to tour. 2018 marks Penny Arcade's 50th year as a performing artist.

Her text-based work, known for its 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.

Since 1992 she has collaborated with former architect Steve Zehentner. Together they have redefined the role of space and of the audience in their work. 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.

Penny Arcade's writing has been published in numerous newspapers, journals and catalogs: Film Culture, Found Object, Verses That Hurt, Please Kill Me (The Oral History of Punk), Out of Character, Raves, Rants and Monologues from America's Top Performance Artists, Monologues for Women, Monologues For Cold Reading, Writing Your Own Monologues. In 2010, a partial collection of her scripts, Bad Reputation, was published by Semiotext(e)/MIT. Press.

www.pennyarcade.tv

A former architect, Steve Zehentner is a filmmaker, theater designer/director and archivist based in New York City. Since 1992, he has collaborated with Penny Arcade on dozens of shows including Sisi Sings The Blues - Vienna Festival, Love, Sex and Sanity, Rebellion Cabaret, New York Values, Bad Reputation, True Stories, Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! and Longing Lasts Longer.

Together they have created anarchic humanist spectacles in over 40 cities around the world. They are currently developing, Old Queen, a theatrical memoir that evokes the magic in the gay bars and coffee shops of the 1960's.

With Penny Arcade, he is co-founder of the Lower East Side Biography Project, a video oral history documentary project that works to ensure that future generations have access to the mad souls of invention that built the Lower East Side's reputation as an incubator for authenticity, rebellion and iconoclasm. The project streams its biographies live every Monday at 11pm EST in Manhattan on Time Warner Channel 34.

Steve has worked in video production for over 25 years producing story-based social independent documentaries and promotional films for universities and non-profit organizations. His work is held in the collection of many museums, and screened at dozens of festivals. His short films, The Color Line: Racism in America and The Sunflower Project, a film that questions the limits of forgiveness through the lens of the WWII holocaust, have been broadcast on PBS.

He is a recipient of an Aurora Film & Video Award, Herald Angel, Fringe First, NYSCA grants and MacDowell, Bogliasco, Orchard Project Fellowships.

www.stevezehentner.com

www.stevezehentner.com/lower-east-side-biography-project

Baruch Performing Arts Center (BPAC) has presented and hosted the creation of over 1,000 programs in 5 spaces since 2003. 53,850 persons attended classes, programs by visiting organizations, and BPAC's own season, giving prominence to work across cultures and genres with an emphasis on the intersection of art and social justice, work experienced in intimately scaled venues, and new work created on site via artist residencies. Presentations have included theatre companies such as the National Asian American Theatre Company, Folksbiene, and MCC. Dance companies such as José Limón, Heidi Latsky Dance, Caleb Teicher and Company, and Urban Bush Women. BPAC is the New York home of the Alexander String Quartet and presents a rich chamber music season including ensembles such as the Israeli Chamber Project and Cantata Profana, solo artists like pianists Sara Davis Buechner and Michael Brown. Two opera festivals resided at BPAC in 2017-18. Together with PROTOTYPE festival of new opera-theatre we presented the world premiere of The Echo Drift. "A truly moving, dynamic piece of music theater." - Opera News, and with Heartbeat Opera we presented Mozart's Don Giovanni and a #BlackLivesMatters adaptation of Beethoven's Fidelio "I was blindsided by its impact." - The New Yorker. BPAC offers a jazz series named for bassist and late faculty member Milt Hinton, which has featured artists such as 2018 Grammy-Award winner Jane Ira Bloom. Discussion program have included writers Teju Cole and Daniel Mendelssohn, actress Linda Lavin, and thought leaders such as Gloria Steinem, and the late U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Visit www.baruch.cuny.edu/bpac for complete and up-to-date information on the 2018-19 season.

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