SEPTEMBER 24 - 27, 2020

Longing Lasts Longer at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

Longing Lasts Longer

by Penny Arcade

Since her stint at the Sacred Heart Academy for Wayward Girls, Penny Arcade has been unapologetically honest throughout her six-decade career of incisive avant-garde performance.

Her willingness to speak truth to power at the expense of career concerns has made her an international icon of artistic resistance.

Performed by Penny Arcade with her long-time collaborator Steve Zehentner.


Saturday Sept 26, 7:00 pm

The performance is 75 minutes long.
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“We who fled the myopic, claustrophobic, Puritanism of America’s interior, breathed free though ragged in its harsh embrace.”
-Penny Arcade's Longing Lasts Longer

“It was actually recommended to me... (pause) that I add a trigger warning to the top of this show so that I didn’t traumatize anyone under 47 — you know, people who are not familiar with satire, irony.”
-Penny Arcade’s Longing Lasts Longer


Penny Arcade, born Susana Ventura in 1950, has been a voice in the wilderness since running away from home at 13. After a stint in the Sacred Heart Academy for Wayward Girls, a reform school, she was released at 16 and spent the summer homeless in Provincetown. At 18 she made her way to New York City, where she joined Andy Warhol’s Factory, the Theater of the Ridiculous and began seven decades of speaking her mind in avant garde spectacles performed throughout the world.

What she performs has been a target for self-righteous censorship from the time she began -- and the attacks continue. Justifications may have changed, the aim remains the same:  to silence her. There were bomb threats from Catholic zealots and for many years respectable newspapers and magazines would or could not print the title of her signature work about censorship, Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! which she began working on in 1990.

They were not the only ones who disapproved. Penny explains in an interview with Zora von Burden:

“Both feminist academics and the art scene looked down on women who did erotic dancing and it was certainly not considered an art form or a self-empowering feminist economic option. Posters of Bitch!Dyke!Faghag!Whore! were torn off the street and the walls of clubs, shops, and university campus bulletin boards, and decried as offensive.

B!D!F!W! was my queer backlash to the politically correct New York art scene in 1990 during the National Endowment for The Arts Censorship Crisis… B!D!F!W! kicked off the pro-sex feminist backlash. It was a critique of the Christian Right as well as a fuck you to the politically correct, “gay community” and art scene in New York that sucked up for approval to the funding institutions run by the middle classes.”

Penny Arcade might say with Mae West, “Censorship made me.”  It’s fueled her creativity and her understanding of herself: unstoppable, sexy, funny, and unapologetically honest.

Longing Lasts Longer is her latest revelation, performed with her long-time collaborator Steve Zehentner.


Things To Know Before You Come To The Show

In keeping with the spirit of this year’s festival motto “If we can, we will,” there will be some changes to the standard procedures of attending the performances this year. These changes and procedures have been put in place for the continued safety of our performers, audience, and staff.

Thank you for your continued support and EN AVANT! 

Click here to read the full set of procedures for this year's events. 

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