Penny and Alexander

Penny Arcade and Alexander Alvina Chamberland Perform at the Bureau

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Penny Arcade and Alexander Alvina Chamberland Perform at the Bureau
December 12, 2013 7:00 PM
December 12, 2013 9:00 PM
$10 suggested donation at the door to benefit the artists and the Bureau
646 457 0859
November 23, 2013
Bureau of General Services–Queer Division at Cage
646 457 0859
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83A Hester St., New York, NY, 10002, United States
Penny and Alexander

Penny Arcade has invited performance artist and writer Alexander Alvina Chamberland to New York City from Sweden and they will be performing together on the 12th of December at BGSQD. Join us for a very special evening of reading and performing. Penny will be doing a reading of excerpts from her forthcoming memoir in progress or whatever strikes her at the moment. Alexander Alvina will be reading from their forthcoming transfemme-inist gurlesque novel with the working title “Bitchslutcuntfaggotladyboy” – a satirical parody of the genre of novels about growing up. They will also be reading a few selected poems from their collections “The revolutionary audacious fruition…” (2012) and “Too Intense Femme-inist Poetry Pornography (Texten är jättejaget)” (Due for release: January 2014) and doing another toomuchtoointenseinyerface-performance monologue & song with lots of tears and shouts (twists and shout), and trans-femme ways in and out – AS WELL AS an Olympic Figure Skating Competition for AMATEURS because PROFESSIONALS are not allowed to compete in the olympics!


Alexander web size

Photo credit: Alex Oliveira.


Alexander Alvina Chamberland is a 27 year old performance artist and writer based in Stockholm, Sweden but born and raised north of San Francisco in California. They completed their bachelors degree in gender studies at Lunds University in the spring of 2011.

Alexander Alvina is co-founder of The Queertopia Festival and has had article’s publicized in many of Sweden’s largest newspapers (DN, Aftonbladet, Svenska Dagbladet, Göteborgs Posten and Sydsvenska Dagbladet etc) as well as more specialized academic & activist-oriented magazines such as Bang and Ottar. Chamberland has also taken part in tv- and radio-programs like Lantz i P1, Ligga med P3, Studio Ett, Generation Z, SVT Debatt, Aktuellt and SVT:s morning program, where they once arrived dressed as a Black Swan. As a lecturer they have spoken at venues such as Uppsala University, the swedish parliament and the anarchist space Café 44.

Their solo-production ”In Burning – In Bashing Back – In Burning,” a one person performance play on surviving and processing rape, premiered at Stockholm City Theatre in August of 2011 and toured around Sweden, Europe and the United States from 2011-2013. In 2012 ”The Revolutionary Audacious Fruition…” (35-word title all in all) an audio collection of 21 of their poems was released on spotify, itunes and Amazon. Alexander Alvina has performed on stages in Berlin, Paris, New York, San Francisco, London, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Manchester, Malmö, Istanbul, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam and had their first film-role in the Berlin-movie ”Performance” which is in production and scheduled for release in 2014. Much of their performance work focuses on their experiences of oppression & empowerment as femme and genderqueer/trans, as well as failure as a means of resistance to obligatory capitalist success. They have been a member of the performance group TIR since the autumn of 2012.

At the moment they have just finished recording their second audio poetry collection called “Too intense femme-inist poetry pornography (texten är jättejaget)” and is working on a novel.

Link to the spotify album and youtube clips of some of their past performances:


Penny for web

Photo credit: Timothy Greenfield Sanders


Penny Arcade is one of the most influential performance and theatre artists in the world and her work has influenced several generations of artists seeking to bring their own voice to the stage. She is also a respected poet and essayist. As a writer she has written aboutDavid Wojnarovich, Jack Smith and Marilyn Monroe.

Penny Arcade is one of America’s most prolific, articulate and outspoken independent artists. She is also a tireless artist’s advocate and an outspoken advocate of free speech and all the quintessential democratic and anarchist American values. Penny Arcade’s contributions to American experimental theatre began in her teens and she has left her mark on every decade from the 1960′s to the 2000′s.

Her work has long focused on the ‘other’ and the outsider in society and her work has long given voice to those marginalized by society. 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 many of her theatrical innovations have passed into the mainstream of both American and international theatre and performance. Known for her wit and aphorisms, many of her one liners and bon mots have entered into popular usage.

Born to immigrant Italians in the factory town of New Britain, Connecticut, she ran away from home at 13 and wrote her first play at 14 while incarcerated at Sacred Heart Academy for Wayward Girls. At 17 she came to NY and entered into the downtown art scene debuting at 18 in John Vaccaro’s explosive Playhouse of the Ridiculous, the seminal, glam and glitter, rock and roll, political theater that influenced everyone from Charles Ludlam to Hair to Rocky Horror Show to David Bowie.At 18 Penny Arcade became a teenage superstar for Andy Warhol’s Factory featured in the Morrissey/Warhol film “Women In Revolt” now available in video. Penny Arcade worked with and collaborated with many of the greats of American experimental theatre including Vaccaro, Jack Smith, Taylor Mead, Charles Ludlam, H.M.Koutoukas and Tom O’Horgan among others. HM Koutoukas refers to Ms Arcade as “The Little Sister of The Avant-garde” because of her long apprenticeship to the major architects of the counter culture and American experimental theater.

After her 15 year apprenticeship in the work of other major theatre makers, Arcade began creating her own solo work in 1983 and becoming one of the most original voices in contemporary theatre and one of a handful of New York artists who defined performance art in the 80’s and 90’s. She began creating group work in 1989. She has written 10 full length performance plays, numerous solo shows as well as poems, spoken word pieces and essays ”BITCH !DYKE! FAGHAG! WHORE!’ Her 1990 sex and censorship show began as an audit for a solo fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts during the Helms-NEA censorship crisis in 1990. The initial four day run at Performance Space 122 segued into two months which by public demand went on to a year long run (1992-1993) at the legendary Village Gate. “B!D!F!W!” a blend of political humanism, freedom of expression and erotic dancing, has toured the world twice as both an international festival and commercial hit in 25 cities around the world including two tours of Australia and left an international burlesque movement in it’s wake that still looks to Arcade as the master of combining political content and erotica, never stooping to the vulgar or sensationalistic. In 2012 she completed 46 highly praised, high profile performances of Bitch!Dyke!Faghag!Whore! in London Penny Arcade’s theatre writing has been commissioned by Austria, Germany, England, Brazil, and Mexico.

In the early 90′s Quentin Crisp publicly named Ms Arcade as his soul mate and anima figure in the London Telegraph Magazine. Their friendship then become professional as Ms Arcade undertook a series of interviews with the legendary Edwardian raconteur and they performed together many times. Penny Arcade created “The Last Will and Testament Of Quentin Crisp” in 1996 which they performed together up to his death in 1999. In 2011 Cynthia Nixon star of “Sex in The City“ portrayed Penny Arcade in the film Englishman IN NY about their relationship at the end of Mr. Crisp’s life.

Penny Arcade has a long history as a Lower East Side activist beginning in her teens working with The Hog Farm, UATWMF and with Abby Hoffman in the Yippies at the Lower Eastside Suicide Hotline (1967) and all the way to the present having spent August 1996 thru January of 1998 hosting a 3 hour radio show for the Lower Eastside pirate radio station Steal this Radio 88.7. She continues to lend her artistry to numerous socio- political endeavors.

In 1989, shortly after the death of performance great Jack Smith of AIDS, Penny Arcade, who had served Mr. Smith during his last illness, created and formed the Jack Smith Archive, fulfilling Mr. Smith’s death bed directive.

In 1990 The Plaster Foundation, the complete archive of Mr. Smith’s work was founded with the help of Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman. Mr. Hoberman and Ms Arcade worked tirelessly for 2 decades to preserve and promote Mr. Smith’s legacy.

In 1997 she was given the complete works of photographer Sheyal Baykl before Ms Bayka’s death and formed The Sheyla Baykal Archive to preserve and promote the work of Sheyla Baykal.

Since 1992 she has collaborated with former architect video artist and producer Steve Zehentner, who works with her as a dramaturge, co-designs set, sound, video and as a co-director.

In 1999 Penny Arcade and Steve Zehentner formed The Lower East Side Biography Project, “Stemming The Tide Of Cultural Amnesia , a much emulated video oral history project that broadcasts every Wednesday at 11 pm on channel 34 Time /Warner as well as on RCN . It also cybercasts at the same time at They currently have 4 new works in various states of pr-production. For weekly updates see and subscribe to

Penny Arcade is a gifted, committed lecturer in performance, live art, memoir and writing from oral history. She also works as a mentor and coach. Penny Arcade welcomes communication from all by personal email at Subscribe to her Facebook Page for updates: pennyarcadesuperstar. Follow her on Twitter at pennyarcadenyc.

Penny’s website: