EarSay is an artist-driven non-profit arts organization dedicated to uncovering and portraying stories of the uncelebrated. Founded by Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan in 1999, our projects bridge the divide between documentary and expressive forms in books, exhibitions, on stage, in sound & electronic media. We are committed to fostering understanding across cultures, generations, gender and class, through artistic productions and education. We bring our work to theatres, museums, schools, prisons, festivals and universities. Scroll over the top menu to view projects, get information, shop, etc.
Jan 21, 7pm The University of Memphis, Rose Theater Performance/Lecture (21st) & Judging Student Exhibition (22nd) Memphis, TN
Feb 11-13 The University of Florida Performance/Lecture & Workshop Gainesville, FL
March 7, 5pm Central Booking Gallery Performance /Reading. Judith Sloan Opening Act 21 Ludlow St. (LES), NYC
March 13, 12 noon Halifax Central Public Library (sponsored by MSVU, SMU, Dalhousie, NSCADU) Performance/Reading Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
March 27 2015, 2:30pm &Now Festival – Blast Radius Performing Typographic Literature session with Johanna Drucker, Samantha Gorman & Danny Cannizzaro, Cal Arts, Valencia CA
April 1, 3:30 San Francisco State University Performance/Lecture San Francisco CA
April 2-5, 2015 University of Minnesota & Minnesota Center for Book Arts Performance/Reading & Workshop Minneapolis, MN
July 23-25 Book Art Biennial Performance/Reading Minneapolis Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Stay tuned for other dates in Nova Scotia Canada, Deere Isle ME, and more – TBA
News: A Life In Books wins its 7th award: The 2014 Best New Fiction Award USA Best Books Awards
A Life In Books wins The 2014 IPPY (Independent Publisher) OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD for “MOST ORIGINAL CONCEPT.” “A stunningly unique take on the novel that unabashedly explores the relationship between the narrator and reader, as well as the fragile and often blurry line that distinguishes truth and fiction. With A Life In Books, Lehrer has upended the modern novel form and its narrative limitations, creating a rich and engaging story through visual literature… Mind-blowing… reality bending… a laugh riot and a visual feast.”
A Life In Books also wins a Next Generation Indie Book Award, a Print Magazine Regional Design Award (NYC), a National Indie Book Award, a CBAA Exhibition Prize (College Book Art Association).
A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is an illuminated novel that contains 101 books within it, all written by Lehrer’s protagonist—Bleu Mobley—a controversial author who finds himself in prison looking back on his life and career. Mobley’s autobiography/apologia is paired with a review of all 101 of his books, each represented by its first-edition cover design and catalog copy, and more than a third of his books are excerpted. The resulting retrospective contrasts the published writings (which read like short stories) with the confessional memoir, forming a most unusual portrait of a well-intentioned, obsessively inventive (if ethically challenged) visionary. A LIFE IN BOOKS explores the creative process of a writer/artist, as it reflects upon a half century of American/global events, and grapples with the future of the book as a medium, and the lines that separate and blur truth, myth, and fiction.
In his funny, thought provoking performance/readings, Warren Lehrer presents an overview of Bleu Mobley’s life in books via many of Mobley’s book cover designs, book-like objects, and other biographical materials including animations and video performances of Mobley book excerpts by the band BETTY and actress/poet La Bruja.
PRAISE for A LIFE IN BOOKS
Studio 360, Click to listen. “An ingenious, one-of-a-kind novel.” Kurt Andersen, STUDIO 360
“A profound commentary… A Life In Books is brilliant, beautiful, delicious for eyes and mind.” Andrei Codrescu, public radio commentator
“A vivid kaleidoscopic odyssey that frames one man’s life through not one, but one hundred different books—and book jackets.” Jessica Helfand, founding editor DESIGN OBSERVER
“A meticulously illustrated chronicle… Pitch perfect.” Steven Heller, THE ATLANTIC
“A book-lover’s fictional treat of books that never were. A Life In Books is ultimately about survival, and transforming the sadness of life into art. As Whitman said, ‘I contain multitudes,’ and Bleu Mobley contains 101 books and a belief in the bounty of life. Wonderful!”
Michael Silverblatt, BOOKWORM, KCRW
“A tour de force of graphic design, illustration and writing. Guaranteed to bring a smile.”
Ken Carbone THE HUFFINGTON POST
“In the era of cookie-cutter books and rubber-stamped stories, Warren Lehrer’s A Life in Books is fresh, original, idiosyncratic, beautiful, and important.”
Rabih Alameddine, author of Koolaids, Hakawati, and I, the Divine
“A Life in Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is a typographical and design tour de force.” Ellen Shapiro, PRINT MAGAZINE
“A genre-defying night that fuses art and literature, prose and design into a multi-media presentation unlike any other.” Skylight Books
ORDER A COPY NOW
Visit the A LIFE IN BOOKS website
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Stay Tuned: Judith Sloan will be presenting the kick off performance of Crossing the BLVD at the 2015 KO Festival of Performance in Amherst, MA weekend of July 10; she will be performing YO MISS! as the keynote performance at the National Oral History Association Conference in Tampa, FL October 2015.
EarSay Youth will be performing on Sunday Feb. 8 at the Poetic License Theatre Festival, 2015. Stay tuned for details.
Judith Sloan is an actor, audio artist, writer, radio producer, human rights activist, educator and poet whose work combines humor, pathos and a love of the absurd. For over twenty years, Sloan has been producing and presenting interdisciplinary works in audio and theater, portraying voices often ignored by the mass media. She will be performing YO MISS! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide and Crossing the BLVD in July and the fall of 2014.
“In YO MISS!, Judith Sloan’s art and teaching cross-pollinate. Performing with musical collaborators, she re-enacts and riffs on her experiences teaching teenagers from myriad worlds: refugee camps, struggling neighborhoods, prisons. It is a performance about performances, a story containing many stories.” New York Times
“Crossing the BLVD is a whirlwind tour and love poem of what has often been called the most racially and ethnically diverse county in America. In the tradition of the playwright Anna Deavere Smith, Ms. Sloan performs “Crossing the BLVD” adopting the personae (and respectfully mimicking the accents) of the varied immigrants whose stories are in the book… The New York Times, City Room Blog, Sewell Chan
“Crossing boldly carries the tradition of oral history into the 21st Century. Electrifying!” Eve Ensler author The Vagina Monologues
A world view that sees comedy and tragedy as two bones of the same skeleton in the closet. Superb!.”
The Scotsman (Scotland’s National Newspaper) Sara O’Sullivan (London)
“Funny and sad, topical and biting… Exquisite comic timing best of all, Sloan can make you see your world in a slightly different way. And that’s what theater is supposed to do.” The Indianapolis Star
“In listening to what people have to say, Judith Sloan captures the essence of their lives…She is one part Studs Terkel, one part Lily Tomlin, two-parts originality.”
The Herald Bloomington, Indiana
Listen Here to a YO MISS story:
Thursday December 4, 7pm YO MISS! City Lore Gallery New York, NY, Advanced tickets through Brown Paper Tickets
Saturday November 15, 7pm YO MISS! Dancers’ Workshop, Jackson Hole, WY, Advanced tickets through Brown Paper Tickets
Saturday October 25, 7pm YO MISS! BLUE HILL MAINE, New Surry Theatre Blue Hill Town Hall, Advanced tickets through Brown Paper Tickets
Tuesday September 30, 6 PM. Crossing the BLVD at Stockton College, New Jersey
Monday July 14, 7 PM. Crossing the BLVD at the Auditorium on Broadway
New York Institute of Technology
1871 Bdwy, Broadway between 62 and 61st Streets.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, July 18, 19, 20, YO MISS! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide
at the KO Festival, Northampton, MA
Sunday July 27, at The Association of Theatre in Higher Education, Scottsdale, Arizona
February 28 and March 1, The Pink Garter, Jackson Wyoming
April 23, 7 pm , YO MISS!, Joe’s Pub, Public Theatre, NY, NY
Transforming Trauma Into Art is an EarSay initiative, created and directed by Judith Sloan, born out of our partnership with the International High School at LaGuardia Community College where many teenagers have emigrated to the U.S. from war-zones and conflict-zones. The premise of this workshop is based on healing through artistic expression using a combination of music, movement, theatre and storytelling. This process helps release the stories and stressors that prevent people—who have been traumatized by war, economic or natural disasters—from moving forward. This program brings an understanding of confronting obstacles through artistic expression to communities that are poor, displaced, or don’t have access to artistic training, serving approximately 450 students. The project grows out of our commitment to creating artistic works that evolve out of individual experience and community. In this case, the community is immigrant and refugee teenagers attending school in New York City. At a time of war, global tension, and polarization, our program encourages a depth of scholarship and storytelling that shapes the experience of the participants, giving them tools to make connections between cultures, shed light on the complexity and humanity of each individual, and deepen what it means or could mean to be part of a global community.
Thanks for your support.
Video: About the History of the Project
Over 800 people of all ages and backgrounds attended the world premier on April 29th, 2012
Music composed by Frank London
Libretto by Judith Sloan
Visuals by Warren Lehrer with Brandon Campbell
Premiered by the Queens Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos, Queens Symphony Orchestra music director
Performed by full orchestra and a 190-voice chorus comprised of the Queens College Choral Society and Queens College Choir, James John, Music Director
Featured Tabla Soloist Deep Singh
Spoken word performed by Judith Sloan in English with additional translations in Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic by Dailyn Despradel, Krussia, Haojie Huang, and Catherine Hanna.
Watch Video Excerpt on Vimeo CLICK ON IMAGE or CLICK HERE
Warren Lehrer- PAST shows and readings:
Dec. 1-3 Visual Studies Workshop & SUNY Brockport Performance/Reading & Workshop Rochester & Brockport NY
Nov 15-19 University of Arizona, Tucson Performance/Lecture & working with creative writing & visual arts students Tucson, AZ
Nov 10 NYU, Gallatin School of Individualized Study Performance/Lecture NYC
Nov 4 Great Small Works Spaghetti Dinner Performance/Reading Lower East Side, NYC
Sept 26-28 NY Art Book Fair Exhibiting w/ Center for Editions/Purchase College, PS1 Sept 21, 2pm Brooklyn Book Festival Performance/Reading/Panel Brooklyn NY
MoMA/NY Sept 29 Bank Square Books Performance/Reading Mystic, CTApril 17, 6pm NYU Bookstore Performance/Reading New York, NY
April 7, 4-6pm Rutgers University Performance/Reading + Panel Newark, NJ
March 27 Roger Williams College Performance/Lecture + Workshop Bristol, Rhode Island
March 14, 8pm LaGuardia Performing Arts Center Performance Queens, NY
February 22 Scripps College Performance/Reading + Workshop Claremont, CA
Thursday Feb 6, 4:30pm Virginia Commonwealth University Performance/Lecture Richmond VA
January 30, 4:30pm Neuberger Museum of Art Performance/Reading with Judith Sloan Purchase, NY
Jan 7+8 Teton County Library Workshop, Performance/Reading Jackson, WY
Jan 3, 3:15pm College Book Art Association Conference, Performance/Lecture Salt Lake City, UT
Past Shows Judith Sloan
April 29, Crossing the BLVD, Westborough, MA
April 23, YO MISS at Joe’s Pub, NY, NY
March 3 – March 6- Crossing the BLVD residency, Central Oregon Community College, Bend, OR
Feb. 28 and March 1, YO MISS!, Jackson Hole, WY
Feb. 16, 6pm YO MISS! at the Poetic Theater Festival, NY
Jan. 20 excerpts of YO MISS! at JCC for Martin Luther King Day celebration.
Jan. 8 with Warren Lehrer, Jackson Hole, Teton County Library
Warren Lehrer past shows:
Friday Dec 6 Queens Council on the Arts Performance/Reading double bill with Judith Sloan
Saturday, Nov 23, Miami Book Fair, Performance/Reading, Miami, FL
Wednesday, Nov 13, Book Passage Bookstore, Performance/Reading Corte Modera, CA
Tuesday Nov 12, The Booksmith Bookstore, Performance/Reading San Francisco, CA
Monday, Nov 11, Skylight Books Presentation & Signing Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Nov 7, Art Center College, Performance/Reading Pasadena, CA
Friday Nov. 1, 7:30 PM Book Launch at WNYC’s The Greene Space, RESERVE A TICKET NOW
Thursday, Oct 24, Art Institute of Boston Performance/Reading Boston, MA
Thursday, Oct 17, 5:15pm SAIC, School of the Art Institute of Chicago,
Performance/Reading, Chicago, IL
Friday, Oct 11, 7:30pm, Book Signing AIGA National Conference Minneapolis Convention Center
Saturday September 21, NYBook Fair, MoMA PS1 keynote speaker 6 PM.
Judith Sloan- Past Shows:
Friday Dec 13 8 PM Café Marlene, 41-11 49th Street, Sunnyside, NY 11104 with live music featuring Frank London on trumpet and Lynn Ligammari on sax Sunnyside, NY, Deep Singh on percussion.
Sunday Dec. 8 4pm, Excerpts from YO MISS at the Puffin Forum, Teaneck New Jersey
Friday Dec. 6 7pm, Double Bill with Warren Lehrer, Queens Council on the Arts
Friday, November 8 6:30pm, Expressive Therapies Summit, the New School for Social Research, NY, featured performer and workshop program
September 24, Judith Sloan’s YO MISS! at NYU’s Center for Spiritual Life.
August 22, Judith Sloan’s YO MISS! at the Teton County Library, Jackson Hole, WY. With Judith Sloan accompanied by Miwi LaLupa, Adam Hill, Chesney Snow, directed by Bob Berky as part of YO MISS residency at Dancers Workshop.
August 14, Crossing the BLVD at the Teton County Library, Jackson Hole, WY. With Judith Sloan as part of YO MISS residency at Dancers Workshop.
July 15, Crossing the BLVD at the New York Institute of Technology, NYC. With Judith Sloan, and additional actors Chesney Snow and La Bruja.
June 26, Crossing the BLVD at the New Haven Museum with Judith Sloan and Warren Lehrer.
June 23, EarSay Voices at the Cornelia Street Café. With Judith Sloan, Aisha Sabattini-Sloan, Arianne Zwartjes, Cyd Charisse Fulton, Catherine and Laura Hanna
May 29, EarSay Voices at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center with Judith Sloan, EarSay Youth Voices, Frank London, Miwi LaLupa, Immortal Technique, Chesney Snow, Safia Elhillo
March 15, Crossing the BLVD at Puffin Forum
February 19, 6:30 PM Crossing the BLVD at Lower East Side Tenement Museum
January 18, 6:30 PM Yo Miss! at Cornelia Street Cafe, NYC
Monday November 5, 6 PM Crossing the BLVD performance at Fairfield University focus on the cities.
Saturday October 20, 8 PM Judith Sloan’s Yo Miss! at the JCC Manhattan as part of the REPAIR festival of new performance.
Monday July 16 @ 7:00 pm, 2012 Crossing the BLVD performance at New York Institute of Technology
June 13 Judith Sloan and Friends with EarSay Voices! at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre
June 7, Judith Sloan presented Crossing the BLVD at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, International Conference on Justice, Security and Human Rights.
April 29, 1001 Voices: a Symphony for Queens – Premiered by Queens Symphony Orchestra, Queens College Choral Society and Queens College Choir. Music composed by Frank London. Libretto by Judith Sloan. Animated visuals by Warren Lehrer with Brandon Campbell.
February 16, Judith Sloan’s Yo Miss! at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre.
February 13, Warren Lehrer – guest lecture, The Visual Literature of Warren Lehrer, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
November 22, Crossing the BLVD lecture and performance at Peace and Conflict Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
November 3, 4, 5, 6 Judith Sloan’s Yo Miss! at Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NYC
September 14 and 15 Crossing the BLVD performances at Waterman Theatre, Tyler Hall, SUNY Oswego.
August 29 Crossing the BLVD exhibition opens at Tyler Art Gallery, SUNY Oswego.
July 11 Crossing the BLVD performance, with Judith Sloan at the New York Institute of Technology.
June 10 and 11 Performances at the Spanish Repertory Theater. NY, NY.
April 9- Benefit Performance hosted by Brian Lehrer at New York Society for Ethical Culture, to support EarSay’s Transforming Trauma Into Art Youth program for immigrant teenagers. Performances by Judith Sloan, Carl Hancock Rux, Universes, Warren Lehrer, honoring Deb Margolin and Ninotchka Rosca.
March 26 and April 6- Crossing the BLVD exhibition closes at Ohio State University, Urban Arts Space, and Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers University, Newark NJ.
March 19: Judith Sloan and EarSay team for Transforming Trauma Into Art at CCNY Immigration and Education Conference. Panel with Judith Sloan, Robert Winn, Jen Blier, and Percy Lujan.
March 3: Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan at SUNY Oswego. Sneak preview of Crossing the BLVD exhibition and workshops schedules for fall 2011. As part of campus-wide Telling Tales project.
February 14: Opening of selected images of Crossing the BLVD, at Rutgers University, Paul Robeson Galleries, Gallery talk with Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan.
February 11 and 12: Crossing the Cultural Divide. Performance featuring Parul Shah, NYCSubway Girl, and Aronic at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Curated and hosted by Judith Sloan.
January 28 and 29: Judith Sloan performance at Ohio State University, Urban Arts Center opening and reception for Crossing the BLVD traveling exhibition. Saturday Jan 29: Sloan conducted workshop on storytelling and art of the interview.
January 24: Warren Lehrer – guest lecture, The Visual Literature of Warren Lehrer, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
December 1 and 2: Judith Sloan, performance of Yo Miss! at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center
October 22 and 23: Warren Lehrer lectures and presents at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
October 14: Judith Sloan Crossing the BLVD presentation at New York Foundation for the Arts panel on Art, Social Justice, and Engaging Immigrant Communities.
October 3: Judith Sloan Crossing the BLVD presentation at The Ethical Culture Society of Westchester, NY
Sept. 29: Crossing the BLVD/Crossing the Cultural Divide, Performance with Judith Sloan, Lemon Andersen, Mahina Movement, AKIR, Hasan Salaam, Elise Knudson. LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, LIC Queens, NY.
July 12: Judith Sloan performs Crossing the BLVD at New York Institute of Technology
July 11: Judith Sloan, keynote speaker at New York Society for Ethical Culture
April 30: Work-in-progress of Judith Sloan’s Yo Miss! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide Vol 1, Nuyorican Poets Café. Directed by Michael Dinwiddie, Music Director Frank London.
April 16 and 23: Crossing the BLVD performance at Nuyorican Poets Café
April 7: Warren Lehrer, Keynote Speaker, The Morristown and Morris Township Library’s Third Annual Book Arts Series
March 25th: Judith Sloan on panel for Full Spectrum series, The Griots, Powerhouse Arena Books.
March 4, 5, 6: Work-in-progress of Judith Sloan’s Yo Miss! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide, Vol. 1, Nuyorican Poets Café. Directed by Michael Dinwiddie, Music Director Frank London.
February 23: Crossing the Cultural Divide, dialogue on prison and art with Anthony Papa and Immortal Technique. International High School at LaGuardia Community College.
February 8: Warren Lehrer – guest lecture, The Visual Literature of Warren Lehrer, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
January 11: Judith Sloan’s documentary on Immortal Technique aired on WGBH/BBC/PRI’s THE WORLD, host Marco Werman. Click here: From Harlem to Kabul
December 6: Crossing the Cultural Divide event at Nuyorican Poets Café NYC with Kahlil Almustafa, Judith Sloan, Chenits Pettigrew, Warren Lehrer, Vanessa Hidary and more.
November 13: Warren Lehrer Guest Lecture, College of Arts and Humanities, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah
Warren Lehrer, 2009-2010 The Dean W. and Carol W. Hurst Artist/Scholar in Residence, College of Arts and Humanities, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah
October 24: Judith Sloan, work-in-progress Yo Miss! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide, Vol. 1, Hudson Opera House, Hudson, NY
October 12 through November 22: Crossing the BLVD Exhibition, Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah.
October 1-3: Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan present lectures and conduct workshops, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
October 2: Judith Sloan performs Crossing the BLVD. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
September 28: Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan, Featured Speakers, I and Thou: The Book as Community: The 15th Annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposium, Rutgers University
September 15: EarSay benefit with guest artists including Frank London, Deb Margolin, Immortal Technique, Ken White, Judith Sloan, Warren Lehrer, honoring Tony Papa, 13th Street Theatre, New York City.
September 12: Work-in-progress of Judith Sloan’s Yo Miss! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide, Vol. 1, Danny Simmons Gallery, Brooklyn NY. Directed by Michael Dinwiddie, performed live with Ken White and Luke Santy sound engineer.
August 11: Judith Sloan and Chen Lo and the Liberation Family, double bill at Bowery Poetry Club, NYC
May: Judith Sloan wins first place and first runner up in Missouri Review National Audio Competition. First Place, Dayenu written, produced and performed by Judith Sloan, music by Frank London and Judith Sloan. First Runner Up, What’s Your Status, written, produced and performed by Judith Sloan, music produced and performed by Taylor Rivelli.
April 24: Performance of Crossing the BLVD, Bennington College
April 13: Feature in New York Times on EarSay’s project with youth directed by Judith Sloan, Click to read Pain Into Performance
April 5: Crossing the BLVD/Crossing the Cultural Divide event at Queens Museum of Art, Queens NY. Multiple artists including Basya Schecter, Chenits Pettigrew, Editha Rosario, hosted by Judith Sloan.