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:
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
Sept 21, 2pm Brooklyn Book Festival Performance/Reading/Panel Brooklyn NY
Sept 26-28 NY Art Book Fair Exhibiting w/ Center for Editions/Purchase College, PS1 MoMA/NY
Sept 29 Bank Square Books Performance/Reading Mystic, CT
Nov 4 Great Small Works Spaghetti Dinner Performance/Reading Lower East Side, NYC
Nov 10 NYU, Gallatin School of Individualized Study Performance/Lecture NYC
Nov 15-19 University of Arizona, Tucson Performance/Lecture & working with creative writing & visual arts students Tucson, AZ
Dec. 1-3 Visual Studies Workshop & SUNY Brockport Performance/Reading & Workshop Rochester & Brockport NY
Jan 21-22 The University of Memphis Performance/Lecture (21st) & Judging Student Exhibition (22nd) Memphis, TN
April 2-5, 2015 University of Minnesota & Minnesota Center for Book Arts Performance/Reading & Workshop Minneapolis, MN
Stay tuned for other dates in San Francisco CA, Halifax Nova Scotia, and more – TBA
News: A LIFE IN BOOKS Wins the 2014 IPPY (Independent Publishing Awards) OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD for “Most Original Concept.”
They describe it as “mind-blowing… reality-bending… a laugh riot and a visual feast.”
IPPY Award Announcement Click to view
A LIFE IN BOOKS Wins CBAA (College Book Art Association) 2014 Exhibition Prize at their Bi-Annual Conference/Juried Exhibition.
A LIFE IN BOOKS also wins:
Next Generation Indie Book Award
National Indie Book Award
Print Magazine Regional Design Award (NYC)
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
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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