“A gift for humor—both broad and subtle—Binder captivates.”
— Publishers Weekly
Mark Binder* is the Audie Award nominated author of more than two dozen books and audiobooks for children, families and adults. He has performed in parking lots and basements, in theaters, at festivals, pubs, churches, synagogues, nightclubs and schools around the world.
His repertoire includes original and traditional folktales, stories from Izzy Abrahmson's Village Life, and what he calls "autobiographical lies."
"I specialize in diversity," he says with a smile, "I'm always amazed at the way live storytelling connects people of all ages and backgrounds."
(Scroll down for photos and longer bio…)
*Yes, that's his real name.
"a skilled writer and performer…"
– USA TODAY NETWORK
"humor, and humanity make these stories a pleasure for all ages"
– AudioFile Magazine
At Columbia University, Mark studied storytelling with Spalding Gray, mythology with T.E. Gaster, and playwrighting at the Hammerstein Center.
He got an MA in acting, writing and directing from the Trinity Rep Conservatory, and has been a student for more than 30 years with with Kari Margolis of The Adaptors.
Mark earned a third degree black belt in Aikido, the martial art for peace, and promises not to throw anyone across the room.
He once had a cat named Toaster.
No, it's not a limerick
Yes, he actually ran for the U.S. House of Representatives.
He believes in "American Values," like democracy, equality, voting, freedom of religion, and free speech.
No, he's not currently running for anything!
Audie Award Nominee Mark Binder is the author of more than two dozen books and audio books. Trained as an actor, director and playwright at the Trinity Rep Conservatory, he often tours the world as a performer, transmitting the joy of story across boundaries. His work is eclectic.
The Rogue's Island Series includes What Cheer! and The Big Blue Bugs and A Dead Politician, an Undead Clam, and an Ancient Horror. Skewed stories from The Ocean State. NOT available on Amazon. (Order copies here)
Look for The Village Life Series, written under the pen and stage name of Izzy Abrahmson. These books include The Village Feasts, Winter Blessings (nominated for the National Jewish Book Award for Family Literature), A Village Romance, and The Village Twins, Set in a mythical village on the edge of the Black Forest, these books are written for adults but can be shared with families. You don't need to be Jewish to enjoy The Village Life.
The Groston Rules is a novel about seven friends trying to graduate high school, who get caught up with bullying, climate change, and other dysfunctions. It's a modern-day reboot with high school versions of characters from The Zombie Cat and It Ate My Sister.
- THE RACE, a play about a job interview gone awry was produced in early 2021 by The Wilbury Group Theater.
- During the Covid year, Mark has recently released the live audiobook Summer 2020. This was the storytelling concert that the world-lockdown prevented from happening live. ("A lot of fun!" –Providence Journal).
- Loki Ragnarok was nominated and was a finalist for the 2019 Audie Audiobook Award for Best Original Work
- The Bed Time Story series has sold more than 80,000 copies worldwide
A writer who creates at least one new project every year, whether it’s a printed book or an audio book, an ebook or a play — Mark is constantly pushing boundaries, while keeping his diverse audiences of readers and listeners engaged.
A performer with more than twenty years of programs in theaters, festivals, schools, libraries, and community centers. Every year Mark gives more than 100 presentations across the United States and around the world and has performed live for more than 200,000 listeners. He has twice toured in Europe and is featured in the Amazon/Audible series, "Story Party Live.”
Education… At Columbia University, where he holds a BA, Mark studied mythology with T.E. Gaster and storytelling with Spalding Gray (1984). He trained with the Adaptors Movement Theater (1985-87). He earned an MA in English and Writing, Acting and Directing from Rhode Island College and the Trinity Rep Conservatory (1990). He holds a third degree black belt in Aikido, has trained in centering and internal power with Dan Hardin, and promises not to throw you across the room.
Entertaining, Inspiring, Challenging… Delightful Whether written or told, Mark’s stories are always fresh and new. Some are pure fun, while others address issues, soothe fears and inspire change. Because he has such a broad assortment of stories, books and audio, he can work from a theme or offer “Omakase” stories that suit the day and the audience. Everyone who listens or reads is transported
A Teacher and Leader Mark knows how to teach by listening and coaching, by example and assignment. His goal is to inspire students to do more and better work than they thought possible. He has taught martial arts in a dojo, “Telling Lies” at the Rhode Island School of Design, and writing and storytelling in dozens of elementary, middle and high schools for young people and adults of all ages.
Theater, Editorial, Politics and more… Mark is currently working on a new play. He is the founder of Light Publications, a fiercely independent craft publishing company. He co-created Bright Night Providence (2004-11), and founded The Real Fun Theater Company (1991-1992), the American Story Theater (2004-present) and Spoken Story Saturdays (2020). He has written and directed more than a dozen plays (1986-1999) He has worked as the editor of magazines and newspapers, written hundreds of newspaper and magazines articles, designed books, and produced award-winning books and audios. He has been programming computers since 1977, and is constantly learning and adapting to changing technology. He has twice run for political office, and came frighteningly close to winning once.
Brief Silly Bio
Mark Binder likes baking bread and twirling pizza. He loves reading and writing, swimming under water, dining well, breathing deeply, battling the forces of darkness, creating cool projects, having great adventures and telling outrageous lies about them. He lives in Providence with his wife, family and friends, and has a sneaking feeling that you’re reading this over his shoulder.
Bibliography (and more)
Books and Audio Books and Theater (oh, my)
The Village Twins - (as Izzy Abrahmson, September 2022)
What Cheer! (2022)
The Village Feasts (as Izzy Abrahmson, February 2022)
Intermission (audiobook for adults), January 2022
A Village Romance (as Izzy Abrahmson, 2021) - Storytelling World Honors Award
Winter Blessings (as Izzy Abrahmson, 2021) National Jewish Book Award Finalist! Indy Book Award Finalist!
The Race (2021) - a live theater piece subverting the Zoomscape, produced by The Wilbury Group Theatre
The Groston Rules (2020)
Summer 2020 – live audiobook (2020)
The Bark Minder Project (2018-2019)
The Zombie Cat (2017)
Loki Ragnarok (2017) – 2019 Audie Award Nominee for Best Original Work
A Dead Politician, an Undead Clam and an Ancient Horror (2016)
Transmit Joy! an awesome (audio) storybook (2016) – Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner for Audio Storytelling
Every Hero Has a Story (2015)
Cinderella Spinderella (2014) – Kickstarter Funding and 5 international ebook awards
Genies, Giants and a Walrus (2012)
Kings, Wolves, Princesses and Lions (2012)
The Buddha Who Wore Keds (2012)
Stories for Peace (2011)
A Holiday Present (audio 2010)
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night… (audio 2010)
The Bed Time Story Book (2008)
It Ate My Sister (September, 2008)
The Brothers Schlemiel (abridged, 2008, Jewish Publication Society)
Classic Stories for Boys and Girls (audio 2004) – Children’s Music Web Award, iParenting Media Award
Tall Tales, Whoppers and Lies (audio, 2003)
The Brothers Schlemiel (serialization, 1999 to 2001)
The Brothers Schlemiel from Birth to Bar Mitzvah (audio 2001)
The Everything Bedtime Story Book (2001)
Crumbs Don’t Count — The Rationalization Diet (1994)
More than 200 original short stories published in magazines, newspapers and websites including Cricket, The Forward, The Family, Bostonia, Conjure, and Pizza Today .
Awards and Grants include…
Audie Audiobook Award Nominee and Finalist for Best Original Work for Loki Ragnarok Audiobook
Finalist National Jewish Book Award for Family Literature for The Lethal Latkes
Folk Arts Fellowship, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
Storytelling World Honors Award for A Village Romance
Parents Choice Gold for Audio Storytelling Transmit Joy! Audiobook
Kickstarter funding; RISCA Project Grant, Digital Book Award Finalist, QED Award, Mom’s Choice Silver, Benjamin Franklin Silver for Cinderella Spinderella
Storytelling World Honor Award for A Hanukkah Present (audio)
Children’s Music Web Award, iParenting Media Award for Classic Stories for Boys and Girls
US Department of Education Grant to Train School Librarians
Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Literature
RI Department of Education Innovative Project Grant
Trinity Rep Conservatory Graduate (playwrighting, directing, acting)
Columbia University, BA, (playwrighting at Hammerstein Center for the Arts, storytelling, mythology)
Rhode Island College, MA (English, theater)
Adapters Movement Theater (3 years)
Aikido (20 years Sandan, Shidoin, third degree black belt/instructor )
Yoga (12 years)
Centering and Internal Power (3 years)
Live Storytelling Performances (Average 100 performances/year 2000-2020)