Bio and Media Info
“A gift for humor—both broad and subtle—Binder captivates.”
— Publishers Weekly
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 lies about them. He lives in Providence with his wife, children and friends, and has a sneaking feeling that you’re reading this over his shoulder.
*Yes, that's his real name
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.(Scroll down for more…)
Mark studied storytelling with Spalding Gray, mythology with T.E. Gaster, playwrighting at Columbia University and Trinity Rep, mime and dance with the Adaptors Movement Theater.
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.
Photos for media
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.
Beginning in the fall of 2021, under the pen and stage name of Izzy Abrahmson, he’s releasing a new series of books called “The Village Life.” These books will include The Village Twins, The Lethal Latkes (nominated for the National Jewish Book Award for Family Literature), Chiri Bim, and The Rabbi and The Caterer. 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.
Bibliography (and more)
Theater, Books and Audio Books
The Village Twins - (autumn 2021)
The Lethal Latkes - (autumn 2021)
The Race (2021) - a live theater piece subverting the Zoomscape
The Groston Rules (2020)
Summer 2020 – live audiobook (2020)
The Misadventures of Rabbi Kibbitz and Mrs. Chaipul (2019) - Storytelling World Honors Award
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)
A Hanukkah Present (2007) – Finalist National Jewish Book Award for Family Literature
A Hanukkah Present (audio 2005) – Storytelling World Honors
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 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…
Finalist National Jewish Book Award for Family Literature for The Lethal Latkes
Storytelling World Honors Award for The Rabbi and the Caterer
Audie Audiobook Award Nominee and Finalist for Best Original Work for Loki Ragnarok Audiobook
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)