Actress Judith Sloan to convey immigrant experience

Actress Judith Sloan will give voice to the hopes and challenges of immigrants in her multimedia performance “Crossing the BLVD” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 14 and 15, in SUNY Oswego’s Waterman Theatre.

Judith Sloan performing
Sloan vividly portrays people she met during a documentary “world tour” of the borough of Queens, home to many recent immigrants and refugees. As she recorded their words, husband and collaborator Warren Lehrer also captured the storytellers and their surroundings on film and in photographs. Blended with a soundtrack of original music, sounds and voices, the result is a stage event that aims to open minds and reach hearts.

9/11 anniversary

“We’re privileged to present ‘Crossing the BLVD’ as Central New York observes the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The performance touches on consequences of that event that are seldom recalled,” said Mary Avrakotos, coordinator of the Artswego Performing Arts Series, many of whose offerings this year frame the theme “Telling Tales.”

Shortly after the attack on the World Trade Center, four young men smashed an Egyptian coffee shop in the Astoria section of Queens at 3 in the morning. Police apprehended the perpetrators, but the cafe owner decided not to press charges. In the owner’s voice, Judith Sloan relates events that transpired when the young men returned an hour later. Sloan’s Friday performance in Oswego is scheduled exactly 10 years after that frightening night at Habib’s Cafe.

Through perceptive vocal work and movement, Sloan brings her diverse and lively cast of characters to life. From a Filipino real estate broker to a Nigerian pentecostal prophetess, she conveys both their daunting experiences and uncommon resilience.

For tickets to either of Sloan’s performances, call 315-312-2141 or visit Parking is free on campus for those attending either performance.

Related exhibition

Sloan’s performances complement a special exhibition of Lehrer’s photographs that is currently appearing in the Tyler Art Gallery, adjacent to Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre. Audio elements of the free exhibit enable visitors to hear voices, sounds and music that draw them into this crossroads of the world in the heart of New York. The gallery will be open before each performance of “Crossing the BLVD.” Regular gallery hours are 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, through Oct. 10.

To schedule a tour of the “Crossing the BLVD” exhibition, guided by students of the SUNY Oswego School of Education, contact Michael Flanagan, assistant director of Tyler Art Gallery, at 315-312-2112.

For more information, visit or call the Artswego office at 315-312-4581. Educational resources related to “Crossing the BLVD” are available at

(Posted: Aug 31, 2011)

Tags: performing arts, none, artswego, art