APH Press Release
APH Bards and Storytellers: Playwright Leona Godin
Louisville, KY (August 27, 2014) – The Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), located at 1839 Frankfort Avenue, will feature a presentation by Dr. Michelle-Leona Godin, a New York-based playwright and performer on September 13 from 10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. Reservations are requested by September 12.
Godin, who has been totally blind since age 30, has written and directed plays focusing on Helen Keller and on the early history of education for the blind.
Godin’s first play, The Star of Happiness, an autobiographical treatment of Helen Keller’s time on vaudeville, was on tour for the spring of 2013, after finishing two runs at Horse Trade’s Klade Theater.
Her newest play, The Spectator and the Blind Man: Stories of Seeing and Not Seeing, was recently performed at New York’s Frigid Festival. Based on the dissertation she wrote while completing her doctorate in 18th century English Literature at New York University, The Spectator and the Blind Man tells the story of the invention of Braille during France’s Age of Enlightenment. The play is a series of monologues from characters Marie Antoinette, Louis Braille, Maria Theresia von Paradis, the Cyclops, Charles Barbier, and Valentin Hauy, who each share their stories of seeing and not seeing.
Godin is a regular adjunct and occasional faculty at New York University. When she is not teaching and writing she performs at comedy, storytelling, and variety shows in downtown Manhattan and beyond. She appeared at the Nuyorican with KickAssonance and the 92Y Tribeca with Sideshow Goshko. She has also performed on The Moth Main Stage, and at Tell Your Friends, The Liar Show, and at many music venues around the city, both with her former band Gutter & Spine and currently as a solo act, which she describes as “An Avant-Accordion Brain Smash!” She recently finished an album of poetry set in sound entitled From Homer to ME: a quazi-poetic, neo-prophetic cabaret about sex, drugs and the great books of the Western Canon.
Godin will talk about the personal events and forces which have shaped her career, and will perform excerpts from her plays.
This program, as part of APH’s “Bards and Storytellers” annual arts, folklore, and performance series, celebrates the historical traditions of entertainers with vision loss.
About the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind
The Museum, where visitors experience hands-on history, is open Monday through Saturday. It is located on the second floor of the American Printing House for the Blind, 1839 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky. Admission is free. Regular hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. Visitors can write in braille, see the first book embossed for blind readers, see a piano used by Stevie Wonder when he was a student at Michigan School for the Blind, play a computer game designed for blind students, and much more. More information at www.aph.org/museum or call (502) 895-2405, ext. 365, weekdays.
About the American Printing House for the Blind
The American Printing House for the Blind, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the world’s largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students in the U.S. who are working at less than college level.
APH manufactures textbooks and magazines in braille, large print, recorded, and digital formats. APH also manufactures hundreds of educational, recreational, and daily living products. APH’s fully-accessible web site (www.aph.org) features information about APH products and services, online ordering of products, and free information on a wide variety of blindness-related topics.
The American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. is located at 1839 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, call (502) 895-2405 or log on to www.aph.org.