Genre: Comedy, Drama
©photo/design Jim Flynn/David L   |   View Gallery
written & directed by Dr ML Godin

Voilà, enlightenment’s blind side! Set in eighteenth-century Paris, The history of Braille begins at a sideshow spectacle and ends with revolution. Hear intimate stories of triumph and degradation embedded in sound and visionscapes. Think Ken Burns on hallucinogenic steroids!


Godin has shamelessly named The Spectator & the Blind Man after her 2009 dissertation, which you can find at Google Books. This then is a research project running off the rails! In the history of the education of the blind there are moments and characters that do not fit neatly into the dry and straightforward narratives of progress and enlightenment. Godin decided to investigate these little stories. The result is a dark and humorous work of speculative fiction with a steampunk aesthetic. It is informed as much by research as by the degenerative eye disease that has slowly taken her sight.

“We all play in history blindly,” she says with a wink. “I have been thinking about these stories for a long long time, and am thrilled to have them brought to life by such an amazing team of artists, academics and performers!”


Bill Chambers, Gregory Levine, Leslie Goshko, Cathryn Lynne, Dan Rose, Bryan Harris & Dr ML Godin

Featuring original art & curated projections by:

Nellie King Solomon, Todd Jackson, Nicole Simpson, David Lowe and Caroline Kasnakian

About the Company: Horse Trade Theater Group

HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP is a self-sustaining theater development group; with a focus on new work that has produced a massive quantity of stimulating downtown theater. Horse Trade’s Resident Artist Program offers a home to a select group of Independent theater artists, pooling together a great deal of talent and energy. It is also the home of FRIGID New York – the first and only festival of its kind in New York City. In 2011 Horse Trade received the New York Innovative Theatre Ellen Stewart Stewardship Award for demonstrating a significant contribution to the Off-Off-Broadway community through service, support and leadership. 

Open:   02/21/13
Close:   03/02/13

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Opening in the 2013 FRIGID New York Festival!
February 20th -March 3rd, 2013.
Show Dates & Times:
Thursday Feb 21, 8:40pm
Sunday Feb 24, 12:30pm
Monday Feb 25, 10:15pm
Wednesday Feb 27, 10:15pm
Saturday Mar 2, 8:25pm
Tickets: $5-$13 212-868-4444
At The Kraine Theater 85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery NYC

Theater:   Kraine Theater
Address:   85 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003
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Take the F or V train to 2nd Avenue

Cost:$5-$13 (discounts for students, seniors, disabled)
Buy Tickets Online or Call: SmartTix at 212-868-4444
Company: FRIGID New York @ Horse Trade         Official Web Site:

Dr ML Godin (writer, director) is a writer and performer whose autobiographical treatment of Helen Keller's time on vaudeville called The Star of Happiness is proud to be one of Horse Trade’s touring shows. She received her Ph.D. in early modern literature from NYU’s English department in January 2009 and has taught many classes on poetry, literature, and the great books of Western Civilization!? When she is not teaching and writing she performs at comedy, storytelling, and variety shows such as Tell Your Friends, The Liar Show and Alter Ego. She is a proud winner of the Moth Story Slam and the faithful sidekick of Sideshow Goshko! The Spectator & the Blind Man is Godin’s first ensemble piece and her debut as a director. For more on Godin, her handsome Igor Guidedog and her audio project Set in Sound: www.michelleleonagodin

Bill Chambers (Unknown blind man) is a musician, actor, and comedian from Brooklyn. His acting credits include:

Music videos for the bands Mercury Rev and Straylight Run

"Jason Hookman" in the 2012 play A Wendy Story (directed by Natalie Underwood)

A recurring role based on himself in a series of productions written and directed by Jonny Cigar, including Kammerspiel! and The Traveling Saloon.

Additionally, he is a former member of the critically acclaimed DIY punk bands Celebrity Roast and Hail Mary.

Currently, he is the bass player in NYC-based band Downward Dogs.

His hobbies include writing flippant, dismissive blurbs about himself for playbills all over the city.

Gregory Levine (Valentin Haüy) is complex, swashbuckling and boyishly raffish. He created, writes and performs as Weimar-esque Vaudevillian nightclub entertainer/storyteller Gregor of Berlin, most recently winning (by audience vote) the miniFRIDGE Theater Festival Contest and securing his own show, "Nietzsche, Whores and Knock-Knock Jokes," in the 2013 Festival. He co-produced, co-wrote and co-hosted with M. Leona Godin the massive variety/cabaret "Lord Gregory and Mademoiselle Godin's MiniXmas Spectacular" for Horse Trade's 2012 miniFRIDGE Theater Festival. Gregory directs the monthly news-and-politics comedy show, "The Skinny with Peter DeGiglio."

Cathryn Lynne (Marie Antoinette) is an actor, singer, dancer, freelance photographer, fitness instructor, and Irish Shikse Goddess. Originally from California she has lived in NYC for 10 years. Often seen photographing her fellow performers, she specializes in head shots, performance, and portraiture. A lover of original works, she produced her first one woman show Cathryn Lynne - 30 Year Love Story in 2011. She is thrilled to be a part of The Spectator & the Blind Man. For more info on her upcoming shenanigans check out

Leslie Goshko (Maria Theresia von Paradis)is the host and creator of the monthly storytelling series, Sideshow Goshko, which has been hailed as a Time Out New York "Critics' Pick" and “a well-programmed night” by The New York Times. She is a contributing blogger for the Huffington Post, a Manhattan Monologue Slam Champion, and her stories and comedy writing have been featured on Sirius XM, WNYC, New York Metro “Funny Page”, and thanks to the support of many internet voters, she performed with the cast of Hairspray on Broadway.

Dan Rose (Captain Charles Barbier) has done this and that, here and there, time and again both on and off stage, and sometimes on television, mostly not. He has no allergies to dairy, nuts, or fictional charters with pointy ears. Dan went to school for this stuff, which may not be readily apparent, though rarely practices his craft anymore, which should be screamingly obvious to all. He has come to terms with the fact that he will likely never get to play a character with pointy ears (outside the confines of his small, chilly apartment) and his non-existent career is all the better for it. Despite the tone of this bio, Dan is comfortable with his lot in life, thank you, all the same.

Bryan Harris (Louis Braille) comes from a bad place in the middle of nowhere, and has lived in New York City for almost five years. He's a long-time journalist and editor, and is the author of "The Sanctity of Marriage Handbook," (Penguin/Tarcher 2005), which makes fun of politicians who want to outlaw gay marriage. He's been a biker, a climber, an alpine mountaineer, and an online personality at He now runs a little marketing firm, writes songs, and recites Buddhist chants. His theater credits include a role as Volmer in a community theater production of M*A*S*H, from which he stole an ill-fitting Army jacket that he wore for many years. It's his sincerest hope that he can snatch something equally useful from this production.

Nellie King Solomonis a California based painter who has studied and worked professionally in both art and architecture. She holds an MFA from The California College of the Arts and studied architecture at The Cooper Union in New York City. She is currently exhibiting her large-scale paintings on Mylar nationally. She is currently represented by Brian Gross Fine Arts in San Francisco, Ochi Gallery in Sun Valley, and Melissa Morgan Fine Arts in Palm Desert. Painting shows include; San Francisco, Sun Valley, Palm Desert, Grass Valley, Chicago, Detroit, New York City and Los Angeles. Reviews and publications include; Art in America, SF Chronicle, Art Week, SF Examiner, Sac Bee, Architectural Digest, Western Interiors and Sunset.

Caroline Kasnakian and David Lowe have previously collaborated with Dr ML Godin on a series of surrealistic short films, made of a combination of fantastical masking and costuming, digital manipulations, and animations made from hand-painted pinhole photographs. A psychologist and photo archivist respectively, their imagery merges the unconscious mind with historical sources.