June 12 @ 7:30PM EDT (8:30PM ADT / 5:30PM MDT / 4:30PM PDT)
May I Take Your Arm? (MITYA) – created by Alex Bulmer, Anna Camilleri, and Tristan Whiston – emerged from audio-recorded walks between blind performer Bulmer and strangers who provided sighted guide in a downtown neighbourhood in Toronto; it evolved into a theatre piece that integrates live performance, immersive audio, live video, tactile installation, and audience interaction. And now, May I Take Your Arm is reimagined and remixed as an online performance during a global pandemic when we are not, pointedly, taking each other’s arms.
”May I Take Your Arm? was born from a need to understand where I am — a need to turn space into place, into home.”
In April 2018, I moved into a Toronto apartment in the east end. I knew little about the area, the neighbours, the local history. Although I had spent nearly 16 years in the city between 1988 and 2004, when I left Toronto, the city for me had started at Dufferin St. and ended at Church St.
Throughout that space and that time, I transitioned from living sighted to living blind.
On my return to Toronto, I struggled to reconnect to this place I once called home. It felt more like an undefined space of noise to push through, rather than an actual place, a landscape to encounter, with people to relate to and understand.
I walked with people from the local community, mostly people I’d never met before. We shared stories, memories, and descriptions of what we encountered together and how we engaged with place and home. The way we ‘saw’ our world was forever changed.
— Alex Bulmer
Producer: Red Dress Productions
Co-Creators: Alex Bulmer, Anna Camilleri, and Tristan R Whiston
Performer: Alex Bulmer
Sound Editor and Dramaturge: Tristan R Whiston
Environment Designer and Maker: Anna Camilleri
Live Video Animation: Katie Yealland
Storytellers: Henry Campos, Trisha Lamie, Silvia Marques, Benton McKnight, Vikesh Mehta, Zahra Naqvi, Dwayne Shaw, and Ronnie Thompson