Media: Theatre Passe Muraille Presents Two Unconventional Works

May I Take Your Arm? by Alex Bulmer, Anna Camilleri, Tristan R. Whiston, Becky Gold and Katie Yealland | A Theatre Passe Muraille and Red Dress Productions Co-Production In Association with Common Boots Theatre | June 14 – June 26, 2021 | Online and by mail

Ephemeral Artifacts by Travis Knights and Brandy Leary | An ĀNANDAṀ Dancetheatre Production in Association with Theatre Passe Muraille | June 24 – June 26, 2021 | Outside of Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Avenue

When we announced our season back in the fall, we could have hardly predicted the course of this last year. The theme of our season is #NavigatingTheNow since we recognized that the unknown lay ahead. As much continues to evolve with changing times and health policies, our commitment is to continue to bring engaging works to you, our audience. 

As we look to wrap up this challenging season, our latest offerings, May I Take Your Arm? and Ephemeral Artifacts have found radical new approaches as a response to our collective isolation. We continue to explore how we can share experiences and art when having to be apart. Both of these works create intimate and engaging spaces for dialogue, empathy and connection.”

~ Marjorie Chan | Artistic Director, Theatre Passe Muraille


TORONTO, ON — May I Take Your Arm? (by Alex Bulmer, Anna Camilleri, Tristan R. Whiston, Becky Gold and Katie Yealland) is a multi-faceted digital experience which involves a mailed, tactile piece. Ephemeral Artifacts (by Travis Knights and Brandy Leary) will animate the outside of Theatre Passe Muraille’s historic building.  At the core of both of these works is the question, “Who are we to each other?”.

A hand is grabbing another person's arm. Both wearing dark clothes standing against a light blue backdrop
Image by Hoffworks

“In 2018 I moved back to Toronto, after living in the UK for 15 years. While away, I’d become completely Blind. Instead of a return to familiar landscapes and buildings, I came back to a void – endless space. Without sight, new territory has no here versus there no this versus that.

[May I take your arm?] – a question I asked several people living in my new Toronto neighborhood, is an attempt to understand where in the world I had landed – to turn space into place into home.”

~ Alex Bulmer | May I Take Your Arm?

This iteration of May I Take Your Arm? has been re-imagined into a 7-part multidisciplinary follow-at-home experience. A purpose built website (designed by Wy Joung Kou), will act as a navigation map for audiences to experience the work  in their own homes, in their own time and pace. 

One feature of the show includes a series of limited edition accordion books designed by Anna Camilleri, hand-made using stitch work, paper weaving and cutting, and wild crafted botanical dyes. These limited-edition books, which will be mailed, are a tactile accompaniment to experience the show. A number of the books will be reserved to prioritize access for low-vision and Blind community members.

Four vertical images next to eachother capture dancer Travis Knights mid-dance
Images by Robert Kingsbury

Ephemeral Artifacts is a repertoire work by Anandam Dancetheatre. In this iteration by Travis Knights and Brandy Leary, the Theatre Passe Muraille building will turn into an outdoor installation, illuminated every night from June 24-26.

During this time of a global pandemic, artists behind Ephemeral Artifacts have created an installation to remind us of our collectivity, complex narratives, and human connection — integrating 4 channel video, light, and sound. The building of Theatre Passe Muraille will come alive with sound and movement as Tap Dancer, Travis Knights, channels rhythms passed down from those who came before him. Ephemeral Artifacts is a reflection on those we lost, and an act of re-membering them in a way that acknowledges the indelible marks they left behind.

“This iteration is not a pivot or a consolation. This is a richly collaborative experience that grounds us in the knowledge that we are here together. Even though it can feel like a snap in the rhythm of time, we take up the responsibility to pass along the unsayable treasures that engage directly with our existence, our practice and our relationship to each other”

~ Travis Knights | Co-creator, Ephemeral Artifacts

Travis Knights was introduced to the rich oral tradition of Tap at age 10 by his teacher Ethel Bruneau. Exploring the indelible connection of jazz and tap carried through Black bodies, Knights pursues rhythmic specificity with his signature style through a projected installation while he challenges the status quo.

New forms of spectatorship require innovative restructurings for presentation. This is Ephemeral Artifact’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From durational gallery installation, to in-person show, to this new edition presented here at TPM, Ephemeral Artifacts is a continuing evolving work, insisting on relevancy as we navigate our current times. 

PLEASE NOTE: Ephemeral Artifacts is an installation to be viewed outside. We strongly encourage spectators to keep safe distances and follow public health & safety protocols as dictated by the province.

Ephemeral Artifacts installation will be on June 24-26. For full credits and information, please visit the TPM website here. This is an outdoor installation, therefore there are no tickets or registration required to view it.  

May I Take Your Arm? Books are on sale now. For full credits, and show information, please visit the TPM website here. Access to the online experience is FREE.

Ticket Information

Access to both projects  are free and do not require a ticket. A limited number of 150 handmade May I Take Your Arm? tactile books, designed by Anna Camilleri, are available for a Pay-What-You-Can-Afford (PWYC) price of $5, $25 and $50.

We will reserve an additional portion of the books to prioritize access for low-vision and Blind audience members. Please contact Community Engagement Coordinator, Angela Sun at angelas@passemuraille.on.ca to inquire.

COVID-19 Protocols

We are operating with the utmost caution and with the best health and safety knowledge we currently have in order to bring theatre to our audiences.  We have a set of safety protocols based on Public Health guidelines. Safety measures and health protocols, including masks, social distancing, and sanitation measures, are fully in effect and updated as precautions for COVID-19 evolve and change. 

Ephemeral Artifacts is an installation to be viewed outside. We strongly encourage spectators to keep safe distances and follow public health & safety protocols as dictated by the province.

Visit our COVID-19 Protocols page for more information.



ASL Deaf Interpretation is available for Ephemeral Artifacts via the audience’s smartphones. The installation will be accessible to Deaf audiences thanks to the Arts Response Initiative from the Ontario Arts Council. 

May I Take Your Arm? aims to expand the possibilities of how we experience and access art in our communities. The piece will be presented in a variety of formats online, in addition to the following access options: captioning, text transcripts, audio recordings, and a Visual Story to guide you through the experience. A number of handmade accordion books will be reserved for Blind and low-vision community members. 

If the price of the accordion book is a barrier to you or someone you know, please contact the Community Engagement Coordinator, Angela Sun, at angelas@passemuraille.on.ca and we will cover the cost free-of-charge (while supplies last).

Other Access Initiatives are made possible with the support of TD Bank Group.

About Red Dress Productions

Founded in 2005, Red Dress Productions creates and presents interdisciplinary performance and public artworks that embed social engagement and collaborative artistic practices atop a scaffold of community partnerships.

About Anandam Dancetheatre

ĀNANDAṀ creates and presents dance shaped by values of presence and collective inquiry; inclusive of diverse bodies and movement practices; and receptive to a multitude of viewpoints on the dancing body. Our aesthetics and ethics are cultivated through curiosity, intimacy, and responsiveness. 

About Theatre Passe Muraille

Founded in 1968, TPM is Canada’s original alternative theatre company, currently developing and producing new Canadian plays. TPM is striving to articulate a distinct Canadian voice that reflects the complexity of our intercultural society. TPM believes there should be a more diverse representation of artists, audience members, and stories in our theatre. TPM aspires to be a leader locally, nationally and internationally in establishing, promoting, and embracing collaborative and inclusive theatre practices. We do this so that we can support and ignite the voices of unique artists, communities and audiences.

Media Contact

Emily Jung | Interim Marketing & Communications Manager | e: emilyj@passemuraille.on.ca | p: 416-504-8988 ext. 2172

Social Media

TPM: www.passemuraille.ca | Instagram & Twitter @beyondwallsTPM | Facebook

Red Dress Productions: reddressproductions.org | Instagram @rdpmakesart| Facebook

ĀNANDAṀ: anandam.ca | Instagram & Twitter @anandamdance | Facebook

Season Sponsor: TD Bank Group

Originally created in 2018 as a live, interactive, performance installation, May I Take Your Arm? has been re-imagined into a 7-part multidisciplinary follow-at-home experience — including a handmade, tactile accordion book, designed by artist Anna Camilleri. 

Ephemeral Artifacts is a repertoire work by Anandam Dancetheatre. In this iteration by Travis Knights and Brandy Leary, the Theatre Passe Muraille building will turn into an outdoor installation, illuminated every night from June 24-26.

Handmade books for May I Take Your Arm? is on sale now.

A limited edition series of 200 handmade pocket accordion books are similar by design and different by dimension and material application.

From Anna Camilleri

Techniques include | Paper cutting and decoupage | Paper and thread weaving, wrapping, and stitching | Botanical dyeing  (I gathered Black Walnut and Sumac from the Don River watershed to produce botanical dye extractions “fixed” with salt and vinegar  Dyed papers have an earthy and faintly acidic scent.) | Embedded foraged botanical elements (Silver Birch and Grey Birch bark, Eastern White Pine needles, Tansy, and Rosehip).

From the artist | I’m grateful to Katie Yealland, Annanda DeSilva, Sierra Sun, and Rhekia Fahssi for bookmaking production assistance.  

TPM’s 20.21 Season is sponsored by TD Ready Commitment. The season is also supported by Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Hal Jackman Foundation, The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Martin Atkinson Foundation at Toronto Foundation and Metcalfe Foundation