Media: Theatre Passe Muraille Co-Produces Speculation

Photo Credit | Dahlia Katz

Speculation by Leslie Ting 

A Theatre Passe Muraille and Leslie Ting Digital Co-Production in partnership with NUMUS  

March 17 – 20, 2021

TORONTO, ON — Speculation is a production that takes the audience through stages of grief, vision loss and silence. The music of Beethoven and John Cage and experimental projections accompany an immersive storytelling of the artist Leslie Ting’s witnessing of her mother’s vision and eventual passing.

In this digital re-imagination of Speculation, part of Theatre Passe Muraille (TPM)’s Winter Digital programming, the production has brought on experimental filmmakers Elinor Svoboda and Zachary Finkelstein to also explore “visual memory”.

For Speculation, instead of an exact blueprint for lighting and projection design, I provide the designers with descriptions of the experience of vision loss compiled from interviews, witnessing my mother lose her vision, and my professional knowledge as a former optometrist.

We talk about capturing the feeling of the vision loss, rather than a literal recreation. It’s my grassroots way of having sighted people imagine vision loss in a creative or generative context. The designers, and now filmmakers Elinor and Zack, have artistic freedom to explore this experience. Speculation has had several iterations with different lighting and projection designers to reflect the uniqueness of the experience of vision loss”.

~Leslie Ting | performer, writer and artistic director, Speculation

Speculation also features performances by collaborative pianist Hye Won Cecilia Lee and is co-directed by internationally acclaimed artists Alex Bulmer and Tristan Whiston.  

Ting also brings her unique experience as a former optometrist and now a professional violinist, by interweaving a monologue with live performances to tell this mother-daughter story of loss and listening. Further, Speculation has been created to include audiences who are Blind or have low vision. The play aims to be complete as an auditory experience. In addition to its strong aural aesthetic, the show includes a series of projections that artistically express how differing forms of vision loss affect seeing. A short Audio Description giving a summary of the visual elements of the performance will be available in advance, as well as instructions for the collective experience of John Cage’s 4’33.

“For me, Leslie’s former life as an optometrist reinforces her uniqueness as an artist. Having taken a non-traditional path to her art invariably means that her perspective and process are wholly original interpretations. In a time of much grief, Leslie’s work touches us and asks us to share in this experience together.”

~Marjorie Chan | Artistic Director, TPM

Speculation will have four digital performances, and all shows will be Relaxed Performances. ASL Interpretation will be available on March 19 & 20th by Deaf Interpreter Thurga Kanagasekarampillai with ASL Interpreters Marcia Adolphe and Scout Huston. 

For full credits, artist bio and further information, please visit the theatre passe muraille website here.

Visual Description available here | Video by Hoffworks


Tickets are on sale now at TPM’s Pay-What-You-Can-Afford (PWYCA) model offers single tickets at different price points. The ticket prices this season are: $5, $25, and $50. All tickets are the same.

In order to remove barriers in our pricing, we are offering three price points so that a wide range of audiences are able to attend our 20.21 Season. We encourage audiences to make their own choices about what they can afford in order to experience theatre. Those purchasing at the $50 price point will do so with the understanding that their ticket price is helping to subsidize the $5 ticket price, and in doing so, making theatre more accessible for others. 

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, which are informing our capacity and ability to have artists safely in our space to bring you digital work in your homes. 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. Please see our website or contact us for details. 


All performance in the run will be Relaxed Performances and ASL interpretation will be provided on March 19 & 20. 

Relaxed Performances are designed to welcome audience members and their families who could benefit from a more relaxed environment, including those who are neurodiverse and Autistic patrons. The digital set-up includes: access to a visual story for the play which includes clear instructions on accessing the performance link, a pre-show introduction to the play, the ability to access the performance for 36 hours after the performance, a digital Front of House Manager to provide answers to any questions via phone, email, or in the chat. A zoom meeting after the show where you can talk with an active listener. 

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreted Performances are available for Deaf or hard-of-hearing audiences. ASL interpretation provided by Deaf interpreter and Community Consultant Thurga Kanagasekarampillai with ASL Interpreters Marcia Adolphe and Scout Huston. 

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

The Prelude

The Prelude is a series of free community events that precedes each show in our season that provide context, another perspective, or a deeper look into the themes of our productions. 

Saturday February 20th at 2 PM EST (11 AM PT) over Zoom, we welcome acclaimed author Ryan Knighton. Author of the Stephen Leacock Medal-shortlisted memoir, Cockeyed, and C’mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark, Ryan Knighton will be in conversation with TPM Board Member and Accessibility Specialist Darren Cooper on his journey as a writer, what it’s like to write about your own life, and why you should never forcibly grab a Blind person by the elbow during a global pandemic.

The event will be a primarily auditory event to improve accessibility for patrons at all levels of sight and/or living with Blindness. There will be Zoom auto captioning available with ASL-interpretation TBA. Registration through our box office.

About TPM

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: | p: 416-504-8988 ext. 2172|Instagram & Twitter @beyondwallsTPM | Facebook

Season Sponsor:

TD Bank Group

Get your tickets

Speculation by Leslie Ting, a Theatre Passe Muraille and Leslie Ting Co-Production in partnership with NUMUS

March 17-20, 7:30pm

In Speculation, Leslie Ting, a former optometrist and now a professional violinist, presents a re-imagining of this theatrical concert, taking the audience through witnessing her mother’s loss of vision, and eventual passing. Created through projections and music from both Beethoven & John Cage, this new online experience features experimental film and a collective performance of Cage’s 4’33”.

Click here to buy tickets for Speculation. Visual Description: Yellow graphic with performer playing a violin
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. This show is supported by Seteinway Piano Gallery Toronto

This production is also supported by The Ihnatowcyz Family Foundation and W. Michael Than