An interdependent, multidisciplinary experience, Blind artist Alex Bulmer takes the arm of people in her new neighbourhood. Together, they walk, listen, and share stories – an architecture of place emerges through multi-sensory moving-portraits that consider the past, illuminate the present, and evoke possible futures.
Originally created in 2018 as a live, interactive, performance, May I Take Your Arm? was re-imagined in 2020 as a livestream presentation for Spider Web Performance’s Festival of Live Digital Art, and reimagined again in 2021 as a mainstage 7-part multidisciplinary follow-at-home experience co-produced by Theatre Passe Muraille and ReDefine Arts. A purpose built website acted as a navigation map for audiences to experience the work in their own homes, in their own time and pace. Additional features of the show included a series of 200 limited-edition accordion books designed by Anna Camilleri that were mailed as a tactile accompaniment to experience the show, as well as multiple synchronous listening stage events.
Currently, May I Take Your Arm? co-creators Alex Bulmer, Anna Camilleri and Tristan R. Whiston are working with STEPS to develop a placemaking project that focuses on accessibility, examining how art can promote inclusion and enhance accessibility in public spaces. By adapting the "May I Take Your Arm?" project model within The Bloor Annex BIA in Toronto, Bulmer, Camilleri and Whiston are collaborating to create recorded walks/talks, publicly accessible audio compositions, an exterior tactile map, and public engagement events.
May I Take Your Arm? presentations include FOLDA (Festival of Live Digital Art) livestream (2020), Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Kingston, ON (2019), Theatre and Accessibility in a Digital World Symposium, BMO Theatre, Vancouver (2019), Cahoots Theatre, Toronto, ON (2018), and Festival of Original Theatre, Equity and Diversity in Performance, University of Toronto (2019). May I Take Your Arm? was part of the National Arts Centre’s English Theatre Collaborations Unit (2019) and elements from May I Take Your Arm? were presented by Theatre Passe Muraille’s Beyond Walls program (2021).