Evalyn Parry is a queer Canadian performance-maker and theatrical innovator whose unique work as a creator/performer, musician and director is inspired by intersections of history, social and ecological justice, and personal narratives. Through her deeply collaborative practice, Parry has built a singular body of work across disciplines of theatre, music and literary performance.
Parry’s acclaimed, genre-defying works have toured nationally and internationally. Notable productions include Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools (co-created with Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Erin Brubacher, Elysha Poirier, with Cris Derksen), presented at The Edinburgh International Festival; Cervantino Festival, Mexico and Luminato Festival, and awarded the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, as well as Outstanding Sound Design/Composition. SPIN, Parry’s musical exploration of the feminist history of the bicycle, has toured for a decade in Canada and the USA; it is currently in pre-production for a film adaptation, with support from the Canada Council Digital Now program. Other notable productions include The Dialysis Project (with Leah Lewis and Robert Chafe, Resource Centre for the Arts Newfoundland); Gertrude and Alice (with Anna Chatterton and Karin Randoja, Independent Aunties / Buddies in Bad Times Theatre; shortlisted for Governor General’s Literary Award); The Youth/ Elders Project (Buddies); Obaaberima by Tawiah M’Carthy (Buddies; Dora Award for Outstanding Production); Breakfast (Independent Aunties/Theatre Centre).
From 2015 to 2020, she served as the Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto, the world’s largest and longest running queer theatre company and a leader in Canadian contemporary performance creation. Her tenure at Buddies was defined by socially relevant, inclusive and boundary-pushing mainstage programming and curation; an industry-leading, intergenerational queer community project, and bringing Buddies productions to the international stage.
She is a founding member of the acclaimed feminist collective Independent Aunties, with whom she has co-authored and performed six plays, including the recent Gertrude and Alice, Breakfast, and their award-winning festival favourite Clean Irene & Dirty Maxine.
In addition to her theatre work, Parry has produced six albums of music and poetry, working with many of Canada’s finest roots musicians and producers, and has toured folk festivals, clubs and campuses around the country. She has been the recipient of The Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, the KM Hunter Award for Theatre, and the Ken McDougall Award for Directing. She has been nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award, The John Hirsch Prize for Directing, a Canadian Folk Music Award, and the KM Hunter Award for Music.
Currently pursuing graduate work in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University in Katarokwi / Kingston, Evalyn’s research explores the connection between creative practice, arts leadership, and decolonial futures.