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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.

 

Praise for SPIN

“Part theatre, part musical gig, part spoken-word poetry and part documentary… whatever it is, it is brilliant.” Toronto Star

“Spectacular” NOW Magazine

“The depth Parry gives to the concept of the bicycle through her script is quite staggering.”  Torontoist 

“Annie Londonderry’s story becomes a portal into Parry’s own life and heart and that is what gives the show such resonance.”  Calgary Sun

SPIN is polished folk performance art…the lyrics are potently lean and the arrangements, including Parry and Hart’s harmonies, are sensuously textured” Georgia Straight, Vancouver

“Inspiring and illuminating, SPIN is worth a ride regardless of your cycling credentials.” CVV Magazine, Victoria

“A breath of fresh air.”  The Globe & Mail

“Part spoken word performance, part rock concert, part political manifesto…completely awesome.” Mooney on Theatre, Toronto

 

In print

“equally funny and dangerous… this is a songwriter who takes us into uncharted waters” CBC Radio

“…Parry breathes new life into the folk tradition with her politics, passion and poetry” Penguin Eggs, Canada’s Folk, Roots and World Music Magazine

“Parry redefines political folk music…keeps you in rapt attention” Halifax Daily News

“Parry weaves a profound lyrical tapestry through each song…tackles socio-political issues with humour and intelligence” Nanaimo News, BC

“She cleverly dances the line between bottled rage…and sweet hilarity” Xtra Magazine, Toronto

“Politically informed folk-pop poetry with a wicked sense of humour” NOW Magazine

“…inventive instrumentation and imaginative arrangements enhance the theatrical spark of Parry’s verbal wit, as she builds a complex series of vignettes occupied not just by her own thoughts and preoccupations but also by lively characters, apparently the remnants of real-life encounters, acting out their own perplexing parts. Adventurous stuff.” Greg Quill, The Toronto Star

“Parry, gifted with a sharp pen, goes into the attack with wit and refined humour…without using fist- clenching slogans, because she’s always saying it with the right innuendo. Strong lyrics…she just tells it like it is” MazzMusicias, Belgium

“…Parry’s personal and political writing stands outside anyone’s shadow” EYE Magazine

“Parry is a wordsmith in the true sense of the word and the melody is the tapestry to which she stitches her craft: beautifully done.” Victory Review, Washington

“Just when we think we’ve heard all there is to hear on love or the human condition, Parry comes along to prove that original thought lives, that we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of examining both the ills of the world and its joys. Strong words? Perhaps. But no stronger than the spoken phrases Parry delivers, than the lyrics she writes.” Between the Lines, Michigan

“Blessed with a clear, nimble voice, Parry imbues her work with sharp imagery, a flair for storytelling and humorous social commentary” The Ottawa Citizen

“It’s Parry’s unique way of examining the collective emotions of the world with such a charmingly dry wit that makes her stand out, and makes her bitterness so pleasing to the palate and easy to digest.” Between the Lines, Michigan

“Evalyn captures the human experience with relevance, intensity and wit.” Beth Ferguson Award

“Parry’s theatrical approach to song writing and her clear vocals are a joy to listen to. The only warning needed here is: this music is infectious!” CBC Radio

 

Presskit for SPIN

Download Evalyn’s SPIN EPK (electronic press kit) including stage plot, tech riders, photos, study guides and posters.

 

Download photos

Click on an image to open and/or download the high-resolution version (download link bottom left corner of image or right-click and Save As).