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“Part theatre, part music gig, part spoken word poetry, part documentary: whatever it is, it is brilliant” Toronto Star
Written and performed | Evalyn Parry
Bicycle Percussion | Brad Hart
Director | Ruth Madoc-Jones
Production design | Beth Kates
Original Sound Design concepts | Anna Friz
Innovative, award-winning Toronto artist Evalyn Parry takes her audience on an uncommon theatrical and musical journey in Spin, her tour-de-force performance celebrating the Bicycle as muse, musical instrument and agent of social change.
Spinning a web of stories that travel from 19th century women’s emancipation to 21st century consumer culture, SPIN is inspired by the incredible true tale of Annie Londonderry, the first woman to ride around the world on a bicycle in 1895. One part documentary and another part musical activism, Parry cleverly peels back layers of history to reveal a very contemporary heart to her theme of liberation.
Parry’s co-star is a vintage bicycle. Suspended in a mechanic’s stand on stage and outfitted with electronic pickups, the bike is played by percussionist Brad Hart, who conjures an astonishing array of sounds on his ”iron horse”, creating a richly textured and utterly unique sonic accompaniment to Parry’s songs and monologues.
“…a welcome breath of fresh air….SPIN makes something beautiful out of taking your life into your own hands” Globe & Mail
“…this magnetic artist and her winning production team invest the work with such intelligence and playfulness, it’s hard not to be charmed. NOW Magazine
“the depth Parry gives to the concept of the bicycle through her script is quite staggering…an ingenious mixture of songs, monologues, video projection, and modern technology ” Torontoist
“Part spoken word performance, part rock concert, part political manifesto… completely awesome.” Mooney on Theatre
“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
“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
“a show with as much heart as it possesses design and brains.” CALGARY HERALD
The world premiere of Spin was presented by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in association with OutSpoke Productions, in March 2011, and returned for a remount at Buddies in 2014.
National tours (2012-2019) highlights include: TOLive (Toronto), High Performance Rodeo (Calgary), Prairie Theatre Exchange (Winnipeg); Northern Arts and Culture Centre (Yellowknife) and tour of Northwest Territories; The Belfry Theatre (Victoria, BC); Shadbolt Centre (Burnaby, BC); The Cultch (Vancouver); The Yukon Arts Centre (Whitehorse) The Fredericton Playhouse (NB); Imperial Theatre (Saint John, NB), The Rose Theatre (Brampton ON); The Grand Theatre (Kingston), Edgy Women (Montreal), Queer Acts (Nova Scotia),The RiverRun Centre (Guelph).
International tours (2014-2018) highlight include: The Lincoln Center for The Arts (NYC); Krannert Center for the Arts (Urbana Illinois); Walton Center for the Arts (AK); Thalian Hall (NC); Boom Arts (Portland OR); Painted Bride (Philadelphia PA).
Spin was developed and created with support from Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Banff Centre, as well as all our generous individual donors.
We gratefully acknowledge support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council for their significant tour support between 2012 and 2019.
The audio recording of SPIN (available via BandCamp) is produced by Don Kerr, Evalyn Parry and Brad Hart. It was nominated for a 2011 Canadian Folk Music Award in the “Pushing the Boundaries” category.
Upcoming Spin performances can be found in the calendar.
Thanks to generous creative contributions of the SPIN collaborators past and present: Brad Hart, Anna Friz, Ruth Madoc-Jones, CD co-producer Don Kerr, string arranger Michael Holt, string players Kathleen Kajioka, Anne Lindsay, Don Kerr, Angela Rudden, Kevin Fox and Annabelle Chvostek. For supporting the creative and technical development of SPIN, thanks to Brendan Healy, Moynan King, David Oiye, Charissa Wilcox, Shanna Miller, Michelle Ramsay, Lindsay Anne Black, Peter Zeutlin (check out his book about Annie Londonderry at annielondonderry.com) and Mary Goldiner. Thanks to PA Performing Arts for Young Audiences (PAPAYA) and Sebastienne Mundheim (White Box Theatre) for helping to envision and develop an extended, interactive experience around Spin for young audiences. Also thanks to Iner Souster, album designer Simon Farla, tshirt designer Pearl Rachinsky, “merch lady” supreme Yvonne Bambrick, booking agent Tammy Fox, my amazing wife Suzanne Robertson, and all the fans and supporters who have helped Spin get on the road.