Evalyn Parry is an award-winning Canadian performance-maker and theatrical innovator whose 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. 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 programming and curation, an industry-leading, inter-generational queer community project, and bringing Buddies productions to the international stage.
Notable productions include Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools (co-created with Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Erin Brubacher, Elysha Poirier, with Cris Derksen), (Buddies, also presented by The Edinburgh International Festival; Teatro A Mil (Chile), Cervantino Festival (Mexico), Belfast International Festival (N.Ireland); SPIN (OutSpoke), Parry’s musical exploration of the feminist history of the bicycle, has toured for over a decade in Canada and the USA, currently in pre-production for a film adaptation (with support from the Canada Council Digital Now program); Gertrude and Alice (with Anna Chatterton and Karin Randoja, Independent Aunties / Buddies in Bad Times Theatre; shortlisted for Governor General’s Award); The Dialysis Project (with Leah Lewis and Robert Chafe, Resource Centre for the Arts Newfoundland); The Youth/ Elders Project (Buddies); Obaaberima by Tawiah M’Carthy (Buddies; Dora Award for Outstanding Production); Breakfast (Independent Aunties/Theatre Centre).
She is a founding member of the acclaimed feminist collective Independent Aunties, with whom she has co-authored and performed six plays, including Gertrude and Alice, Breakfast, and their award-winning festival favourite Clean Irene & Dirty Maxine. She has been the recipient of numerous Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the KM Hunter Award for Theatre, and the Ken McDougall Award for Directing, as well as a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and The John Hirsch Prize for Directing.
In addition to her theatre work, Parry has produced six albums of music and poetry, worked with many of Canada’s finest roots musicians and producers, and toured folk festivals, clubs and campuses around the country. She is the recipient The Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award from the Ontario Arts Council, The Beth Ferguson Award from the Ottawa Folk Festival, and nominee for a Canadian Folk Music Award, and the KM Hunter Award for Music.
She is the 2022/23 Walker Cultural Leader at Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts, and is currently pursuing graduate work in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University in Katarokwi / Kingston; her research explores the connection between creative practice, arts leadership, decolonial futures and systems change.