Evalyn Parry

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Evalyn Parry
Occupation singer/songwriter/playwright/director
Known for spoken word/theatre/music
Website evalynparry.com

Evalyn Parry is a Canadian theatre maker and singer/songwriter. She grew up in Toronto, Ontario in the Kensington Market neighborhood. Her music combines elements of spoken word and folk.


Evalyn Parry is the daughter of David Parry, an English-born Canadian singer and theatrical director who died in 1995, and performer and author Caroline Balderston Parry. Her brother Richard Parry performs with the bands Bell Orchestre and Arcade Fire. She is married to Canadian writer Suzanne Robertson. She is a Quaker.


Steeped in the folk tradition but born to innovate, Parry’s genre-blurring work is inspired by intersections of social activism, history and autobiography, exploring themes that range from 19th century cycling heroines to bottled water, from queer identity to the quest for the Northwest Passage. Over the last decade her unique combination of music and spoken word has been presented at folk festivals, theatres & campuses internationally; she has released five CD’s of original music (with Borealis Records and her own Outspoke Productions). Parry performs solo and with a band; she is perhaps best known for her theatrical concert show SPIN, which features a bicycle played as a musical instrument (by percussionist Brad Hart), and tells the story of Annie Londonderry, first woman to ride around the world on a bike in 1895. SPIN has toured all over North America to critical acclaim.

She is the recipient of the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award (2003) and the Beth Ferguson Award for Upcoming Songwriter (Ottawa, 2001).Parry has performed at numerous music, poetry and Pride festivals across North America, including Toronto Pride Week, Hillside Festival, The Vancouver Folk Festival, North by Northeast Music and Film Conference and Festival (Toronto), (Ontario), the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), the Lincoln Center Out of Doors in New York City. Parry sometimes performs with the group Girls with Glasses, a quartet of female songwriters including Parry, Eve Goldberg, Allison Brown, and Karyn Ellis.


Parry is a theatre writer, actor, director, collaborator and educator. Her plays have been produced in Toronto at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille The Theatre Centre and others, and have toured extensively around Canada. She writes and performs with the all-female theatre company Independent Aunties (with Anna Chatterton and Karin Randoja). Parry's 2011 musical and theatrical show SPIN makes use of an electronically amplified bicycle to accompany a cycle of songs and stories that chronicle the history of women and cycling in the late 19th century. Parry is the director of the Young Creators Unit at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. She is the recipient of the 2013 KM Hunter Award for Theatre, the Ken McDougall Award for Directing (2009), In 2012, she directed Buddies' production of Tawiah M'carthy's Obaaberima, garnering a Dora Mavor Moore Award nomination for Outstanding Direction of a Play; Obaaberima was awarded the Dora for Outstanding Production.

In 2015, she succeeded Brendan Healy as artistic director of Buddies in Bad Times.[1]


  • SPIN by Evalyn Parry
  • "The Freelance Lover" by Evalyn Parry
  • Breakfast by Evalyn Parry and Anna Chatterton
  • Clean Irene and Dirty Maxine by Evalyn Parry and Anna Chatterton
  • Francis Mathilda & Tea by Evalyn Parry and Anna Chatterton
  • The Mysterious Shorts by Evalyn Parry and Anna Chatterton
  • Robbers Daughters' by Evalyn Parry and Anna Chatterton
  • Nancy Drew Without a Clue, adapted by Evalyn Parry and Anna Chatterton


  • Things that should be warnings (2001, LP)
  • Unreasonable (2003, LP)
  • Live at Lula (2006, concert DVD)
  • Small Theatres (2007, double LP)
  • SPIN (2011, LP)


  • KM Hunter Award for Theatre (2013)
  • Ken McDougall Award for Upcoming Director (2009)
  • Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award (2003)
  • Beth Ferguson Award for Upcoming Songwriter (Ottawa, 2001)


External links[edit]