“I began to feel that myself plus the bicycle equaled myself plus the world, upon whose spinning wheel we must all learn to ride, or fall into the sluiceways of oblivion and despair.”
-Frances E Willard, 1895
For the last four years, Brad Hart and I have travelled all over the continent, performing SPIN as a duet. We’ve met cyclists, music and theatre enthusiasts from Inuvik, NWT, to Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, and brought the story of the bicycle’s incredible, historic impact on women’s emancipation to some pretty far-flung places. And over the journey, the show has evolved, changed and grown up.
When I first created SPIN, I was following the dream to bring my practices as a theatre artist and as a songwriter – as well as my life-long passion for cycling – together in some unique way. With this opportunity to bring the show back to Buddies, I found myself dreaming of adding a new musical dimension to the (now well-travelled) material. And so it is with enormous excitement that we present to you the latest spin on SPIN: featuring Michael Holt’s extraordinary musical arrangements for string trio. I also want to acknowledge the immense creative contributions of Brad Hart and Don Kerr, as well as Anna Friz: these inspiring artists have had a huge impact on the show as it has evolved.
SPIN recounts the story of several 19th century adventurers and women’s rights activists for whom the bike provided a truly revolutionary form of emancipation. Today, cycling advocates in Toronto fight to make our streets more safe and equal for cyclists, while around the world, the bicycle continues its quiet revolution. It was only a year ago that Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on women riding bicycles (though they are still prohibited from using bikes as a mode of transport or taking part in competitive cycling), while in many developing countries, access to a bicycle can be a game-changer for a girl: a means to gainful employment or to getting to school, literally mobilizing her toward a better future. Tonight, a dollar from every CD and t-shirt sale will be donated to Bikes Without Borders, a great grassroots organization who are helping change lives around the world, two wheels at a time. (bikeswithoutborders.com).
Thanks you for coming tonight, and if you enjoy the show, please spread the word to your networks: with only six shows, we rely on your word of mouth to fill the theatre,
– – – – – – – – – –
SPIN is on stage now until November 23 – tickets & info are here