Acclaimed theatre artist and long-time Buddies collaborator Evalyn Parry has been named the new artistic director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the Buddies board of directors announced today.
“Evalyn Parry has a long and stellar history with Buddies and brings that institutional knowledge,” said Mary Breen, Buddies board member and chair of the hiring committee. “She also offers a fresh and exciting artistic vision, and a powerful commitment to social justice and diversity.”
Parry is a queer, feminist theatre maker with over 20 years experience as a freelance creator/performer, director, collaborator, independent producer, and arts educator. Her work has been nominated for multiple Dora Awards and she is the recipient of both the Ken MacDougal Award and the KM Hunter Award for Theatre.
For over a decade, Parry has been a regular fixture at Buddies as a performer, director, and collaborator. Her critically acclaimed show SPIN, which premiered at Buddies in 2011, recently returned to the Buddies stage following a multi-year tour to cities across North America. As the head of the company’s Young Creators Unit, she has helped develop over 40 new theatrical works by young queer artists – most notably Shiasta Latif’s Graceful Rebellions, Mark Shyzer’s Fishbowl, and Tawiah M’carthy’s Obaaberima (Dora Award for Outstanding Production).
Toronto audiences will also know Evalyn for her work with the iconic theatre collective The Independent Aunties, whose work includes the Dora-nominated Breakfast and the multiple award winning Clean Irene and Dirty Maxine. Her latest work with The Independent Aunties, Gertrude and Alice, will premiere in March 2016 as part of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s 2015-16 Season.
“I am thrilled to take the reins of this groundbreaking company which has played such a significant role in my own development as a queer artist.” says Parry “Buddies’ mandate and mission couldn’t be more closely aligned with my own values; I look forward to continuing to create boundary-pushing theatre on our stages with an even greater diversity of queer voices and perspectives.”
Parry will begin her full time tenure at the company this fall. Former Artistic Director Brendan Healy programmed the 2015-16 Season and is currently directing The 20th of November, which opens at Buddies September 18. She will take on joint leadership role with General Manager Shawn Daudlin, who has worked at Buddies for over fifteen years.
Parry was selected from a group of over 20 applicants from across Canada following an extensive interview process that involved the Buddies Board of Directors, senior management, and members of the community. The hiring committee was chaired by board member Mary Breen and included representatives from the board of directors as well as esteemed theatre artists Bea Pizano and Mumbi Tindyebwa.
photo of Evalyn Parry by Alejandro Santiago