Chy Ryan Spain


Chy Ryan Spain is a multi-disciplinary artist, performer, activist, organizer, writer, and educator originally from Philadelphia. Spain is a graduate of Swarthmore College with a degree in Education and English Literature. Since moving to Toronto in 2005, he has held positions at Parkdale Project Read as an Adult Literacy Worker, and as Youth Program Coordinator at both the Art Gallery of Ontario and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. He regularly performs with Toronto‚Äôs premiere women of colour burlesque troupe, Les Femmes Fatales, as an acrobatic pole dancer and burlesque artist under the moniker Axel Blows, and holds the inaugural title of Toronto’s Bent Beauty Supreme. In 2013, Spain was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore award along with his fellow ensemble members for their work in Of a Monstrous Child: A Gaga Musical (EcceHomo). Other select theatre credits include: pool (water) (Cue6 Productions); Small Axe (Project Humanity); The Queer Bathroom Stories (Libido Productions); The Pastor Phelps Project: A Fundamentalist Cabaret (Ecce Homo); and his original, one-man performance piece The Price of Bleach (Rhubarb, 2007).


MONOMYTHS is conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin.
The series is presented by FADO in the context of Progress.

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell‚Äôs conception of the hero‚Äôs journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons‚ÄĒboth inner and outer‚ÄĒin consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

MONOMYTHS Stage 5: Belly of the Whale
Thoroughbred by Jefferson Pinder
Performed with Ravyn/Jelani Ade-Lam Wngz, Danièle Dennis, Jasmyn Fyffe, Chy Ryan Spain

In¬†Jefferson Pinder‚Äôs¬†Thoroughbred, four performers work themselves to exhaustion running on treadmills that are remote controlled by the artist who sits at a single controller. Pinder¬†‚Äúskillfully exhumes a corpse of black captivity and subjugation of black bodies in America that started four hundred years ago and brings it into the foreground into our present day experience.‚ÄĚ (Fo Wilson,¬†The Evidence of Things Not Seen)

American artist Jefferson Pinder works in video, installation, and performance. His work explores the tangle of representations and misrepresentations, visual tropes, and myths‚ÄĒoften referencing historical events and invoking cultural symbolism. His work portrays the black body both frenetically and through drudgery in order to convey relevant cultural experiences.¬†

SummerWorks, in partnership with¬†The Theatre Centre¬†and a roster of Toronto theatre and performance organizations/presenters and companies including¬†Aluna Theatre,¬†Dancemakers, FADO Performance Art Centre,¬†Summerworks,¬†The Theatre Centre¬†and¬†Volcano Theatre¬†brings the world to Toronto with¬†Progress, an international festival of performance and ideas¬†from January 14‚ÄďFebruary 7, 2016.

Performance Yellow

This fragrance opens us to the question, has the show started? It's winter, the theatre is colder than the street and the room is filled with people and all their winter smells: wet faux leather, down, too much shampoo, and beer breath. The atmosphere is a trickster. Am I late, am I early?

Top Notes

yellow mandarin, mimosa

Middle Notes

honey, chamomile, salt

Base Notes

narcissus, guaiac wood, piss, beer