Ryan Kerr is TTOK’s founder and Artistic Director. In the nine years TTOK has been open, the space has become Peterborough’s hub for new and risk-taking performance creation. With Ryan at the helm, TTOK artists have originated over 30 world premieres for cutting-edge theatre and dance productions, 3 month-long interdisciplinary festivals, 5 original series, premieres for award-winning films, productions toured to Toronto, Chicago, Montreal, and across Canada – all while delivering experiential learning in theatre tech, direction, design, and performance to youth and emerging artists. Ryan has overseen over 400 productions and events, and has trained several new technical personnel in the process. Ryan began an annual Playwright’s Festival, bringing over a half a dozen brand new scripts to production and presentation. He also began an annual dance festival, “small dance for a small space,” which has seen over twenty new pieces of choreography created and presented. Ryan is a co-founder of Peterborough Dance Works, dedicated to developing and extending regional contemporary dance. He was also technical director of Public Energy for over a decade. He is the alumni representative on the board of Theatre Trent.
In 2008 Ryan founded Fleshy Thud, a performance production company bringing a number of independent artists together over several projects, including multidisciplinary festivals A Certain Place: the Bernie Martin Festival; and three Precarious Festivals, where over 50 artists created new art works intertwined with mentorships, panels, workshops, and non-arts community partnerships. Over the past 15 years Ryan is has choreographed several full-length and many shorter-length contemporary dance works, and directed countless experimental theatre productions.
In 2019, Ryan’s work in the community was recognized when he was awarded the Peterborough Arts Award for Outstanding Arts Catalyst.
Ryan was introduced to theatre in high school where he went on to win awards in the Sears Drama Festival. Moving to Peterborough in 1992, he won the Union Theatre’s First Playwright Competition. Ryan was introduced to dance/movement at the age of 24. He has created or co-created many dance works, many of which have been performed at Public Energy’s Emergency Festival and Toronto’s Ffida. He has also been commissioned as a playwright by local theatre companies including 4th Line Theatre and Arbor.