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photo shot from behind of Kate Story with her hand on a brick wall in a parking lot

Love in the Time of Covid

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created and performed by Kate Story & Ryan Kerr; music by Arvo Pärt, Lou Reed, Curtis Driedger


7:00 PM

LOCATION: The parking lot behind The Theatre On King, 171 King St.
SHOW LENGTH: 20 mins

*Please arrive 15-20 minutes early

Photo of Kate Story by Ryan Kerr

Love in the Time of Covid plays with an idea that the forbidden is also erogenous, that love and trust are always hard, and that the aged body can love.

Kate Story revisits previously unfinished work, a duet set to the music of Arvo Pärt, reinterpreting this bizarre mating ritual for present times by expanding on themes of forbidden zones: mouths and hands. Returning to his first independent choreographic work, Ryan Kerr presents audiences with a lyrical and hopeful affirmation of connection, love, and the present. The choreography is accompanied by musician Curtis Driedger, interpreting Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day.”

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Curtis Driedger has been a presence in the Peterborough cultural scene over the past four decades, beginning with his band, the CeeDees, which he formed here in 1979. At that time there was ongoing involvement with ArtSpace productions and events, in the era of Dennis Tourbin, Marian Lewis, David Bierk and other pioneering arts greats. 

Having enjoyed considerable success in Toronto during the 80’s, Driedger moved back to the Peterborough area in the 90’s, which began a steady association with cultural activities in the area. In addition to maintaining half a dozen or so musical collectives at any given time, Driedger is continuously involved in bringing people together over music, from seniors to children. Possibly most notable is the Zippity Doo Dah Community Soul Chorus, which has enjoyed a ten year run, now in hiatus only due to Covid 19. 

Driedger has been involved in local dance productions from the beginning. Projects have included ones with Bill Coleman, Bill James, Old Men Dancing, Anne Ryan, and most frequently, with Kate Story, more recently including Ryan Kerr. A versatile instrumentalist and singer, Driedger has proved himself adaptable to almost any performative situation, and is looking forward to discovering what is next over the horizon, in these profoundly altered times.

Ryan Kerr is the owner/artistic director of a small black box theatre The Theatre on King (TTOK) in Peterborough. In the eight years TTOK has been open, it has become Peterborough’s hub for new and risk-taking performance creation and presentation, and a home for arts presentations of all kinds. TTOK supports the creation and presentation of work by regional independent artists, and provides production facilities and services dedicated to regional art production. Ryan has overseen over 500 productions and events, and has trained five new technical personnel in the process. With the opening of TTOK 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 forty new pieces of choreography created and presented. Ryan is a co-founder of Peterborough Dance Works and has been technical director of Public Energy for over a decade. He is the alumni representative on the board of Theatre Trent, and is a member of the newly-formed Peterborough Performing Arts Recovery Alliance, formed in response to the Covid crisis. 

Inspired by the idea that dance begins when words fail, Ryan founded Fleshy Thud in 2008, 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 the biennial Precarious: Peterborough ArtsWORK Festival. Ryan has created nearly twenty original dance works over the years in both theatrical and site-specific settings, working with both trained dancers and non-dance artists and community members. In addition he has worked as a dancer with Bill James, Anne Ryan, Kate Story, and many other choreographers, and has taken may workshops over the years, notably with Denise Fujiwara (Butoh) and Kaeja Dance (elevations). His most recent dance works include Dazzle Ships (2016) and Big Science (2019).

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 and 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.

Kate Story is a writer, performer, director, and choreographer. She is a recipient of the Ontario Arts Foundation’s K.M. Hunter Artist Award in theatre, and as part of Peterborough’s centennial celebrations she was named one of the region’s 100 most important performing artists. Kate is a core artist at The Theatre on King, Peterborough’s hub for new and risk-taking performance. Artistic director of three month-long multi-arts festivals themed on precarity in Peterborough, Kate works with a wide array of arts and non-arts community partners to deliver the bi-yearly Precarious Festival, which includes workshops, learning and mentorship opportunities for youth, panel discussions, and original performance, music, visual art, and media works. She has been the director for Public Energy’s Alternating Currents program for the past 4 years, facilitating creative processes for wildly diverse artistic projects. She was also one of the participants in the innovative Navigating Home: NL Dance Project, bringing together Newfoundland dance artists for an innovative 3-year process with choreographers Christopher House and Anne Troake. Along with Ryan Kerr and Victoria Mohr-Blakeney, Kate co-founded Peterborough DanceWorks with the mission to increase the profile and quality of local contemporary dance. Since forming in 2016 PDW has originated 7 original dance works involving 30 dance artists, presented as part of Artsweek Peterborough, Precarious Arts Work Festival, Emergency Festival, and Small Dances for a Small Space Festival. In partnership with Public Energy, PDW is currently running a series of workshops for local dance artists featuring Karen Kaeja, Propellor Dance, Tedd Robinson, and Denise Fujiwara. 

Kate is vice-chair of Peterborough’s arts council the Electric City Culture Council, and chairs the advisory committee and Board of The Theatre on King. She also sits on the Theatre Trent Executive, and is a member of the newly-formed Peterborough Performing Arts Recovery Alliance, formed in response to the Covid crisis.

Kate has co-created and/or worked with diverse theatre and dance artists, including The Theatre on King, 4th Line, DNA Theatre, Caravan Stage Company, R. Murray Schafer, Bill James, Chartier Danse, The Nervous System, Ker Wells, and many others. Her own works cross boundaries between theatre, performance art, and dance, and have been featured in festivals and mainstage performances in Peterborough, Toronto, and St. John’s. 

Kate’s first novel Blasted received the Sunburst Award’s honourable mention, and her third novel This Insubstantial Pageant was tipped by the Toronto Star as a top SF pick: “Exotic, funny and very sexy . . .” 2018-19 saw the publication of her first young adult fantasy, the Antilia duology. Her short fiction has been published in World Fantasy Award and Aurora Award- winning collections, won honourable mention for the Sunburst Award, and has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards.

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red brick build office building with many windows and a parking lot in front


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An outdoor fall performance series to be presented between October 2-18 2020 in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong. The Pivot Series is intended for socially distanced outdoor audiences in response to COVID-19 measures. Public Energy Performing Arts has partnered with the Peterborough ReFrame Film Festival to create a short documentary about the Pivot Series for screening at the 2021 ReFrame festival.

The Pivot Series is inviting artists to re-imagine existing work, or create new work for an outdoor site-specific public setting in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong. Locations include parking lots, parks, park pavilions and many more. Performance works are 15-30 minutes in length.



Thank You!

Public Energy gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our 2023-24 Season Funders and Sponsors.

Season Sponsors & Funders

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