Dr Ryan Reynolds is an electrical engineer who felt uneasy working on F-16s and naturally turned to performance studies, receiving his PhD from the University of Canterbury in 2006 for putting forward a radical new theory of political action via performance. He now lectures in the Theatre and Film Studies programme.
Ryan is president of the NZ Federation of Film Societies, Group Secretary of the Asia-Pacific region of the International Federation of Film Societies and a member of the NZ Film Festival Trust. He is a long-standing performer and intermedial designer (that’s like multimedia, only better, because the different media interact) with experimental troupe Free Theatre Christchurch. After the September 2010 earthquake, he co-founded and now chairs Gap Filler, a charitable initiative activating vacant sites around the city with creative projects.
In August 2011, Christchurch City Council contracted Gap Filler to write a report on how the city could best make use of its vacant spaces on a large scale. The report proposed the creation of a new independent Life in Vacant Spaces Trust, which was backed by City Council and is in the recently released ‘Blueprint’ Recovery Plan. The Trust has just been formed and will be operational in September/October 2012.