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Banuta Rubess

Contact: banutanora@gmail.com

Office Hours: UC F304, Wednesdays 2pm-4pm

Dr. Baņuta Rubess is a director and writer with a string of innovative productions to her credit for audiences in Europe and Canada. One of the first dozen women to win the Rhodes Scholarship, she has a doctorate in history from Oxford University.  Baņuta cut her theatrical teeth in England, rebelling against traditional authorities such as an author or a director, or even a stage. In Canada, her collective creation, This is for you, Anna, began a long and fruitful collaboration with Nightwood Theatre, including works such as Smoke Damage, Pope Joan, and the premiere production of Goodnight, Desdemona. She co-wrote the award-winning teen drama Thin Ice which helped launch the youth theatre Theatre Direct, and directed the illustrious chamber opera Nigredo Hotel for Tapestry New Opera Works, one of the most successful Canadian operas ever. Together with the late Ken McDougall, she was an Associate Artist at Theatre Passe Muraille. In 1998, she moved to Riga, Latvia to participate in solidifying the country’s renewed democracy. There she directed drama, opera, musicals, and site-specific productions, as well as published a bi-weekly opinion column in the national newspaper. She returned to Canada in 2012.

Most recently she completed a memoir called Up from Under, and directed the chamber opera Boots for Urbanvessel. Together with choreographer Julia Aplin, Rubess is building a devised production called #7Love, which showcased at the Summerworks Performance Festival in 2016.

Since 2011, Dr. Rubess has taught the following courses at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies :

  • UC One Engaging Toronto: Performing the City
  • DRM 268 Canadian Theatre History
  • DRM 386 Performance and Reality: Contemporary Theatre of the Nineties and the Noughts
  • DRM 400 Performance II: Acting Skills for the Contemporary Stage
  • DRM 403 Performance III: The Resource Show
  • DRM 411 Movement for Theatre


She directed the following DRM403 Resource Shows:

2010/11 Howard Barker’s The Possibilities
2011/12 Chuck Mee’s The Rules
2013/14 You are Invited to the Cast Party after the Production Formally Known as Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf – an adaptation with the cast
2014/15 Katie of Heilbronn: An Obsession by Mr. Heinrich von Kleist

For more information, please visit www.banuta.com

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