Thin Ice

A play for teenagers. Co-written with Beverley Cooper

Thin Ice is a play about sexual stereotypes and myths which can lead to date rape.

Winner of the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Theatre for Young People.

Winner of the Chalmer's Children's Play Award.

When a friend working at a rape crisis centre suggested that drama might be a way to prevent sexual violence, Rubess turned to Theatre Direct, a company interested in relevant theatre for young people. She teamed up with writer Beverley Cooper and ran several workshops in high schools to research the material for the play Thin Ice. The play is a fast-paced look at sexual mores - shocking enough to get pulled off the stage by an anxious vice-principal, gripping enough to keep all teenagers on the edge of their seats.

SYNOPSIS:  Tony's parents are gong away for the weekend and he is throwing a party.  Jennifer is very excited when Tony invites her to the party.  He talks his buddy Des into asking Jennifer's best friend, Trish, to come along as well - and unexpectedly, they really hit off.  (There are rumors that Tony's older brother Ron raped a girl, but it's hard to believe - Ron is so good-looking.)  When the party is over, Jennifer and Tony are left alone in his house.  Jennifer is ready for a kiss;  Tony thinks he deserves more.

The premiere production of Thin Ice enjoyed tremendous success in 1987 and helped establish Theatre Direct as a leader in the field of drama for young audiences. Directed by Maureen White, the show toured high schools across Canada over a period of three years.. It has also been produced by Magnus Theatre, Thunder Bay;  Quest Theatre, Calgary;  Geordie Productions, Montreal;  Green Thumb, Vancouver;  The Solo Company, St. John's. The 2002 version directed by Juris Rijnieks for the  Liepaja Theatre in Latvia won the award for Best Production for a Young Audience.

The show lasts 50 minutes and generates lively discussions among its adolescent audiences.

Published in the collection Wanna Play?, Playwrights Canada Press, Toronto, 1994. Excerpts in Two for the Show, Playwrights Canada Press, Toronto, 1999. Excerpts in Acting Out, published by Playwrights Canada Press and Theatre Direct, Toronto, 2006.  The full script of Thin Ice is available through Playwrights Canada.