Directing in Canada

Sweat, the opera

An a cappella opera about the fast fashion industry with nine singers

Composed by Juliet Palmer with a libretto by Anna Chatterton

Produced by Bicycle Opera

For more information take a look at the Bicycle Opera website

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True confessions from age 7 to 97. Plus drinks.

Co-created with choreographer Julia Aplin and the ensemble. Part of the Summerworks Festival, August 4-14, 2016. 

Every night at the Paddock Tavern, a troupe of love experts – age 7 to 97 -- grapple with love’s mysteries. It’s a free-flowing, ever-changing spectacle. The dashing MC conducts a heartbreak survey and passes the mic to the audience. Showers of rose petals and a singing videographer mix into a startling showcase of true and not-so-true stories.

#7Love is presented by Froth, a company devoted to interdsiciplinary performance.


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Directing as Research

Since Baņuta returned to Canada, she has directed four Resource Shows at the Centre for Drama at the University of Toronto. Working with an extraordinary crop of graduating theatre students, she's helmed four flagship productions, pushing the theatrical envelope. She's staged British political drama; experimental American playwriting; and adapted a novel by Virginia Woolf and an 18th century Germa potboiler by Heinrich von Kleist.




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Directing in Canada: From Nightwood to Theatre Passe Muraille

From 1983 to 1998, Baņuta Rubess was an integral part of the Canadian theatre community, working mainly in Toronto.

Her most important directorial work was done with  Nightwood Theatre, Tapestry New Opera and Theatre Passe Muraille.



Directed by Baņuta Rubess

Written by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Designed by Sue Lepage

Music by Nic Gotham


Nightwood Theatre produces essential work by women. Rubess began working with Nightwood as soon as she returned to Canada in 1983, beginning with THIS IS FOR YOU, ANNA - a groundbreaking project initiated by Rubess.  Nightwood commissioned several scripts from Rubess, and she served on its Board of Directors for many years.


In 1988, Rubess made her directorial debut with the premiere production of Ann-Marie Macdonald's first play GOODNIGHT, DESDEMONA (GOOD MORNING, JULIET).  The play is a comedy about an academic who enters her unconscious mind and changes two of Shakespeare's tragedies into comedies. Desdemona and Juliet do not die.  This show became a smash hit, and Rubess's version was a sell-out success over three whole seasons, including a tour across Canada. Rubess later directed MacDonald's opera, NIGREDO HOTEL.



Directed by Baņuta Rubess

Written by Timothy Findley

Designed by Sue Lepage

Music by Nic Gotham


From 1992-1996, Baņuta was Associate Artist at Theatre Passe Muraille - Canada's oldest alternative theatre.  When Susan Serran became its Artistic Producer,  she asked  Baņuta and the late Ken McDougall to join her in leading the theatre.


Apart from guiding the theatre through these years, - and becoming a mother -- at Passe Muraille Rubess directed HEAD IN A BAG, THE STILLBORN LOVER, WEDDING DAY AT THE CROMAGNONS and (for Theatre ColumbusSTILL.


THE STILLBORN LOVER is a play by award-winning novelist and playwright Timothy Findley, and is loosely based on real events. A Russian youth is found brutally murdered in a Moscow hotel room. The repercussions of this crime will unravel the past of respected career diplomat Harry Raymond as his wife loses her mind to Alzheimer's. Rubess' production of the play was nominated for six Dora awards, including Outstanding Production and Outstanding Direction.


Rubess continues to create new productions in Canada.  Her curent project is THE GYPSY WIFE.