A short history of Baņuta Rubess, the writer

WRITING FOR THE STAGE

 

Theatre, Musicals, Opera

Baņuta Rubess has written over a dozen works for the stage, all of which have been produced, many published. She has written about strong and dashing women, good and bad sex, cooking and childbirth, politics and divine grace. Much of her work draws on real events and history. Often she is the director of her own work. Several of her plays are popular with amateur and professional theatre companies, and studied in school and university drama courses.

 

Early work

Baņuta made a splashing debut as a playwright with a musical she penned and directed in 1978, with a cast of 18, and a major orchestra, all performed by amateurs flying in from across the globe.  Written in Latvian, gleefully toying with sacred cows, her re-visioned national heroes were urged to question authority.  VAROŅDARBI (HEROICA) premiered at a youth arts festival on the huge stage of Place des Arts, Montreal  The resulting scandal in the Latvian diaspora pitted one generation against the other, and as a result, subsequent productions in New York and Toronto were sold out.

 

Varoņdarbi

 

While in Oxford, Baņuta joined up with Neil Bartlett, who launched A Company (1978-79), an avant-garde  ensemble  exploring the nature of theatre and its relationship to the audience. All productions were created collectively and performed in non-theatrical  sites, including on a billiard table during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This experience influenced many other works to come.

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