Baņuta Rubess is a theatre artist and writer who pioneered feminist theatre, diaspora theatre, and contemporary opera to national renown in Canada and Latvia. She has lived in four countries and writes in two languages.
Her stage work is blazingly visual, and often knits together music, theatre, and dance.
She cut her teeth in professional theatre in Britain, where she co-founded an international touring company with British artist Neil Bartlett. In Canada, she created groundbreaking works for Nightwood Theatre, Theatre Direct, and Tapestry New Opera Works. As Associate Artist at Theatre Passe Muraille, she threw open the doors to a new generation of theatre creators.
Her first foray into Latvian music theatre was a succès du scandal with a lasting impact.
In 1998, she moved with her family to Riga, in order to join in the renewal of Latvia's democracy. She created productions across the country, ranging from an immersive version of La Ronde to an adaptation of The Trojan Women performed on a beach. For many years she was a regular columnist in the national newspaper. Her most celebrated works were collaborations with her creative muse and husband, the late composer/musician Nic Gotham. Baņuta returned to Toronto in 2012.
A Rhodes Scholar with a doctorate in history, she recently acquired an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. She has been nominated for many awards and has won a few, including Best Play, Best Director, Best Short Story.
Currently, she is devoted to writing prose. She teaches theatre at the University of Toronto.