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Artists at school


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Talya Rubin

Performing arts


Talya Rubin

Talya Rubin is a professional actor and solo theatre maker from Montréal who has spent the past four years living and working in Sydney, Australia. Her solo work has been nominated for a MECCA (Montréal English Critics Circle Award) and she has toured with her original solo plays to festivals and venues around the world including Brisbane Festival, Arts House Melbourne, Performance Space, Sydney, Wildside, Centaur (Montréal), and Summerworks (Toronto) where her work was named one of the “outstanding performances of the festival” by NOW Magazine. She was commissioned to adapt and perform one of her solo plays as a radio drama for ABC Australia where it was broadcast nationwide. As a professional actress for both TV and the theatre Talya had done scenes with James Woods, Alan Arkin, Loretta Switt, and Elliot Gould, including projects for Twentieth Century Fox, ABC (America), PBS, and CBC.

Talya is committed to making devised solo work for live performance that is at once revelatory and inventive, taking as her subject matter what is alive, hidden, and urgent. Her process draws on instinct and intuitions from often bizarre and seemingly unknowable places that then lead her to make work that is richly layered and deeply meaningful. As Robert Lepage says, “my most interesting creations tend to have ridiculous beginnings.” In the early stages of creation Talya works with images, themes, characters, and objects and explores initial impulses through a process of improvisation, writing, and devising. Talya often works with visual artists to further develop her ideas and create unusual theatrical spaces with intricate and layered design elements. The visual and aural elements of her work are just as important as the richly poetic texts she creates. The result is intricate and poetic visual and physical storytelling.

Proposed approach and type of activities

One sample activity for secondary students is creating short performance pieces based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and the Underworld. I begin by guiding students through warm-ups and activities to introduce them to Greek Theatre and the use of heightened emotion, gesture, and choral work. We then learn about the myth and break into small groups. Each group is given a folder of images and a few pieces of text to adapt into a short theatre piece. We present the pieces to the class and discuss ways to improve our work, to sharpen it and make it more powerful.

A possible activity for primary students involves adapting an old story or fairy tale, such as the Pied Piper. Through a series of improvisations we create short scenes to bring the story and characters to life. Students learn about different storytelling techniques such as staging, newscasts, tableaux, or using sound and images to create the town. Together we build the town and characters and find our own unique and original way to tell the story. Other possible activities might introduce a more general theme. One example would be working with the image of a river, brainstorming ideas around it, and working with images from old photographs and paintings as a basis for creating solo character work.

Special conditions

A large open space suitable for drama.

For information

Talya Rubin
Phone : 514 525-6581
Email :

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)



Primary 3, Primary 4, Primary 5, Primary 6, Secondary 1, Secondary 2, Secondary 3, Secondary 4, Secondary 5

Available in

Montréal, Outaouais, Lanaudière, Laurentides

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