Too Close to the Sun

Too Close to the Sun makes performance work that takes a hybrid form, weaving non-linear narratives that combine rich text, video, sound and objects to transcend expectations of theatrical storytelling and create resonant and whole-art experiences for audiences.

Our work has the quality of the handmade, the disquieting and the intricate; it often experiments with scale and intimacy to explore the uncanny and takes the audience into richly imagined worlds that are darkly humorous and deeply unnerving. Talya is also a published, award-winning poet and writer, and brings a strong text-based element to our hybrid, experimental theatre work.

Previously, our work has toured in Australia to: Performance Space, Arts House, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane Festival, Vitalstatistix and Metro Arts. The work has been programmed in Canada at: Uno Fest (Victoria), Summerworks (Toronto), Wildside Festival (Montreal) and Theatre La Chapelle (Montreal). We have been supported through numerous curated residency programs, including: the Banff Centre, the Rex (Sydney University), Metro Arts, Arts House, HotHouse Theatre, and Fraser Street Studios. Our company has received funding from Australia Council, Arts NSW, Canada Council, and the National Arts Centre in Canada.      

Our company combines the skills of Talya Rubin (devisor/writer/performer) and Nick James (co-devisor/director), collaborating with some of Australia’s most respected artists in their fields: Sam James (video), Richard Vabre (lighting), Hayley Forward (sound), and a new collaboration with Tarryn Gill (object and costume design/visual consultant). Together, we create original installation theatre works that are richly imagined, non-linear and innately human.

Talya Rubin (Co-devisor/Writer/Performer/Visual Concept and Design) is a co-founder of Too Close to the Sun. A Montreal born writer, performer and creator of new work for live performance, she has spent most of her creative life based in Australia. She has toured her original solo work Of the Causes of Wonderful Things and The Bluebird Mechanicals to festivals and arts centres in Australia and Canada, including:  Brisbane Festival, Performance Space, Arts House, Brisbane Powerhouse, Metro Arts, Adelaide Fringe (produced by Vitalstatistix), SummerWorks (Toronto) and Theatre La Chapelle (Montreal). As a company, they have been invited to be part of The National Arts Centre (Canada) Collaborations Project. As a poet, Talya won the National Canadian Bronwen Wallace award for poetry for the most promising writer under the age of 35 and her first collection of poetry, Leaving the Island, was published with Véhicule Press in 2015. She is currently working on a new book, Iceland is Melting and so are You.

Nick James (Co-devisor/Director) is a co-founder of Too Close to the Sun. A writer and film and theatre director born in Chile from Australian parents, Nick also directed and co‐ devised the company’s previous work Of the Causes of Wonderful Things. He has participated in numerous curated residencies with Too Close to the Sun, including: The Banff Centre, The Rex Cramphorn Studio (Sydney University), Metro Arts, HotHouse Theatre and PWM Montreal. His first short film was screened at 20 Australian and International festivals and he has just completed two new short films in 2017. Nick is currently working on a feature film script with Talya, entitled Tell Me When We Get There.


Hayley Forward (Sound Design) is a sound artist and engineer, producing compositions, sound designs, performances, and sound installations for the visual and performing arts.  As an artist, Hayley has collaborated with Jess Olivieri and the Parachutes for Ladies whose exhibits include Framed Movements ACCA, Melbourne Festival 2014; Contemporary Australia: Women GOMA, 2012, Primavera 2011, MCA. Awards include the John Frieze prize (2013).  As a sound designer, Hayley creates atmospheric soundscapes and incorporates ideas into the weave of her own creative work. Recent credits include Tacita Dean’s, Event for a Stage at Carriageworks, Sydney Biennale 2014 and Too Close to the Sun’s Of the Causes of Wonderful Things and The Bluebird Mechanicals.

Sam James (Video Design) has been a projection designer for contemporary performance companies and independent dancers since 1995As a video artist he has been involved in over 200 performance works including Nun's Night Out (winner Best Dance Film, Australian Dance Awards 2006), The Piper (My Darling Patricia, Sydney Festival - winner Best Children’s Theatre Sydney Theatre Awards 2014), GUDIRR GUDIRR (Marrugeku 2014), and My Radio Heart (NORPA and Urban Theatre Project 2014). He held a large-scale exhibition at Artspace Sydney, curated by Blair French (Amygdala - Fear Conditioning 2010) and a multi-channel installation curated by Bec Dean (Nightshifters Performance Space, 2010).

Richard Vabre (Lighting Design) has lit productions for MTC, STC, Malthouse Theatre, Belvoir Street, Victorian Opera, Windmill Theatre, Arena Theatre Company, NICA, The Darwin Festival, Stuck Pig’s Squealing, Chambermade, Rawcus, Red Stitch, Polyglot, Melbourne Worker’s Theatre, Aphids and many many productions at La Mama Awards: Richard has won 4 Green Room Awards including the Association’s John Truscott Prize for Excellence in Design (2004).  He has also been nominated for 7 other Green Room Awards.