Rubin was born in Queens, NY and now lives in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. She graduated from Bard College in 1978 where she was dance/theater major. A highlight of her time at Bard, in addition to her dance studies, was a writing workshop with visiting professor in literature Isaac Bashevis Singer.
After college she traveled to Africa and then moved to Manhattan where she studied dance with Merce Cunningham, Murray Louis, Alwin Nikolais and Hanya Holm. Her dance training led to work in theater. She studied with, and later was a stage manager for Joseph Chaikin’s Winter Project, The Talking Band and several off Broadway theaters including LaMama and Theater for the New City. She studied acting with William Esper and has a black belt in Aikido. As the program director of Charas/El Bohio, a community cultural center in a former public school, she raised funds to develop two theaters and produced theater and dance productions in the renovated spaces. Her original performance pieces and plays were presented by the Nuyorican Poets Café, PS 122, HERE, Abrons Arts Center, Cucaracha Theater, Danceteria, Kamekaze, Limbo Lounge, 8BC, One Dream Theater and the Ensemble Studio Theater, where she studied playwriting and was the literary manager of the theater’s Summer Conference. She was a resident at the Edna St. Vincent Millay Colony in 1994. From 1995-1997 she was the managing director of Yoshiko Chuma’s School of Hard Knocks, a downtown dance/performance company.
In 1997 Rubin taught an Oral History and Writing workshop for a community college in Brighton Beach Brooklyn. Her students, all Russian immigrants in their 60’s and 70’s provided the original inspiration for STALINA. While writing STALINA she was invited to the Summer Literary Seminar’s program in St. Petersburg, Russia. There she studied with Robert Creeley, Jonathan Baumbach and Robert Olmstead, read at the legendary Stray Dog Café, and researched her novel by conducting interviews and visiting sites in and around St. Petersburg. STALINA was a pick in the Amazon Debut Novel Award Contest 2009 and was subsequently published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Her fiction has also been published in the Red Rock Review, Confrontations and Happy, and she is a past nominee for the Pushcart Prize, the first recipient of the Sarah Verdone Writers Award, and a finalist in the International Book Awards. Rubin teaches writing workshops for cancer patients at Beth Israel Hospital, NYC. She has received funding for workshops and readings from Poets and Writers, LMCC, and NYFA. She was a writer in residence at the Millay Colony and Las Dos Brujas Writing Workshops. She is presently working on a novel.
In 2005 Rubin co-founded Dirty Laundry: Loads of Prose, a reading series that takes place in working Laundromats around the country, and under the auspices of Rubin’s Wash and Dry Productions there have been more than 30 readings hosting more than 100 writers. The series has been covered extensively by the media and has received funding from several public agencies.
Since 1993 Rubin has worked as a broadcast professional in television as a stage manager and producer for the Food Network, VH1, MTV, Nickelodeon, History Channel, A&E, ABC, NBC, PBS, Fox News, Bravo, Oxygen, ARTE (France) and others.
Read what Emily has to say about the INSPIRATION for Stalina.