Theory by Norman Yeung
Isabelle, a young tenure-track professor, tests the limits of free speech by encouraging her students to contribute to an unmoderated discussion group. When an anonymous student posts offensive comments and videos, Isabelle must decide whether to intervene or to let the social experiment play out. Soon, the posts turn abusive and threatening, leading Isabelle and her unknown tormentor to engage in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse that not only has Isabelle questioning her beliefs, but fighting back for her life.
Keywords: thriller, drama, liberal, politics, terrorism, PC, politically correct, LGBTQ, diversity, university, college, film, technology, intersectional
Produced by Tarragon Theatre, 2018
Mosaic Theater Company of DC, 2019
Also produced at:
Rumble Theatre/Tremors Festival, 2018
Alumnae Theatre/FireWorks Series, 2013
SummerWorks Festival, 2010
Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition, 2015 — First Prize for Theory
Safe Words New Canadian Play Award, 2017 — Finalist for Theory
Running Time: 85 minutes
Male Cast: 4
Female Cast: 3
Suitable for School Productions: Students 16+
"The play is admirably ambitious as it works through layers of complexity … It’s a tribute to the sophistication of many of the ideas in this play that I still can’t make up my mind about the initial question I posed. [What would Jordan Peterson say about this play?] … Please, readers, go along and judge for yourselves, and maybe bring someone with opposite values to your own with you. Let the debate begin. …3/4 stars."
"Playwright Norman Yeung writes convincingly of the modern school system where teachers bend over backwards to appeal to students...Terrific play and production."
"Theory punches up hard with its social commentary, but while all this is happening a tense thriller edges its way on to the stage and into the recesses of your mind."
"‘Theory’ is a personal reminder of how important it is that we continue to educate the mind and soul, and sometimes there is going to be a cost for all of us in this process."