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By Norman Yeung
Subjects: Award Winners, Political Theatre, Ontario Playwrights
Casting: 3 f, 4 m
Duration: 90 hours
Imprint: Playwrights Canada Press
Paperback : 9780369101617, 120 pages, February 2021
Ebook (PDF) : 9780369101624, February 2021
Ebook (EPUB) : 9780369101631, February 2021


  • Winner, The Voaden Prize 2015
  • Nominated, Carol Bolt Award 2019


Is there a limit to free speech? Who gets to decide? 

Isabelle’s film theory students are stunned that she would open an unmoderated online discussion group to complement a controversial syllabus. Her intention was for them to learn from each other, but when an anonymous student starts to post racist comments and offensive videos on the forum and others challenge Isabelle’s methods, she is forced to decide whether to intervene or to let the social experiment play out. But the posts soon turn abusive and threatening to Isabelle’s relationship with her wife, Lee, causing her to take matters into her own hands. 

In this thrilling exploration of the intersections and divisions within liberalism, a young tenure-track professor finds herself in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse that has her questioning her beliefs and fighting back for her life.


"[Theory] is admirably ambitious as it works through layers of complexity.”

- Karen Fricker, Toronto Star

“Timely in its recognition of alt-right backlash, Theory reminds us of the inevitable pendulum backswing on progressive sociopolitical change.”

- Cate McKim, Life With More Cowbell

“Masterfully tackles power dynamics, privilege, bias, and the tension between freedom of speech and oppression . . . prepare for a heated discussion, because Theory gets an A for stimulating difficult but important conversation.”

- Angela Haupt, DCIST

“A frequently dizzying and extremely entertaining interrogation of the ways in which academia can become a hotbed for practical and theoretical implosion . . . it is a densely written, challenging piece of theatre.”

- Bateman Reviews