Q&A With Victoria Murray Baatin — Director of Theory
This is your third year at Mosaic. Why is now the right time to make your directorial debut here?
For me it’s about discovering work that I find truly exciting. A big part of my portfolio here at Mosaic is leading the season planning process. In this capacity, I’ve had the great privilege of reading many many many scripts from very talented playwrights. With Theory, I’ve found a work that is so arresting, and in Norman Yeung I feel I’ve found a kindred spirit.
What first drew you to Theory?
For starters, my friends at the Canadian Embassy! I’m incredibly grateful for the privilege of being invited to participate in a cultural exchange trip to Toronto. I saw a number of fascinating productions and made several new friends and colleagues. Norman was among them! My last night in Toronto was the first night of previews for Theory at Tarragon Theatre. That night, after seeing the show, I couldn’t fall asleep because I was thinking about it. When I finally got to sleep, I was dreaming about the play — and it was the first thing on my mind when I woke up!
What unique perspectives do you bring to Theory?
I’m interested in exploring that space between theory and practice. We often say “in theory” something should work. What does that really mean? Why does it so often not work? I want to problematize the conceptual frameworks of understanding our individual relationship to reality, and the society in which we are situated. We’re all coming at this life from different vantage points, and it’s incredibly important not to negate the validity of another being’s experience. My hunch is that this can be where the breakdown occurs, when we center ourselves and “other” people who are different or have different lived experiences.
How does Theory fit within Mosaic’s mission to create “socially-relevant, transformative” art?
Without giving too much away, I think our protagonist Isabelle finds herself in uncharted waters that she has to very quickly figure out how to navigate — for her own professional and even personal survival. Mosaic’s tag line is “Independent, Intercultural, Entertaining, Uncensored”. Theory leans into each of these notions and asks us to trouble them, and ultimately decide what they truly mean to us as individuals.
Why should people come see this show?
My hope is that our Mosaic family will be excited about a play that is absolutely exhilarating.
Theory really keeps you on the edge of your seat. All while deftly exploring the fundamental principle of free speech.
By Norman Yeung Directed by Victoria Murray Baatin
Oct 23, 2019–Nov 17, 2019
Tickets at mosaictheater.org/theory