October 21, 2019
Isabelle, a young tenure-track professor, tests the limits of free speech by encouraging her students to contribute to an unmoderated discussion group, even as her wife, Lee, advises caution. 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 have Isabelle questioning her beliefs, but fearing for her life.
This event was a policy discussion spurred by the themes surfaced by Norman Yeung's gripping play THEORY playing at Mosaic Theater Company of DC. We explored digital free-speech and the lines between complicity and culpability.
This event was free and open to the public.
Victoria is currently the Associate Artistic Director at Mosaic Theater Company of DC, a company committed to making transformational, socially-relevant art, and to building a fusion community to address some of the most pressing issues of our times. She has also had the distinct privilege of serving on the national team for the Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network - a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs dedicated to meeting the special needs of military patients and veterans with traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions through the provision of creative arts therapy. Prior to this, Victoria served at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the official arts agency for the District of Columbia. In this capacity she worked to develop and articulate the Commission’s policy agenda and priorities and to formulate strategies that create opportunities for the Commission to advance these priorities. Victoria has also worked with Americans for the Arts Action Fund where she spearheaded the national ArtsVote2012 campaign - a national initiative geared towards ensuring that the arts impact federal elections with a presence at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
Victoria is an artist in her own right and has worked at many theatres including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Studio Theatre, Arena Stage, Women's Project Theater, and LaMaMa in NYC. She is also an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
Kathy Engel is a poet, essayist, convener, educator, organizational strategic consultant, co-founder of numerous organizations and projects including MADRE, the international women's human rights group, in 1983, which she directed for 5 years. She has worked in nearly every major social justice, peace and human rights movement in the U.S. over the last 38 years. The many projects she was instrumental in creating include “talking nicaragua,” a dramatization about U.S. policy in Nicaragua, “Stand with Sisters for Economic Dignity,” dubbed by Washington D.C. press, “the Vagina Monologues of economic justice;” “Who I Will Be,” a performance piece with formerly incarcerated women, “Imagining Peace,” following the attacks on the World Trade Center, and “Re-Plant Haiti,” a performance at Carnegie Hall and a multi-faceted campaign that led to a last minute stay of execution for Death Row Inmate Shaka Sankofa, working with Amnesty International, the NAACP Death Penalty Project and others.
She is co-founder and former president of Riptide Communications, a public relations consulting firm set up to service social change organizations; co-founder of the Hayground School, East End Women in Black, and Poets for Ayiti.
She currently serves as Chair and Associate Arts Professor in NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Department of Art and Public Policy and Master’s Program in Arts Politics.
Engel has given numerous workshops, talks and readings, and her poems, essays, and reviews have been published and anthologized widely. Her books include Ruth’s Skirts, IKON, 2007, The Kitchen with artist German Perez, Yaboa Press, 2007, and We Begin Here: Poems for Palestine and Lebanon, co-edited with Kamal Boullata, Interlink Books, 2007, which has been a tool for community conversation. She was a featured poet at the 2012 Split This Rock Poetry Festival and the 2017 Hobart Women Writers Festival, and a featured writer/scholar in Freedom Forums in the fall of 2017 and 2018.
Engel is co-founder, with Alexis De Veaux, of Lyrical Democracies and The Center for Poetic Healing. Her work has most recently appeared in Poetry Magazine, Poet Lore, Women’s Voices for Change, Visual Inquiry and About Place Journal. Recent publications include the anthology Ghost Fishing. Her lyrical essay “Where I Live” was circulated extensively internationally following publication in The East Hampton Star and the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership Newsletter. A video presenting a chorus of voices reading her poem “To Kneel” is live on The Root and was published on Portside among other places in 2018. Engel’s book of poetry The Lost Brother Alphabet will be published by Get Fresh Books in early 2020.
In 2014 Engel performed in a production of her elegiac suite of poems "The Lost Brother Alphabet", with choreographer/dancer Suchi Branfman, at the Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, CA.
Engel initiated and co-organized Walk for Interdependence, which took place in Sag Harbor, New York on July 4, 2018. In fall 2018, she coordinated Ghost Fishing, an NYU public art installation, with a team of collaborators at the Kimmel Windows. Engel has been a fellow at the Macdowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, the Gaia Sea Change Residency and the Hedgebrook Women Writers Residency.
Emma Llansó is the Director of CDT’s Free Expression Project, which works to promote law and policy that support Internet users’ free expression rights in the United States and around the world. The Project’s work spans many subjects, including human trafficking, privacy and online reputation issues, counter-terrorism and “radicalizing” content, disinformation, and online harassment. Emma leads CDT’s legislative advocacy and amicus activity around freedom of expression in the U.S. and the E.U.; this work focuses on protecting fundamental rights to freedom of expression and preserving strong intermediary liability protections. She also works to develop content policy best practices with Internet content platforms and advocates for user-empowerment tools and other alternatives to government regulation of online speech. This includes advocacy for increased transparency from tech companies and governments about co-regulatory and voluntary collaborative initiatives around content moderation. It also includes advocacy for improved transparency, appeals, and remedy procedures from ICT companies as they enforce their own content policies and Terms of Service.
Emma serves on the Board of the Global Network Initiative, a multistakeholder organization that works to advance individuals’ privacy and free expression rights in the ICT sector around the world. She is also a member of the multistakeholder Freedom Online Coalition Advisory Network, which provides advice to FOC member governments aimed at advancing human rights online.
Emma joined CDT in 2009 as the Bruce J. Ennis First Amendment Fellow; her fellowship project focused on legal and policy advocacy in support of minors’ First Amendment rights in the US. She earned a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Delaware and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Emma is a member of the New York State Bar.
Daisy Soderberg-Rivkin investigates the role of technology as it affects children. Working with the R Street Institute’s Technology and Innovation program, she covers privacy laws and free expression interests that pertain to children, digital education, child trafficking and sexual abuse issues.
Before joining R Street, Daisy was a legal removal associate at Google, where she focused on takedowns of terrorist content and child sexual abuse imagery. Prior to that, she worked as a paralegal at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, LLP , working primarily with international arbitration and IP groups.
Daisy is a graduate of Bard College with a bachelor’s degree in political and security studies. She later received a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where she focused on international security and international information and communications.
She lives in Washington, D.C. with her wonderful border collie-Australian shepherd mix, Stella.
Norman works in theatre, film, and visual arts. Plays he has written include Pu-Erh, Oolong, Theory, and Lichtenstein's an 8: A New Formula to Quantify Artistic Quality. Pu-Erh premiered in 2010 at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto and was nominated for four Dora Mavor Moore Awards, including Outstanding New Play. Pu-Erh was a finalist for the 2009 Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition, receiving an Honourable Mention. He was a member of Canadian Stage's BASH! artist development program and fu-GEN's Kitchen Playwrights Unit. He is a member of the 2011 Tapestry New Opera Composer-Librettist Laboratory. He is featured in the book Voices Rising: Asian Canadian Cultural Activism by Xiaoping Li.
As an actor, Norman's recent film and television credits include a supporting role in Resident Evil: Afterlife (Sony/Screen Gems), a series regular role in Todd and the Book of Pure Evil (SPACE/CTV), and a role in Rookie Blue (ABC/Global). His theatre credits include lead roles in Jasmine (SummerWorks/Factory Theatre), Pu-Erh (SummerWorks/Theatre Passe Muraille), Fugitives (A Western Theatre Conspiracy), Exit the Dragon (VACT/Firehall Arts Centre), Filthy Rich (Firehall Arts Centre), and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Gateway Theatre). He is a member of ACTRA and Equity.
Films he has written and directed include Marnie Love, Hello Faye, and Light 01, which have screened at international film festivals, on Movieola Channel, Mini Movie International Channel (Europe), and on Air Canada. He was Second Unit Director on The Tracey Fragments, a feature film directed by Bruce McDonald. He is currently writing Anne Darling, Rowds, Scabs, and Margaret Loses Her Daughter.
He has painted in public and not-so-public spaces since 1993. His graffiti and urban art can be found under bridges, on freight trains, behind warehouses, in transit tunnels, and on living room walls, from New York City to Brisbane. He has exhibited his work in such venues as Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Art Gallery of Mississauga, Board of Directors (Toronto), and curcioprojects (New York City). His painting and illustration clients include LVMH, Bruce Mau Design, National Film Board of Canada, MTV, CBC, and many more. He was featured on CBC Radio 3's "MAKE: Next Generation Canadian Creators", CBC's ZeD TV, MuchMusic, MTV, and in numerous publications and documentaries.
Norman has lectured at Central Technical School (Toronto) about urban art, at Lord Byng Secondary School (Vancouver) about a career in the arts, spoken at The Humanitas Festival (Toronto) about responsible casting of minorities in media, and received a Toronto Clean and Beautiful City Appreciation Award for his mural work. He was a playwriting mentor for the 2011 Paprika Festival (Toronto). He and Morgan Rhys Tams co-founded Public Radio and Camera Assembly to produce work in film and other media.
He holds a BFA in Theatre/Acting from University of British Columbia and a BFA (Honours) in Film Studies from Ryerson University. He was born in Guangzhou, China.
Independent, intercultural, entertaining, and uncensored, Mosaic Theater Company is committed to making transformational, socially-relevant art, to producing plays by authors on the front lines of conflict zones, and to building a fusion community to address some of the most pressing issues of our times. Dedicated to making our theater a model of diversity and inclusion at every strata, on stage and off, Mosaic invests in the new as we keep abreast of our changing and challenging times to ensure that our theater is a responsive gathering space, all the while nurturing and producing art of the highest order. We complement our productions with comprehensive engagement through free pre- and post-show programming, an annual intercultural festival, like our “Voices From a Changing Middle East” series, and educational initiatives, including our touring “Mosaic on the Move.” We strive to foster a culture of listening and welcoming, embracing complexity and a multi-focal perspective. Our plays speak truth to power and to the private parts of our soul. In short, we make art with a purpose and strive for impact.