What the Constitution Means to Me
|What the Constitution Means to Me|
|Written by||Heidi Schreck|
|Place premiered||New York City|
|Setting||American Legion Hall in Wenatchee, Washington|
What the Constitution Means to Me was first produced at the Wild Project, in Summerworks, Clubbed Thumb's (New York City) festival for new plays in June to July 2017 in a co-production with True Love Productions. Schreck was commissioned by True Love Productions in their new play commissioning program, writing What the Constitution Means to Me for her commission.
The play was presented at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, California, from May 3, 2018 to June 17, 2018. Schreck starred, with Danny Wolohan as the moderator "Danny", and direction by Oliver Butler.
The play opened Off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop on September 12, 2018 and closed there on November 4, 2018 (in an extension of one week), before moving to the Greenwich House on November 27, 2018 where it closed on December 30, 2018. The play was directed by Oliver Butler. The cast featured Heidi Schreck, along with Mike Iveson, Rosdely Ciprian, and Thursday Williams.
The play made its Broadway premiere for a limited run on March 14, 2019 in previews at the Hayes Theatre, with the official opening March 31. The run has been extended to July 21, 2019. Directed again by Oliver Butler, the cast features Heidi Schreck, Mike Iveson, Rosdely Ciprian, Thursday Williams, and Ben Beckley. The production has extended the Broadway run once more, to August 24, 2019.
The play will play an engagement at the Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, from January 12 to February 16, 2020. and then Chicago's Broadway Playhouse March 4 to April 12. The play is then expected to tour in the US, in Charlotte, Hartford, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and more to be announced. This tour features a new performer, taking the lead role that Schreck has performed. Maria Dizzia will star in the Los Angeles and Chicago venues.
Heidi Schreck takes the audience back to her time as a 15 year old Constitutional debater. At 15, young Heidi is fascinated by the document and all the freedom that it gives to Americans. Throughout her speech as a 15 year old, flashes of her current self and her realizations about the document are shown. She draws connections to the domestic violence faced by women in her family, she tackles abortion and immigration. She eventually "transforms" back into her current self, and continues to explain the problems with the United States Constitution; mainly, she argues that the Constitution doesn't protect all Americans because it was not created to protect all Americans, just wealthy white men. Partway through this part of the play, Mike Iveson shares his experience in regards to his sexuality. At the end of the show, Heidi and a teenage debater argue about whether the current Constitution should be kept or abolished.
In reviewing the 2018 Off-Broadway production, Thom Geier of The Wrap wrote: "Schreck is an engaging storyteller with a delivery that seems improvised even when she is sticking to her winding but always-focused script. Again and again, she manages to imbue her exploration of the politics of constitutional rights from the lens of the personal. And of the individuals left out as Americans saw their rights expand."
Honors and awards
|2019||Lucille Lortel Awards||Outstanding Play (Off-Broadway)||Nominated|
|Obie Award||Best New American Play||Won|
|Off-Broadway Alliance Awards||Best New Play||Won|
|Drama League Award||Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play||Nominated|
|Distinguished Performance Award||Heidi Schreck||Nominated|
|Outer Critics Circle Awards||Outstanding New Broadway Play||Nominated|
|New York Drama Critics' Circle||Best American Play||Won|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Play||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actress in a Play||Heidi Schreck||Nominated|
|Tony Award||Best Play||Nominated|
|Best Leading Actress in a Play||Heidi Schreck||Nominated|
The play was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The committee wrote: "A charming and incisive analysis of gender and racial biases inherent to the U.S. Constitution that examines how this living document could evolve to fit modern America."
- Stasio, Marilyn (31 March 2019). "Broadway Review: 'What The Constitution Means To Me'". Variety.
- Larson, Sarah (26 June 2017). "In Heidi Schreck's New Play, Teen Girls Talk About the Constitution". The New Yorker. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
- "Productions Summerworks 2017". Clubbed Thumb. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- "Commissions" trueloveproductions.com, Retrieved April 4, 2019
- What the Constitution Means to Me berkeleyrep.org, accessed April 2, 2019
- Janiak, Lily. "At Berkeley Rep, Constitution is ‘steamy,’ but ‘Constitution’ is hazy" San Francisco Chronicle, May 12, 2018
- " What the Constitution Means to Me Off-Broadway" theatermania.com, Retrieved April 1, 2019
- Clement, Olivia. " What the Constitution Means to Me Extends Again at New York Theatre Workshop" Playbill, October 17, 2018
- "What the Constitution Means to Me Off-Broadway" lortel.org, Retrieved April 1, 2019
- "What the Constitution Means to Me" nytw.org, Retrieved March 31, 2019
- Clement, Olivia. " What the Constitution Means to Me Extends on Broadway" Playbill, March 31, 2019
- Clement, Olivia. "Tony-Nominated 'What the Constitution Means to Me' Extends Again on Broadway" Playbill, April 30, 2019
- McPhee, Ryan. "Heidi Schreck to Bring 'What the Constitution Means to Me' to Washington, D.C., After Broadway Bow" Playbill, June 20, 2019
- Hetrick, Adam. "Heidi Schreck’s Tony-Nominated 'What the Constitution Means to Me' Announced for Mark Taper Season" Playbill, May 2, 2019
- Hetrick, Adam. " 'What the Constitution Means to Me' to Launch National Tour" Playbill, June 3, 2019
- Meyer, Dan. "Tony Nominee Maria Dizzia to Star in What the Constitution Means to Me in L.A. and Chicago" Playbill, October 15, 2019
- Geier, Thom. "'What the Constitution Means to Me' Theater Review: A Timely Blend of the Political and Personal" The Wrap, October 1, 2018
- Gans, Andrew. "Nominations for 34th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards Announced; 'Carmen Jones' and 'Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future' Lead the Pack" Playbill, April 3, 2019
- Clement, Olivia; McPhee, Ryan. "Heidi Schreck's Constitution, New York Theatre Workshop Among 2019 Obie Award Winners" Playbill, May 20, 2019
- Clement, Olivia, " 'What the Constitution Means to Me' and Yiddish 'Fiddler on the Roof' Among 2019 Off-Broadway Alliance Award Winners" Playbill, May 22, 2019
- McPhee, Ryan. Annette Bening, Bryan Cranston, Stephanie J. Block Among 2019 Drama League Award Nominees" Playbill, April 17, 2019
- Clement, Olivia. " 'Hadestown' Leads 2019 Outer Critics Circle Nominations" Playbill, April 23, 2019
- McPhee, Ryan. " 'Tootsie', 'The Ferryman', 'What the Constitution Means to Me' Win 2019 New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards" Playbill, May 6, 2019
- McPhee, Ryan. "Nominations for the 2019 Drama Desk Awards Announced; 'Oklahoma!', 'Tootsie', 'Rags Parkland' Lead the Pack" Playbill, April 25, 2019
- Fierberg, Ruthie. " 'Tootsie', 'Hadestown', and 'The Ferryman' Lead 2019 Drama Desk Award Winners" Playbill, June 2, 2019
- McPhee, Ryan. "2019 Tony Award Nominations: 'Hadestown' and 'Ain't Too Proud' Lead the Pack Playbill, April 30, 2019
- "Drama. Heidi Schreck" pulitzer.org, retrieved April 15, 2019