‘What the Constitution Means to Me’ is an entertaining civics lesson
Loop North News

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(Above) Cassie Beck as Heidi Schreck in What the Constitution Means to Me, at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place through November 21. Photos by Joan Marcus.

This powerful new play will give theatregoers a new appreciation for our historic founding document.

9-Nov-21What the Constitution Means to Me is hilarious, until the mood shifts into something more sinister and sadder.

The play revolves around playwright Heidi Schreck’s actual experiences as a high school student debating Constitutional issues for the American Legion to earn money for college tuition. It is interactive, questioning whether the 233-year-old document is still relevant today and for future generations of Americans.

Basically, the Constitution, ratified in 1788 and amended 27 times, was created to protect U.S. citizens – but unfortunately, not all citizens. Women and people of color are not mentioned, leaving them out of police, voting, and civil rights protection laws.

Photo by Joan Marcus

These omissions impacted Shreck and her family for four generations. As Heidi goes back to her 15-year-old self, she traces the intimate connection between the Constitution and her great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother.

Shreck raises the question of what would have happened if the Equal Rights Amendment had passed in 1982? She challenges the audience to try and get it passed once again and make it law.

Heidi Schreck is played by Cassie Beck (I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Humans on Broadway), who must vacillate between a teenager and an adult, displaying a wide range of emotions. She handles the role with precision, humor, and class.

When the show changes direction, an actual debate started between the adult Schreck and a high school student from Los Angeles about whether or not the Constitution should be abolished. After everyone listened to both sides, the winner of the debate was decided by one audience member.

There are other surprises thrown in that make the play even more fun and meaningful.

(Right) Heidi Schreck (left in photo) and Cassie Beck. Click on image to view larger version.

Photo by Joan Marcus

What the Constitution Means to Me is a deep, thought-provoking play that will have you thinking about your government long after the final bow.

Directed by Oliver Butler, the show was a hit on Broadway with two Tony nominations, a Pulitzer Prize nomination, and broadcast on Amazon Prime Video.

It is playing at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 East Chestnut Street, through November 21. Running time is 100 minutes without intermission. All audience members must show proof of vaccination with an ID card (those with exemptions must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test) and are required to wear masks throughout the play.

 Tickets: Broadway in Chicago

By Mira Temkin | Loop North News | miratemkin@gmail.com

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