What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck
Finalist! 2019 Pulitzer Prize
Winner! 2019 Obie Award, Best New American Play
Winner! 2019 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Best American Play
Nominee: Two 2019 Tony Awards, including Best Play
Playwright Heidi Schreck’s boundary-breaking play breathes new life into our Constitution and imagines how it will shape the next generation of Americans. Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this endearingly funny, hopeful and achingly human new play, actor Michelle Hand brilliantly resurrects Schreck’s teenage and present self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women in her family and the founding document that shaped their lives.
“Heidi Schreck on What the Constitution Means to Me,” PBS, May 10, 2019.
What the Constitution Means to Me premiered off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop on September 12, 2018. The play opened on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre on March 31, 2019. Initially announced for a 12-week engagement, the Broadway production extended twice and fully recouped its investment, shattering box office records, for a total run of 24 weeks. Following Broadway, What the Constitution Means to Me played a record-breaking limited engagement run at the Eisenhower Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as well as two sit-down engagements in Los Angeles and Chicago before halting performances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The national tour of What the Constitution Means to Me resumed in September 2021.
“Endearingly funny and deeply affecting… It would be hard to identify a work for the theater with its finger more on the pulse of America right now.” – Peter Marks, The Washington Post
“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.” – 2019 Pulitzer Prize Committee
“What the Constitution Means to Me is one of the things we always say we want theater to be: an act of civic engagement. It restarts an argument many of us forgot we even needed to have.” – Jesse Green, The New York Times