Presented by Center Theatre Group, “What the Constitution Means to Me” opened Friday, January 17, 2020, at the Mark Taper Forum. Starring Maria Dizzia, written by Heidi Schreck and directed by Oliver Butler, performances will continue through February 28. In addition to Maria Dizzia, the cast of “What the Constitution Means to Me” includes original Broadway cast members Rosdely Ciprian and Mike Iveson as well as local debater Jocelyn Shek (who alternates in the role with Ciprian). Gabriel Marin and Jessica Savage are understudies. The creative team features scenic design by Rachel Hauck (“Hadestown”), costume design by Michael Krass (“Hadestown”), lighting design by Jen Schriever (“Eclipsed”) and sound design by Sinan Refik Zafar (“Hamlet”). The casting director is Taylor Williams and the production stage manager is Nicole Olson.
Direct from Broadway, 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 hilarious, hopeful and achingly human new play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives. Schreck’s timely and galvanizing play, directed by Oliver Butler, became a sensation off-Broadway before transferring to Broadway in 2019 where it received two Tony Award nominations among countless other accolades.
The New York Times hailed “What the Constitution Means to Me” as “not just the best play to open on Broadway so far this season, but also the most important.” Initially announced for a 12-week engagement on Broadway, “What the Constitution Means to Me” was extended twice and fully recouped in its Broadway engagement, shattering box office records at the Helen Hayes Theater, for a total run of 24 weeks. “What the Constitution Means to Me” officially opened March 31, 2019 after beginning preview performances March 14, and played its final Broadway performance on August 24, 2019. “What the Constitution Means to Me” had a record-breaking limited engagement run at the Eisenhower Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., where it played 15 performances immediately following the conclusion of the Broadway run, from September 11 through September 22, 2019. “What the Constitution Means to Me” was commissioned by True Love Productions. This production originated as part of Summerworks 2017, produced by Clubbed Thumb in partnership with True Love Productions. The national tour of “What the Constitution Means to Me” is produced by Diana DiMenna, Aaron Glick, Matt Ross and Level Forward & Eva Price.
Heidi Schreck is a playwright, screenwriter and performer living in Brooklyn. Her most recent play “What the Constitution Means to Me” was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist and won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play. Schreck also received two Tony Award nominations for “What the Constitution Means to Me” for Best Play and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, the 2019 Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Award, the Horton Foote Playwriting Award, the Hull-Warriner Award, and an OBIE. Heidi’s other plays include “Grand Concourse,” “Creature,” “Mr. Universe” and “There Are No More Big Secrets.” Her screenwriting credits include “I Love Dick,” “Billions” and “Nurse Jackie.” Schreck has taught playwriting and screenwriting at NYU, Columbia, Kenyon College, and Primary Stages.
Tickets are available online at CenterTheatreGroup.org, by calling Audience Services at (213) 628-2772 or in person at the Center Theatre Group Box Office (at the Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles). Tickets range from $59-$175 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Mark Taper Forum is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.