WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME
today at 7:56 pm
Broadway Playhouse has brought us the academic promise land that simplifies the Constitution. Just like the 1976 version of Schoolhouse Rock, “I’m Just A Bill,” What The Constitution Means To Me galvanizes audiences worldwide given them the chance to discover what the founding fathers desired when drafting the Constitution.
Playwright Heidi Schreck’s play is simply one of the best examples of bringing to life the history of our country. Schreck’s play is so fundamental educational; it’s like “See Spot Run” for anyone seeking to learn about the structural inception of America.
Returning to Chicago, Cassie Beck mesmerizes the audience with her keen wit, charm, and intellect as Heidi Schreck’s fifteen-year-old self, who earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions.
As the audience stroll to their seats, we gaze with participation, witnessing pictures of war veterans on the wall. Beck appears and begins a dialogue centered around the Ninth Amendment and telling us about the “penumbra.” Referencing highly on Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, who considered a good man because he didn’t hit his wife and kids.
Beck thrills the audience with 110 minutes of historical facts. She also dabbles into citizenship rights, schooling us on the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, ratified in 1868, stating that all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens; that withstanding no state could abridge the privileges of a citizen.
Beck transitions from adolescence to adult, chewing over the positive but primarily negative issues with the founding document that shaped the lives of our past and presence. Directed by Oliver Butler, who received Tony Award nominations masterfully brings this story to life with a lesson plan of life events filled with laughter and passion. We learn how men and the martyrdom of unnamed historical women suffered to change this document through amendments. The most potent part of this play was hearing Judge Antonin Scalia’s dissent based on the word “Shall.” Another poignant moment came when Beck read about a horrific period in Renaissance France.
“When it became clear that too many women were beaten to death, and it was hurting the economy, men were restricted to blows that did not leave marks.”
Along with providing a spectacular and stimulating walk-through of the history of the United States, Schreck’s play addresses women’s rights, racism, immigration, domestic abuse, and clap back on current political milestone events, shaping a brilliant tutorial for the next generation of Americans.
Beck’s side-kick, Mike Iveson, was equally impressive as the 80’s Legionnaire beckoning Heidi to begin her speech. His dry wit and personality were impeccable, but Iveson showed his talents by sharing his “Positive Male Energy and life experiences,” helping us understand that although life is full of struggles, acceptance of self is the key to life.
In the end, we get a surprise treat as Beck brings on the stage a pupil to debate with her if we should abolish or keep the Constitution, which ends with a lovely, getting to know you session.
What The Constitution Means To Me is amazingly entertaining and provokes the mind to reexamine the true meaning of our founding fathers and if this trailblazing document still presents the future of our country or it is absolute.
Let’s Play Highly Recommends, What The Constitution Means To Me, at Broadway Playhouse.
What the Constitution Means To me
By Heidi Schreck
Directed by Oliver Butler
October 26 – November 7, 2021
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