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Arts & Culture

City Theatre's 'What the Constitution Means to Me' invites debate on democracy

Actress Elizabeth Price stars in City Theatre's 'What The Constitution Means To Me' at the Adrienne Arsht Center
Morgan Sophia Photography
Actress Elizabeth Price stars in City Theatre's 'What The Constitution Means To Me' at the Adrienne Arsht Center

The U.S. Constitution. Bestower of inalienable rights and durable bulwark against chaos and tyranny? Or outdated parchment that's in need of a serious upgrade?

Those questions are the central theme of What the Constitution Means to Me.

City Theatre and the Adrienne Arsht Center have teamed up for the show's Southeastern premiere.

Heidi Schreck's semi-autobiographical play is based on her own teenage experiences giving speeches and entering debate competitions for prize money. That cash would eventually help her pay for college.

In a 2020 interview with NPR, Schreck said that the play asks deep questions about the U.S. Constitution " ...and whether it's still serving us and what our relationship is to it. I look at it through a very personal lens."

The production is part of Arsht's "Theater Up Close" series — an 11-year-old collaboration between the performing arts center, City Theatre and Zoetic Stage. The series has mounted dozens of productions featuring almost entirely local casts and crews.

After each Friday night performance of What the Constitution Means to Me, audiences are invited to join a post-show conversation featuring special guests speaking on topics related to the play.

"I believe that theater has to start the harder conversations of society," says City Theatre Artistic Director Margaret Ledford, who's directing the production.

"So in having a talk-back series, we're able to start a little bit more of that conversation. With people that are experts in the field meeting community members — and being able to foster that greater sense of community," she says.

If you go:

City Theatre and Adrienne Arsht Center For the Performing Arts
present the Southeastern premiere of What the Constitution Means to Me,
by Heidi Schreck.
Directed by Margaret M. Ledford.
December 1-18, 2022

Christine DiMattei is WLRN's Morning Edition anchor and also reports on Arts & Culture.
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