Arden Theatre Company presents 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

BySteph Walton WPVI logo
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Arden Theatre Company presents 'What the Constitution Means to Me'
"What the Constitution Means to Me" is a play about the Constitution just blocks away from where the Founding Fathers signed the document.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- In "What the Constitution Means to Me", playwright Heidi Schreck revisits being a 15-year-old high school debater.

"You don't write a show like this unless you have something to say," says Director Jennifer Childs.

Childs says Schreck examines the question "who is left out of the Constitution?"

Jessica Bedford stars in the show as Heidi Schreck.

"(Schreck) does have a love for the Constitution," says Childs. "But also, there have been some decisions made in its interpretation, over the course of history, that have not been great for women."

Schreck won many competitions and scholarships for her Constitutional debates.

"She stood up in front of a room of grownups and people listened to her," says Bedford. "And that was really transformative for her."

"Now in her 40s, she's kind of reflecting back on why the Constitution was so important to her, and how the decisions that were made and the things that are written about in the Constitution have affected and continue to affect her life," says Childs.

Bedford says Schreck is now asking the questions - "what is my relationship to that document now? And what do I find that it actually says about me, and about my place in this country?"

"She's bold enough, and willing enough, to go to the personal in order to sort of explode out some of these truths. And she's funny too," says Bedford.

"There's something very powerful about somebody standing up and telling a story about themselves that is true," says Childs.

The show ends with a live debate that includes two current Philadelphia high school debaters.

"And they have to debate against Jessica, who's playing Heidi, as to whether or not the Constitution should be abolished," says Childs.

"This document was written by a certain demographic for a certain demographic. This country now holds a lot more than that," says Bedford. "I really hope that audiences leave thinking."

The Arden Theatre Company presents What the Constitution Means to Me through Dec. 10.

What the Constitution Means to Me | Tickets

The Arden Theatre Company

40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106