What the Constitution Means to Me
Special Benefit Performance!
We are thrilled to announce that the University of Idaho production of “What the Constitution Means to Me” has been invited to participate in the Region 7 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Spokane in mid-February. To prepare for this event, we are hosting a special benefit performance of the show at 2 p.m., Sunday, February 18 in the Hartung Theater. A humorous, intelligent and deeply personal look at the U.S. Constitution, this performance stars U of I professor Kelly Quinnett, U of I alumni Jeff Davis and U of I student Aurora Dickey. Directed by David Lee-Painter.
- 2:00 p.m., Sunday, February 18
- Hartung Theater, 625 Stadium Way, Moscow
- Tickets by donation here
- View program here.
This benefit performance of "Constitution" will help the cast and crew in many ways:
The Hartung Theater space mimics the Spokane space where the show will be performed
It gives the cast and crew a chance to review the material before the Spokane performance
Donations will help support the remount of the play in Spokane
“What the Constitution Means to Me” has received multiple laurels. Most notably, the play was a finalist for both a Pulitzer Prize in drama and the Susan Smith Blackburn prize. It was nominated for the 2019 Tony Award for Best Play. Author Heidi Schreck was presented the Hull-Warriner Award by the Dramatists Guild of America Council for the play.
A Humorous, Intelligent and Personal Look at the U.S. Constitution
Humorously and intelligently and deeply, Shreck enacts and reflects on her connection to the U.S. Constitution and the role it plays in her life, her mother’s life, and her grandmother’s life.
Her play begins with the American Legion Oratorical contests she competed in as a 15-year-old girl living in Wenatchee, Washington. In the competition, debaters addressed sections of the Constitution and its connection to them. The contests’ prize money paid Schreck’s way through college, and as importantly, affected her as a person. She takes these remembrances and contrasts them with her thoughts on the Constitution now, thirty years later.
Real Time Research with the Supreme Court
In creating the script, she listened to recordings of courtroom arguments of the Supreme Court Justices on important cases related to the amendments. The Justices’ attention to detail and nuance as they strived to accurately interpret what the framers put down impressed Shreck and influenced her playscript.
“The fact is there was no possible way for the framers to put down every single right we have—the right to brush your teeth, sure you’ve got it, but how long do we want this document to be?” she writes in the script.
A Living Document Two Hundred Years Strong
“What the Constitution Means to Me” is most definitely not a lecture. Shreck herself is drawn in by her memory and the meaning of the Constitution as she interacts with the audience and reflects on this foundational document and what it means in our time two hundred years after the writing.
With our current, national interest in this document that laid the groundwork for our republic and as the Supreme Court reviews cases focused on its interpretation, this play is an offering to help us better understand where we are coming from and asks us to look to where we shall head as a nation. Please join us for a time of reflection and inspiration.
By Dramaturg Ariana Burns
SPECIAL BENEFIT PERFORMANCE: "What the Constitution Means to Me"
- By Heidi Schreck
- Directed by David Lee-Painter
- Starring Kelly Quinnett, Jeff Davis and Aurora Dickey
Show Times & Dates
- 2 p.m., February 18, 2024
- Hartung Theater, 625 Stadium Drive, Moscow
- By donation
- Tickets available at www.uitickets.com
Content warning: "What the Constitution Means to Me" contains mentions of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and discussions of abortion and its stigmatization.