This is an opportunity. This is a “must watch” experience.
Amazon Original What The Constitution Means To Me was released on the platform on October 16, 2020.
What The Constitution Means To Me needs to be cherished and recognised as one of the most provoking and vivid political stage plays in history. Playwright and performer Heidi Schreck has been performing this play since 2017, gracefully nominated for Tony awards and has had a cultural impact in a heavily partisan America. The stage play has been recorded and placed on Amazon, giving audiences the chance to understand what Heidi is achieving. This is an opportunity. This is a “must watch” experience.
What The Constitution Means To Me relies on the childhood to adult perspective as Heidi Schreck combines her teenage self as a competitive debater with her present self, addressing themes such as women’s rights, immigration, and domestic abuse. Her liveliness on stage, her emotion-provoking speeches and her abundance of knowledge are designed to look like chaos. It isn’t chaos. It’s a meticulous and well-curated piece of stage work that manages to put a lump in your throat as you find yourself immersed by her every word. I can only imagine what it’s like to watch this with a live audience, and a part of me felt a tinge of jealousy when the camera pans to an audience member who is soaking up every emotion. This is truly impactful. This is truly an experience.
It’s not the fact that Heidi understands America’s history or how she deeply understands how the constitution works. We can drag many in a room and ask them to relay clauses and amendments while giving their educated view. Heidi Schreck links the constitution to her life experience, finding quirks and ironies along the way to compile sequences of acts that resonate with the audience. She has a way of drawing you in and hanging on to every uttered word; the playwright brings varying emotions of laughter and moments of silence. Her timeliness and respect for what she believes in are finely balanced — even the use of her supporting actor, who has their own window of performance, brings a personal experience to the audience.
What The Constitution Means To Me could not come to the streaming service at a more important time as America heads into a deeper culture war nudged by the media and spurred on effortlessly by politicians on both sides. Heidi Schreck reminds the audience of the importance of the Constitution, but also how flawed the ancient laws have become; the Constitution remains stubbornly static due to patriotic rhetoric and layers of cogs that prevent lawmakers from changing it with Amendments that take decades to approve. With the noise increasing from Twitter political commentators who persistently fudge agendas, What The Constitution Means To Me politely reminds the audience of what they are actually fighting for. Heidi is emotional at the right moments, bringing a flavour of her own life experiences to signify major political milestones and the crippling nature of hindsight. Heidi makes her points at the right moments, never failing to lose audience members as they bask in the theatre lights.
No review or tweeted discourse can truly explain why What The Constitution Means To Me needs to be watched. It just needs to be watched, and it is very likely that once you have, it will become a repeat viewing. What a tremendous piece of work.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.