What the Constitution Means to the Playwright Heidi Schreck

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Few Americans dispute the centrality of the Constitution as a statement of our country’s goals; it is as though holy. But what the Constitution actually means to any two people may differ widely, and those differences are dramatized in a new play, on Broadway, called “What the Constitution Means to Me.” It’s essentially a one-person show written and performed by Heidi Schreck (profiled in The New Yorker by Michael Schulman), and it’s her first play to reach Broadway. The performer reflects on her personal history as a high-school debate champion, when she was rewarded for upholding an officially sanctioned view of American politics that she has come to realize is a distortion. Both the play and Schreck’s performance have been nominated for Tony Awards; it’s a hit, and it’s a cultural flashpoint in an era when the phrase “constitutional crisis” is invoked almost weekly. Dorothy Wickenden spoke with Heidi Schreck. Plus, SoundCloud rap—once a marginal, willfully weird genre for amateurs—has lately created some of the biggest hits in hip-hop.

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