Press Release What the Constitution Means to Me - Heidi Schreck’s boundary-breaking play - December 1-18
City Theatre and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County Present
WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME
By Heidi Schreck
Directed by Margaret M. Ledford
A New York Times Critic’s Pick and Pulitzer Prize Finalist
Playwright Heidi Schreck’s boundary-breaking play breathes new life into our Constitution and imagines how it will shape the next generation of Americans
“Not just the best play to open on Broadway so far this season, but also the most important.” – The New York Times
December 1, 2022 – Preview
December 2, 2022 – Opening Night
through December 18, 2022
Tickets: $55, $60*
Carnival Studio Theater
Continues the 2022-23 Theater Up Close Series
Miami, FL – October 24, 2022 – City Theatre (@citytheatremia) and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County (@arshtcenter) proudly present the Southeastern Premiere of Heidi Schreck’s WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME, a buoyant and provocative examination by one woman of her civil rights and wrongs. A New York Times critic’s pick, a Tony Award nominee, and Pulitzer Prize finalist when it premiered in 2019, South Florida audiences will enjoy City Theatre’s production of the award-winning Broadway hit, WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME directed by Margaret M. Ledford and presented as part of the Arsht Center’s Theater Up Close series.
After each Friday night performance, audiences are invited to join a free post-show conversation featuring special guests speaking on topics related to the show.
Tickets to WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME are $55 and $60.* Tickets may be purchased at the Adrienne Arsht Center box office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at arshtcenter.org.
PNC Bank is the presenting sponsor of the 2022-2023 THEATER UP CLOSE series. WLRN is the media sponsor. The Arsht Center’s THEATER UP CLOSE series gratefully acknowledges the founding support of Adrianne and Jerry L. Cohen. City Theatre acknowledges the generous support of Stearns Weaver Miller and DLA Piper for this production.
Through this production, City Theatre’s Artistic Director Margaret M. Ledford delves into important issues impacting our society stating, “This show is funny, it’s timely, it’s insightful, but it’s also necessary. At a time when our nation is so divided and our rights hang in the balance every day, this play humanizes the document we all revere and challenges the notion that we are all ‘created equal’ while using humor as the great equalizer.”
City Theatre’s production breathes new life into the U.S. Constitution with hilariously entertaining and powerful storytelling. Inspired by real events, a young Heidi wins constitutional debate contests around the country to earn college tuition. However, as an adult she discovers how debate topics become personal when life and its consequences get messy. Surprising, poignant, and achingly human, the play traces the profound relationship between four generations of women, the founding document that shaped their lives, and how it continues to influence future generations.
WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME stars Elizabeth Price as Heidi, Seth Trucks as Legionnaire, Melissa Almaguer as the Heidi Understudy, and Janine Raquel Johnson as Debater and Understudy.
Elizabeth Price is a stage, screen, and voice actor, director, and producer based in South Florida. She received her MFA in acting from Florida Atlantic University where she has taught acting for the last nine years. She now serves as the Associate Artistic Director for New City Players, a professional theatre company based in Fort Lauderdale. South Florida stage acting credits include: Rx; Villainous Company; An Accident; Reborning (Boca Stage), Little Montgomery; Falling; Twelfth Night (New City Players), This Random World (Theatre Lab), Son (Island City Stage), Crooked; Dance Nation; The Importance of Being Earnest (Thinking Cap), Standing on Ceremony; Island Shorts (City Theatre), The How and the Why (Arts Garage), Reservoir Dolls; The Normal Heart (Outre). She’s also acted and directed in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Austin, New Orleans, and New Mexico, and has received two Silver Palm Awards, a Big Easy Award, and three Carbonell Award nominations for her acting and directing.
Seth Trucks’ previous South Florida theater credits include: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Frankenstein (Zoetic Stage at the Arsht Center); On Your Feet, Murder on the Orient Express (Actor’s Playhouse); Macbeth (New City Players); King Lear (Thinking Cap Theatre; La Cage Aux Folles (Stage Door); The Normal Heart, 1984, Othello (Outre) among others.
Janine Raquel Johnson is a recent graduate from the New World School of the Arts. This past summer she participated in the British American Drama Academy's (BADA) intensive program, Midsummer in Oxford, located in the United Kingdom. Her most recent credits include Zinnia in the podcast Where or When with Lost Girls Theatre.
Melissa Almaguer holds a BFA in Performance from FIU. Her most recent credits include touring with Right Angles, Art Heist at the Arsht Center and the Kravis Center and performing in the immersive theatrical experience, Amparo produced by Broadway Factor. Melissa has collaborated with companies such as Miami New Drama, Abre Camino, O Miami Poetry Festival, Main Street Players, White Rose Miami, Miami Theatre Center, New Theatre, City Theatre and more. Over the summer, she directed the world premiere play, Borrowed by Jim Kierstead (Broadway Factor) which was adapted into an independent film (Broadway United, El Central Productions) where Melissa worked as a Line Producer.
WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME is directed by Margaret M. Ledford. Margaret hails from Chattanooga where she received her Bachelor of Arts in theatre and speech from the University of Tennessee. She has directed many plays, musicals, and readings all over South Florida, including Promethean Theatre (resident director for eight years), Palm Beach Dramaworks, GableStage, Florida Reparatory Theatre, Naked Stage, New Theatre, Delray Beach Arts Garage, Mosaic Theatre, Caldwell Theatre Company, Florida Stage, Island City Stage, Thinking Cap Theatre, Theatre Lab, and, of course, City Theatre. She studied Cubist-Expressionistic scenography post-WWI at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, is an eight-time nominee for Best Director for the local Carbonell awards and a multiple Silver Palm winner for Direction. She has been the Artistic Director for City Theatre since 2017. Margaret is a National Reviewer for the National YoungArts Foundation in theatre and musical theatre, a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, and a co-founder and Creator at Mangrove Creative Collective.
The play’s creative team includes City Theatre Artistic Director Margaret M. Ledford; set designer Jodi Dellaventura; sound designer Matt Corey; costume designer Ellis Tillman; lighting designer Eric Nelson; and production stage manager Naomi Zapata.
*All programs, artists, ticket prices, availability, dates and times are subject to change without notice. Visit arshtcenter.org for up-to-date information.
The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council and the City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency, as well as the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from individuals, corporations and local, state and national foundations.
Set in the heart of downtown Miami, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is committed to welcoming and connecting ALL people to the arts, to the Arsht Center and to each other. Our stages are alive year-round with artists from around the world, innovative programming from our resident companies and local arts partners, free community events that reflect Miami’s unique identity and arts education experiences for thousands of Miami children each year.
Since opening in 2006, the Arsht Center, a 501C3 non-profit organization, has been recognized as a catalyst for billions of dollars in new development in the downtown area, a leader in programming that mirrors South Florida’s diversity, a host venue for historic events and Miami’s hub for arts education.
Each year, we serve more than 60,000 young learners and offer more than 100 culturally diverse and inclusive education programs — many enhanced by the Arsht Center’s relationship with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, local teaching artists and Miami-based arts organizations.
The Arsht Center is also a home stage for three resident companies — Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony — and a launch pad for local artists to make their mark on the international stage. Our 300+ events each year include the Center’s Signature Series of classical, jazz, Broadway, local theater and much more. We present a robust series of touring Broadway musicals direct from New York, the largest jazz series in South Florida, a major annual Flamenco Festival and an award-winning Miami-based theater program. In addition, our Family Fest, Free Gospel Sundays, CommuniTEA LGBTQ+ celebration and Heritage Fest are among dozens of free events that bring together people from all corners of our community. For more information, visit arshtcenter.org.
About City Theatre
City Theatre is an award-winning professional theater company founded in Miami in 1996 dedicated to the development and production of new works that entertain, inform, and resonate with diverse audiences. Now among the oldest theaters in South Florida, City Theatre is distinguished nationally as the only theater in the country producing 10-minute plays and musicals year-round for all ages. City Theatre acknowledges the generous support of Stearns Weaver Miller and DLA Piper for this production.
City Theatre has made its main stage home at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts’ Carnival Studio Theatre since 2007, where it performs its signature SUMMER SHORTS FESTIVAL. After a two-year pandemic pause, City Theatre recently celebrated its Milestone Silver Anniversary in June 2022. Other productions have included plays as part of the Arsht Center’s Theatre Up Close Series, including JACOB MARLEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL by Tom Mula in 2021 and Bekah Brunstetter’s THE CAKE in 2019. City Theatre and the Arsht in association with the Atlantic Council, launched the Miami professional staged reading of WAR WORDS by Michelle Kholos Brooks, as part of a national project honoring veterans and Veterans Day 2021.
City Theatre has produced hundreds of shorts for its various programming by well-known and exciting new writers often discovered through its National Award for Short Playwriting Contests. It commissions plays by South Florida-connected playwrights for its SHORT CUTS Middle School Tour. City Shorts, She Shorts, City Reads, CityWrights and Industry Weekend are additional programs that showcase the versatility of short works and the talented artists who write them. In 2021, City Theatre was awarded a grant by the Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation at the Miami Foundation for HOMEGROWN, a playwright development program launched to nurture, elevate, and promote Miami’s BIPOC writers.
City Theatre is an Associate Member of the National New Play Network (NNPN) and participated in the Rolling World Premiere production of Robert Schenkkan’s BUILDING THE WALL produced at the Arsht in 2018; the Theatre League of South Florida; the Florida Professional Theatre Association. In 2016, City Theatre was honored by the Carbonell Committee with the prestigious Bill Von Maurer Award, which recognizes significant contributions to South Florida theater development by an individual or group, for the company’s dedication to the short form play and fostering new play development. For more information, visit citytheatre.com.