Imagine a Broadway show that features one woman talking about herself as a 15-year-old who managed to win college scholarships by debating the merits of the U.S. Constitution. Fascinating, no? Well, actually yes. Heidi Schreck is that woman who brought this unlikely work to Broadway, and it is truly a unique theatrical gem.
She describes herself as a young woman who loved the document. But now, 30 years later, she says she started thinking about the Constitution again for various reasons. And she's obviously been thinking a lot, because she manages to fill 100 intermission-less minutes with much food for thought.
Today, her feelings about the Constitution and its 27 Amendments are more critical as she points out that women were mostly excluded from its guaranteed rights. And even though the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, our founding fathers had virtually nothing to say about the female half of the population.
She's specifically concerned about women's reproductive rights, especially in light of the fact that for most of its existence, the Supreme Court, entrusted to interpret the Constitution, was an all-white guy club. And she's at her best pointing out the hypocrisy built into the lopsided system.
At this point, you might be thinking the show is more like a high school civics class. I can guarantee it is not. And while it's somewhat disjointed, you're bound to learn a lot. The bottom line is that Schreck is highly entertaining, all the while engaging us with equal measures of humor and pathos.
It ends with Heidi calling on to the stage a young high school student who, like her, is an expert debater. On alternating nights you can either see Thursday Williams or 14-year-old Rosdely Ciprian, who was featured the night I attended and is awesome. With the supreme gift of oratory, they both go at it, arguing the question of whether to fix the Constitution or simply abolish it.
Heidi and Rosdely remind us that we the people are far from forming a perfect union. And yet, how fortunate we are to have a Constitution that gives them the right to say so.