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At KC Rep, 'What the Constitution Means to Me' takes on a new relevance

Jennifer Westfeldt stars as Heidi in 'What the Constitution Means to Me'
Don Ipock
Westfeldt said telling Schreck's story is a 'privilege.'

Tony Award-nominated actress Jennifer Westfeldt stars in Heidi Schreck's play "What the Constitution Means to Me" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.

When it premiered on Broadway in 2019, "What the Constitution Means to Me" was praised by the New York Timesas “not just the best play to open on Broadway so far this season, but also the most important.”

The show is currently playing at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre's Copaken Stage until November 12.

Written by Heidi Schreck, the play is partially autobiographical: Schreck herself is the main character. The story jumps between the present to her teenage years and deals with weighty topical issues like reproductive rights, systemic inequalities, and gender-based violence.

Schreck has described the play as "a very personal love story about a teenage girl’s bad romance with the Constitution." It also challenges the audience to think about their relationship with the U.S. Constitution, ultimately culminating in a live onstage debate.

"It feels like a privilege to do this piece," said Jennifer Westfeldt, who plays Schreck in the KC Rep production. "It feels like an honor also to do it somewhere where I think these issues really matter. Everything that's on the ballot, upcoming for Missouri and in the country. It couldn't feel more important."

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Elizabeth Erb is a production intern for KCUR 89.3's Up To Date. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program. You can email her at eerb@kcur.org.
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