Heidi Schreck’s remarkable What The Constitution Means To Me, a 2019 finalist for the Pulitzer Price for Drama, is surprisingly funny for a play about very sad, very serious things. (Among them: domestic violence, sexual violence, the marginalization of everyone who isn’t a land-owning straight white guy, the failures of the U.S. Constitution and of the judicial branch specifically, the list goes on.) But this clip from the Marielle Heller-directed record of the play, which arrives today on Prime Video, is proof that Schreck, who also stars, knows how to land a joke—even when the subject is essentially the kidnapping of women to serve as brides for Washingtonian loggers in 1865. No small feat.
Schreck’s play, which Heller’s cameras captured in its final week on Broadway in 2019, stems from a simple premise: Her travels as a 15-year-old to earn scholarship money from American Legion posts across the country by participating in constitutional debates. But history—her country’s, her familiy’s, and of course her own—tends to float to the surface, despite the moderator (Mike Iveson) sternly watching over the proceedings, stopwatch in hand. Hence, the above clip, in which Schreck is supposed to be addressing the second clause in the 14th amendment. And she is, not just in the way you’d expect.
The entire filmed production awaits you on Prime Video, and is well worth your time; you could do a double-feature with Hamilton and get a hell of a theatrical civics lesson, and all without leaving your home (please wear a mask so theatre can come back again someday? Please?)