“What the Constitution Means To Me” Play

Justin Ogilby, Editor In Chief

On January 30th, Liza Mitchell took her AP Government and AP US History class to a play titled “What the Constitution Means to Me.”  

Students left campus at 5:00 p.m and arrived at approximately 6:00 p.m. The students were given time to explore the area and go eat, with some going to places like Federal Courthouse or down to the Grand Central Market.  

The play took place at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. The play was written by Heidi Schreck and is acted out by Maria Dizzia. It was approximately an hour and a half long with no intermissions. 

The play’s plot was about teenage Heidi’s story of earning college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the nation. This deeply personal and emotional play that connects her personal life, what she has been through, and what type of environment she grew up in with the Constitution.  

It details how the Constitution is like a human being, that it is not perfect and is flawed, but can be shaped and changed. It also discusses some failures of the judicial system, how the Constitution did not protect the people it was created to protect. 

The play mostly described two amendments, the 9th amendment and the 14th amendment. The 9th amendment essentially states that all rights not written in the Constitution is still a part of your rights. The 14th amendment was discussed mostly as the equal protection clause, which guarantees everyone equal protection under the law.  

 At the end, there was a live Constitutional debate between the Maria Dizzia and fourteen year old Jocelyn Schrek who has won multiple Constitutional debate competitions. The debate was regarding whether the Constitution should be kept or abolished, with the winner being chosen by an audience member. 

The audience was encouraged to boo or applaud things they approve or disapprove with the arguments presented.  The audience mostly approved of the argument of keeping the Constitution, which was argued by Jocelyn.  

Each member of the audience were given mini Constitutions to take home with them, which were provided by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU fights to protect civil liberties and rights guaranteed under the Constitution and from government over-reaching their authority.