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TimeLine Theatre Adds WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME to 2022-2023 Season

TimeLine Theatre Adds WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME to 2022-2023 Season

In this hilarious, hopeful, and guttingly human debate-meets-play, Heidi resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the relationship between four generations of women.

TimeLine Theatre Company is extending its 2022-2023 season with a fourth production-the first Chicago-based production of What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck, directed by Helen Young, running May 10 - June 24, 2023. Press Night is Wednesday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful, and guttingly human debate-meets-play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the relationship between four generations of women-all while grappling with the founding document that, for better and worse, shapes their lives.

What the Constitution Means to Me became a sensation upon its premiere at New York Theatre Workshop in 2018 and went on to a five-month Broadway run with Schreck in the leading role, garnering Tony Award nominations for Best Play and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play. A national tour-launched in 2020, paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and resumed in 2021-followed. The play has been filmed, again with Schreck performing, for Amazon Prime Video.

"TimeLine is thrilled to add Heidi Shreck's profoundly moving play to our 26th season," said Artistic Director PJ Powers. "We first encountered this script in 2018, amidst a national debate spurred by the Brett Kavanaugh hearings for the Supreme Court, and it was immediately clear that this wholly original piece of theatre was an ideal fit for TimeLine's mission. While its resonance was palpable when it first premiered, its impact has only grown since then. Delving into the past through stories that are both personal and political, Heidi examines the flaws and fragility of our country's founding document and shines a light on the ways in which the quest to form a more perfect union remains a work in progress, beset by steps forward and back."

"When I first encountered What the Constitution Means to Me, I was struck by how the play got me to realize I indeed have feelings about the Constitution (and our democratic process)!" said director Helen Young, who most recently directed the acclaimed Chicago premiere of Lloyd Suh's The Chinese Lady at TimeLine. "It energized me to want to talk to others who saw the play and debate about its topics, especially if others had differing interpretations. It reminded me that discourse, which includes listening, is an essential obligation of our democracy, and that the contents and interpretation of these living documents are woven into our everyday living, whether we realize it or not."

The cast and production team for What the Constitution Means to Me are still to be announced.

What the Constitution Means to Me begins previews May 10, 2023. Press Night is Wednesday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m. Opening Night is May 18. Performances run through June 24 at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., in Chicago's Lakeview East neighborhood.

Only TimeLine FlexPass Subscribers get advance, priority access to tickets for TimeLine's What the Constitution Means to Me. Three-admission FlexPasses good for remaining 2022-23 Season productions Trouble in Mind, Boulevard of Bold Dreams, and What the Constitution Means to Me are now available, priced $74.50 - $178. To purchase a FlexPass and secure your seats for these sure-to-be-in-demand productions, visit timelinetheatre.com or call the TimeLine Box Office at (773) 281-8463 x6.

Tickets for What the Constitution Means to Me will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

ALSO IN TIMELINE'S 2022-23 SEASON


Performances are about to begin for Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress, directed by TimeLine Company Member Ron OJ Parson, a cutting yet humorous behind-the-curtain drama that examines pervasive racial dynamics within the American theatre and the tolls of superficial representation on stage. Previews start November 2, 2022. Press Night is Wednesday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run through December 18.

Also upcoming is the world premiere of Boulevard of Bold Dreams by LaDarrion Williams, a Los Angeles-based playwright new to Chicago audiences, directed by Malkia Stampley. Set on the night in 1940 that Hattie McDaniel made history at the Oscars, this is a story of dreamers striving to overcome considerable obstacles and fighting for recognition amidst the racism and inequity of Hollywood. Previews start February 1, 2023. Press Night is Wednesday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run through March 19.

ABOUT TIMELINE THEATRE COMPANY

TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. Currently celebrating its 26th season, TimeLine has presented 85 productions, including 12 world premieres and 39 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, which brings the company's mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 60 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times.

The company has long been bursting at the seams of its current leased home located at 615 W. Wellington Avenue in Chicago's Lakeview East neighborhood, where the theatre has been in residence since 1999. In December 2018, TimeLine announced the purchase of property at 5033-35 North Broadway in Chicago's
Uptown neighborhood to be the site of its new home. Plans feature an intimate black box theater seating up to 250 audience members, expanded area for the immersive lobby experiences that are a TimeLine hallmark, new opportunities for education and engagement, room to allow audience members to arrive early and stay late for theatergoing experiences that extend far beyond the stage, and more. TimeLine is working with HGA as architect for its new home project, which is expected to be completed in 2024.

TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Executive Director Mica Cole, and Board President John Sterling. TimeLine Company members are Tyla Abercrumbie, Will Allan, Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Behzad Dabu, Charles Andrew Gardner, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Anish Jethmalani, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, and Maren Robinson.

Major corporate, government and foundation donors providing season support via TimeLine's Annual Fund include Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation, Bayless Family Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, Forum Fund, Joseph & Bessie Feinberg Foundation, John A. Cable Foundation, Laughing Acres Family Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Polk Bros. Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince, Pritzker Traubert Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, U.S. Small Business Administration, and Walder Foundation. This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

For more information, visit timelinetheatre.com or Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (@TimeLineTheatre).


BIOGRAPHIES

Heidi Schreck

(Playwright) is a writer and performer living in Brooklyn. Her play What the Constitution Means to Me was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist and won the Obie Award and New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play in 2019. She also received two Tony Award nominations for Best Play and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, and received the 2019 Benjamin Hadley Danks Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters. A filmed version of What the Constitution Means to Me, starring Schreck, premiered in 2020 exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, and was nominated for a Critics Choice Award, a PGA Award, and a DGA Award. Her other work includes Grand Concourse, which debuted at Playwrights Horizons and Steppenwolf Theatre in 2014-15 and was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and her first play Backwards into China, produced by Printer's Devil at the Theater Off Jackson in 1997. Screenwriting credits include I Love Dick, Billions, Nurse Jackie, Dispatches from Elsewhere, and projects in development with Plan B, Amazon, and Imagine Television. Schreck has also taught playwriting and screenwriting at New York University, Columbia, and Kenyon College, and is the recipient of three Obie Awards, a Drama Desk, the Horton Foote Playwriting Award, and a Theatre World Award.

Helen Young

(Director) returns to TimeLine, where she mostly recently directed the acclaimed hit production of Lloyd Suh's The Chinese Lady. At TimeLine, she also directed the online event Setting the Stage: The Chinese Lady - Building a Bridge Toward Asian Visibility, the TimePieces readings of The Chinese Lady and The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin, and served as Associate Director of The Audience and Assistant Dramaturg of Chimerica. Chicago credits include directing Wild Boar and director lead for New China Festival (Silk Road Rising), directing American Hwangap (Jeff Recommended) and Tiny Dynamite (Halcyon/A-Squared), and directing Tea (Jeff Recommended, Prologue Theatre). Other directing credits include work with Chicago Dramatists, Remy Bumppo, Our Perspectives, Indie Boots (reading festival winner), Polarity Ensemble (reading festival winner), Artemisia, Artistic Home, Token Theatre, and Miranda Theatre's Liz Smith Reading Series at the Cherry Lane in New York City. Young is also an actor and serves on the boards of Token Theatre and Chicago Dramatists.



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