Review: WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME at TheatreSquared

This production runs through March 3

By: Feb. 27, 2024
Review: WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME at TheatreSquared
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How many Constitutional Amendments do you know without looking it up? There is freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, the right to vote, and......that’s about it for me. It has been a few years since I’ve been in social studies class. So, going to TheatreSquared, 477 W Spring St., in Fayetteville, to see WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME, which is playing in the Black Box through Sunday, March 3, was an educational experience. But, don’t think this history lesson is boring. It is anything but that. Written by Heidi Schreck and Directed by Amy Herzberg, this autobiographical comedy will make you think, feel, and laugh as they talk about what was going on in her life as she was trying to win these debates. 

Review: WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME at TheatreSquared

To open, Heidi (Kelsey Venter) explained that though she is currently in her 30s, she will flash back to when she was 15 years old to let us experience what she went through as a Constitutional Debater touring the different American Legions for prize money for college. Her Legionaire (Bruch Thomas Reed) steps in when it is time for her to debate an amendment and to keep time. During this process she flips between young Heidi to older Heidi to explain what is going on. She talks about the fourteenth amendment, women’s rights, sexual abuse, being a “good immigrant,” and other emotional topics that kept us thinking about...well.... what the constitution means to us. At the end, Manvitha Narasimhan, a real high school debater from Bentonville High School, went head-to-head with Heidi on whether to keep the current constitution or scratch it and make a new one. When they were done, they had an audience member decide who was the winner.  

Review: WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME at TheatreSquared

Though this did have a few other people, it was basically a one woman show, and Kelsey Venter brought the infectious energy and charisma that dominated throughout the entire performance. She talked straight to the audience and made us laugh and get emotional at all of the topics she presented. Venter had us feeling like we were all bffs and we were going to solve the world’s problems that night. 

Bruch Reed was entertaining as her Legionaire with his seriousness and commander-like qualities. Then when he switched to being Heidi’s friend, he too talked about issues he faced in a society that frowned on men with feminine qualities.   

Review: WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME at TheatreSquared

So, could we have solved the world’s problems during the show? Doubtful, but I have all the faith in Narasimhan that she could lead us into a better tomorrow. She was so intelligent and poised. She easily handled the debate with confidence and made me want to watch a real constitutional debate. The only thing that would have made this even better is if they had brought out their other high school debater Alise Whitfield and they both really did do a round of debate.  

Review: WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME at TheatreSquared

TheatreSquared always impresses me. Before the show I talked with the enjoyable cafe concierge who said he hoped I liked the show. I told him that they always do a wonderful job with every production. However, it’s the variety that intrigues me. Rarely do I recognize what is being offered. It’s exciting and never boring. I love it.  

What I also loved at The Commons Bar & Cafe, besides my new friend, was the Hummus Flatbread Pizza. That too was inventive and very tasty. It had a hummus layer with artichokes, peppers, red onions, and Zaatar Seasoning. It had a flavorful blend that impressed my taste buds. I will no doubt order it again. I did not try the signature drink this time around, but the mixologist made it tempting. 

Review: WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME at TheatreSquared

This week CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND begins on the mainstage. Written by Lauren Yee and Directed by Nelson T. Eusebio III, this musical, according to T2 website, says: 

“Backed by a live band playing contemporary Dengue Fever hits and classic Cambodian oldies, this darkly funny, electric new play tells the story of a father who escaped a murderous regime returning home after 30 years in search of his wayward daughter. As the play jumps back in time, it’s a rock epic meets thrilling mystery as both are forced to face the music of the past.” 

For more information of both productions, visit their website at https://www.theatre2.org. 

Review: WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME at TheatreSquared




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