Center Theatre Group Has Broken Two Records with WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME at the Mark Taper Forum
Center Theatre Group broke two records with the engagement of "What the Constitution Means to Me" by offering more free and low-cost tickets throughout its run than any other production at the Mark Taper Forum while also setting the record for highest weekly gross in the theatre's over 50-year history with $533,285 for the week ending February 23, 2020.
"Center Theatre Group is constantly experimenting with new ways to make everyone feel welcome and to break down barriers that keep people from coming to the theatre, a mission we share with the producers of this show," said Meghan Pressman, Center Theatre Group Managing Director/CEO. "It's exciting to see us uniting our access efforts-some continuing, some expanding, some new-under one umbrella, Theatre Access for L.A., which has put a new focus on this important work. With 'What the Constitution Means to Me' breaking sales records, it has also been heartening to see our generous donors make it possible to double our number of Student Matinee performances, ensuring that more first-time theatregoers and young people who wouldn't otherwise have a chance to see this important play have this exceptional opportunity."
Written by Heidi Schreck, directed by Oliver Butler and starring Maria Dizzia, the Tony-nominated play began performances on January 12, 2020 and was originally scheduled to run through February 16 before being extended twice. The production closes February 28, 2020.
To make sure as many people as possible could see "What the Constitution Means to Me," Center Theatre Group partnered with several local law firms to launch a new funding initiative titled Theatre Access for L.A. Under this initiative, Center Theatre Group added $15 student rush tickets (a limited number available for students 25 and under with a valid student ID) and 232 $25 tickets in the extension week (in honor of the United States' 232-year-old Constitution) to the existing FreePlay program (free tickets at a preview performance for people 25 years of age and under) and $15 TodayTix lottery (made available for all evening performances) in an effort to make theatre available to every audience. To date, 6,841 free and low-cost tickets were made available throughout the run including 2,520 tickets at four student matinees reaching students from over 50 local schools.
The Theatre Access for L.A. Initiative supports Center Theatre Group's efforts to reach an audience that reflects the diverse makeup of Southern California and the communities it serves. A gift to this fund helps provide access to underrepresented community members and create a more inclusive theatre through subsidized ticket offers, innovative audience engagement and education projects and more. Lead funding for Theatre Access for L.A. is provided in part by Glaser, Weil LLP; Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman et al.; and Jeffer Mangels Butler and Mitchell LLP.
The student matinee program for "What the Constitution Means to Me" is
generously supported by Deena and Edward Nahmias; Betsy and Harold Applebaum;
Cindy and Gary Frischling; and The Norman and Sadie Lee Foundation. The continuing student matinee program would not be possible without the generous support of the Rosenthal Family Foundation; City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; US Bank; Diana Buckhantz and Vladimir and Araxia Buckhantz Foundation; Renee and Meyer Luskin; Laura and James Rosenwald and Orinoco Foundation; Union Bank; The Walt Disney Company Foundation; Paramount Pictures; and the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation. For more information on the student matinee program, please visit CTGLA.org/StudentMatinee.
In addition to Maria Dizzia, the cast of "What the Constitution Means to Me" includes original Broadway cast members Rosdely Ciprian and Mike Iveson as well as local debater Jocelyn Shek (who alternates in the role with Ciprian). Gabriel Marin and Jessica Savage are understudies. The creative team features scenic design by Rachel Hauck ("Hadestown"), costume design by Michael Krass ("Hadestown"), lighting design by Jen Schriever ("Eclipsed") and sound design by Sinan Refik Zafar ("Hamlet"). The production stage manager is Nicole Olson and the casting director is Taylor Williams.