TONY-NOMINATED MARIA DIZZIA TO STAR IN HEIDI SCHRECK’S “WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME” AT CENTER THEATRE GROUP/MARK TAPER FORUM
Directed by Oliver Butler, Dizzia Is Joined by Original Broadway Cast Members Mike Iveson and Rosdely Ciprian at the Mark Taper Forum January 12 – February 16, 2020
Tony Award nominee Maria Dizzia will star in the first two stops of the national tour of Heidi Schreck’s Tony Award-nominated play and Pulitzer Prize finalist “What the Constitution Means to Me,” directed by Oliver Butler. Dizzia will perform the lead role in Center Theatre Group’s Los Angeles engagement at the Mark Taper Forum (January 12 through February 16, 2020) and in Chicago at the Broadway Playhouse (March 4 through April 12, 2020). Additional cities and new casting for the remainder of the tour will be announced this winter. For a complete list of cities, visit constitutionbroadway.com. The opening night performance at the Taper, originally announced for January 15, 2020, has been moved to Friday, January 17.
Dizzia (“In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play),” “Orange is the New Black”) will be joined for these engagements by original Broadway cast members Mike Iveson and Rosdely Ciprian, who will reprise their roles in both Los Angeles and Chicago. Additional casting to be announced.
“I learned so much as a woman and a citizen from ‘Constitution’ and am so excited to be a part of it,” said Maria Dizzia. “I can't wait to work with Heidi.”
“I have loved and admired Maria for many years and I consider it a huge gift to have an actor of her tremendous talent giving new life to this play,” said Heidi Schreck. “I'm thrilled to be bringing ‘Constitution’ to audiences across the country with this brilliant and generous artist at the helm.”
Playwright Heidi Schreck’s boundary-breaking play breathes new life into our Constitution and imagines how it will shape the next generation of American women. Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful and achingly human new play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that dictated their rights and citizenship.
Schreck’s timely and galvanizing play, directed by Butler, became a sensation off-Broadway last fall before transferring to Broadway where it received two Tony Award nominations among countless other accolades. Sara Holdren of New York Magazine called it “delicately balanced and expansively humane.” Jesse Green of The New York Times called it “not just the best play to open on Broadway so far this season, but also the most important,” adding “joy comes from watching an imaginative new kind of theater emerge.”
Initially announced for a 12-week engagement on Broadway, “What the Constitution Means to Me” was extended twice and fully recouped in its Broadway engagement, shattering box office records at the Helen Hayes Theater, for a total run of 24 weeks. “What the Constitution Means to Me” officially opened March 31, 2019 after beginning preview performances March 14, and played its final Broadway performance on August 24, 2019.
“What the Constitution Means to Me” recently concluded a record-breaking limited engagement run at the Eisenhower Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., where it played 15 performances immediately following the conclusion of the Broadway run, from September 11 through September 22, 2019.
“What the Constitution Means to Me” 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”).
“What the Constitution Means to Me” was commissioned by True Love Productions. This production originated as part of Summerworks 2017, produced by Clubbed Thumb in partnership with True Love Productions.
The national tour of “What the Constitution Means to Me” is produced by Diana DiMenna, Aaron Glick, Matt Ross and Level Forward & Eva Price.
Maria Dizzia’s New York theatre credits include “If I Forget,” “The Layover,” “Belleville” (2013 Drama Desk nomination), “Uncle Vanya,” “Cradle and All,” “In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play)” (2010 Tony Award nomination), “The Hallway Trilogy” and more. Maria portrayed Polly on three seasons of Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black.” Other film and television credits include “The Deuce,” “Bull,” “Red Oaks,” “While We’re Young,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “Margin Call,” “Rachel Getting Married,” “Horace and Pete,” “Royal Pains,” “The Newsroom,” “The Good Wife,” “Master of None,” “Louie,” “Fringe” and “Law & Order.” Upcoming, she will be seen in the new HBO series, “The Undoing” and the independent feature, “I Was in Your Blood.” Recently she made her directorial debut with the Amios theatre company in their production of “The Loneliest Number.” She can currently be seen in “13 Reasons Why” streaming on Netflix and throughout the first season on “Emergence” on ABC. Maria received her MFA from the University of California, San Diego.
Heidi Schreck’s play “Grand Concourse” was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and winner of the Stacey Mindich Lilly Award. Other plays, including “Creature,” “There Are No More Big Secrets” and “The Consultant,” have been produced by Berkeley Rep, Long Wharf, Page 73, Seattle Public Theatre, New Georges, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and more. Heidi’s television writing includes “I Love Dick,” “Billions” and “Nurse Jackie.” She is developing a TV series with Amazon based on Patricia Lockwood's “Priestdaddy.” As an actor she’s performed at Berkeley Rep, Roundabout, MTC, Playwrights Horizons, Shakespeare in the Park, Clubbed Thumb, Two-Headed Calf and on “Nurse Jackie,” “Billions,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “The Good Wife.” Winner of two Obies, a Drama Desk Award and the Theatre World Award.
Oliver Butler is a co-founder and co-artistic director of The Debate Society (TDS), with whom he has co-created and directed nine full-length plays. He directed the premiere of Will Eno’s “The Open House” (Obie Award for Direction; Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play), Eno’s “Thom Pain” at Signature Theatre and the Geffen Playhouse and the City Center Encores! Off-Center production of Jonathan Larson’s “Tick…Tick…Boom” starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom and Karen Olivo.
Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, Managing Director Meghan Pressman and Producing Director Douglas C. Baker, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2100-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.
Tickets currently available by subscription only. Beginning October 30, tickets will become available to the general public online at CenterTheatreGroup.org, by calling Audience Services at (213) 628-2772 or in person at the Center Theatre Group Box Office (at the Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles). Tickets range from $25 – $125 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Mark Taper Forum is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.
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October 15, 2019