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What the Constitution Means to Me

By Heidi Schreck

Co-produced with the Hangar Theatre

May 30 - June 11, 2023 at Kitchen Theatre Company

June 15 - 24 at The Hangar Theatre

Fifteen-year-old Heidi paid her way through college by debating the merits of the U.S. Constitution across the Midwest. Now, as an adult, she is reexamining her teenage convictions, tracing that pivotal document's profound effect on four generations of women in her family in a witty and stunningly relevant piece of theater. This HILARIOUS, DYNAMIC, and UPLIFTING award-winning show was nominated for two Tony Awards and named a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Recommended for ages 12+

Pre- and Post-Show Talks During the R


Friday, June 9 at 7 pm ET "Whose Constitution is it Anyways?" 

Join us for a pre-show talk on Friday, June 9 at 7:15 pm ET before the 8 pm ET performance of What the Constitution Means to Me with Ezra Ishmael Young, visiting professor at Cornell Law School 

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Ezra Young is a nationally recognized scholar and civil rights attorney based in New York. He is currently a visiting assistant professor of law at Cornell Law School where he teaches Constitutional Law, Critical Race Theory, and Transgender People and the Law. On the side, Ezra maintains a boutique private practice.  

Ezra’s scholarly work has two strands. The first explores the rights of trans persons and is situated in the nascent field of critical trans theory. The second strand looks at innovative equitable remedies and is at the intersection of federal courts, civil procedure, remedies, and constitutional law. Ezra’s litigation centers on trans rights and focuses on rights of recognition, employment protections, and health care and insurance coverage issues. 


Ezra received his BA in Philosophy from Cornell University and his JD from Columbia Law School. While a law student, Ezra served as Executive Managing Editor of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law and Online & Consulting Editor of the Columbia Journal of Race and Law. From 2012 to 2014, Ezra was a postdoctoral scholar at Columbia Law School. His post doctoral studies focused on trans rights, Critical Race Theory, and intersectionality and were supervised by renowned scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw.

For a full biography, please visit


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Erica Steinhagen (she/her) (Heidi) is thrilled for the opportunity to bring this play to Ithaca audiences. At the KTC: most recently, Natalie in The Ding Dongs, Carol in Hurricane Diane, Adrienne in Cry It Out, Margery in Hand to God. Back in the day: The Drunken City, Precious Nonsense, Bed No Breakfast, Tony and the Soprano, Dario Fo’s We Won’t Pay!, Nora, Bed and Sofa, The Servant of Two Masters, among others. At the Hangar: Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Trish in Kinky Boots, Dana in Ever So Humble, The Sound of Music, Cats, Beauty and the Beast, My Fair Lady, and her one-woman cabaret Imagine My Surprise. With The Cherry (founding member): White Rabbit Red Rabbit, George Kaplan, title role in The Snow Queen and What Happens Next. Selected regional: Stage Kiss, The Best of Kathy and Mo, Wider than the Sky, Antigone, The Drowsy Chaperone, and the one-woman play The Unfortunates. For my family and chosen family, and for all the heroes and activists fighting right now this second for our rights to body autonomy, choice, and the gorgeous pursuit of life, liberty, happiness, and loving who we want.

Karl Gregory

Karl Gregory (Legionnaire) is an Award-Winning Actor, as well as an Award-Winning Bartender. Go figure. NYC Theater: From White Plains (Fault Line Theatre, GLAAD Media Award), FROGS (Fault Line Theatre), BecauseHeCan (Personal Space Theatrics), The Servant of Two Masters (PS122). Regional Theater: Ever So Humble, The 39 Steps (Hangar Theatre), Testosterone, The Wetsuitman (Cherry Arts), The Importance of Being Earnest (Trinity Rep). Karl has been seen in over 50 productions with Kitchen Theatre Company. Favorite shows include: Every Brilliant Thing, Buyer & Cellar, Peter and the Starcatcher (SALT Award), Gutenberg! The Musical!, Fully Committed (SALT Award), SantaLand Diaries, Swimming In The Shallows, A Perfect Ganesh, The Cripple of Inishmaan, and The Servant of Two Masters. TV: ALPHA HOUSE, NIGHTCAP. He recently wrapped a feature film in Provincetown titled “Best Place” directed by Marco Calvani. BFA- Syracuse University, MFA- Brown/Trinity Rep. Karl splits his time between Ithaca and Provincetown with his husband, Andrew. 

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AnnaJo Lubasi (High School Debater) (they/she) is thrilled to be making their professional debut in Ithaca this summer at the Kitchen and the Hangar as the Student Debater! As an Ithaca College 2023 graduate with a BFA in Musical Theatre, some of their recent onstage credits include Olivia in 12th Night the Musical, Evan in Sweat and Sara in Stop Kiss. AnnaJo is extremely grateful to their friends, family and artistic educators for their enduring love and support, as well as everyone on the WTCMTM team for making this production a reality.

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Maren Friedman (High School Debater) is an 11th grader at Trumansburg High School. She has done theatre with her school, Running to Places, and Encore Players, and has recently been in a few student films at Ithaca College. She performed in Chicago as Matron “Mama” Morton with Trumansburg HS this spring. She is interested in pursuing music and theatre, and in summer 2022 she participated in pre-college programs at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Carnegie Mellon. Maren loves music in all aspects, such as dancing with the Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts and playing trumpet and guitar. She is excited to be a part of this production and hopes this play makes all of us think more deeply about the principles our country is founded on.


Phoebe Schlather (High School Debater) is a sophomore at Ithaca High School. She began acting at the Ithaca Waldorf School in the productions of Hades and Persephone, as Aphrodite, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, as the lead, Lucy, as well as many small roles in school plays. At Boynton Middle School, she had the role of the Narrator in the production of Into the Woods. At IHS, she is a member of Bella Voce, the IHS Debate Club, and the IHS Chamber Orchestra. In 2022, she was selected as a cellist for Area All-State. She thanks Mr. Sam Nelson, the Director of Cornell Speech & Debate, for allowing her as a kid to hang out at and eventually attend the Cornell International Summer Debate Camp, her parents for their love and support in her artistic pursuits, her family and friends for encouragement, and finally her husky, Beau, for keeping her entertained!

WTCMTM Creative Team

Creative Team

Heidi Schreck (playwright) is a writer and performer living in Brooklyn. Her critically acclaimed, award-winning play What the Constitution Means to Me played an extended, sold-out run on Broadway in 2019, and was nominated for two Tony Awards. It had subsequent sold-out runs at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., as well as at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and will continue its national tour when safe to do so.

A filmed version of What the Constitution Means to Me, starring Schreck, premiered this past October exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, and was nominated for a Critics Choice Award, a PGA Award, and a DGA Award. What the Constitution Means to Me was named Best of the Year by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Time Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, The New Yorker and more; NPR named it one of the “50 Great Pop Culture Moments” of 2019.

Schreck’s other plays Grand Concourse, Creature and There Are No More Big Secrets have been produced all over the country and she has worked as a stage actor in NYC for almost 20 years. Her screenwriting credits include I Love Dick, Billions, Nurse Jackie and shows in development with Amazon Studios, Big Beach, Imagine Television and A24.

Shirley Serotsky (director) is a director, dramaturg, artistic leader, and educator; she joined the Hangar Theatre in 2019 after over 15 years in the Washington, DC area. Selected directing credits include: Once, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Red Riding Hood (Hangar Theatre); Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World (Mosaic Theater); The How and the Why, Another Way Home, The Call, Yentl, The Argument, The Hampton Years, The History of Invulnerability, The Moscows of Nantucket, Mikveh (Theater J); Rapture, Blister, Burn (Round House Theatre); Winnie-the-Pooh, The Jungle Book (Adventure Theatre); a 21/24 Signature Lab Workshop presentation of The Break (Signature Theatre); God of Carnage, Other Life Forms, Working: The Musical (Keegan Theatre); Blood Wedding (Constellation Theatre); A Man, His Wife, and His Hat and Birds of a Feather (which won the 2012 Charles MacArthur Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, The Hub Theatre). Training: BFA, The University of North Carolina School of the Arts; MFA, Catholic University.

Deletris Bryant (sound design) is a director, stage manager and designer originally from the Greater Washington, D.C., Metro Area.  A few of their recent credits include: Production Stage Manager for  BANKSY: A New Play (Dir. Denis Jones), Sound Designer for No Child... (Kitchen Theatre Company), and Assistant Director for “Moments: An Evening of the Work of Douglas Lyons” (Ithaca College). They are a graduate of Ithaca College School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

Iris Estelle (she/her) (costume design) is originally from Louisiana where she grew up around a community theatre that started her passion for theatre and the arts. During the time that she was working towards a Fine Arts degree, Iris re-discovered costuming and fashion and started forging a new path in her undergrad work. Iris graduated from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA with a degree in Fine & Graphic Arts with a concentration in Fiber & Textiles. She also had a scholarship with the costume shop, where she built and designed costumes for performances throughout the year. With a passion for theatre, fashion, and art, Iris wants to constantly share her creative spirit in all aspects of her work. Iris worked as a touring wardrobe assistant for 3 years and after the pandemic started; she was looking for another way into the theatre world. Eventually she made her way to Ithaca and seeks to continue her work in Costume design.

Kent Goetz (Scenic Design) is a Professor Emeritus at Cornell University’s Department of Performing and Media Arts and was the Resident Scene Designer at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts from 1991-2019. Previous designs for KTC include sets for PROOF, HAND TO GOD, LONELY PLANET, HEROES, FRANKIE AND JOHNNY AT THE CLAIRE DE LUNE, RED LIGHT WINTER, PRIVATE LIVES, CHESAPEAKE, SECRET ORDER, I BECAME A GUITAR, STRANGERHORSE, A MARRIAGE MINUET, and DRUNKEN CITY. Other institutions for which he has designed include: TheatreSquared, Asolo Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Florida Stage, Geva Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre, Madison Opera, Skylight Opera, Body Politic Theatre, American Musical Theatre, Maine State Musical Theatre, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Hangar Theatre. He has also served as a scenic artist at the Long Wharf Theatre, Hartford Stage, Goodspeed Opera and the Julliard School. Prior to Cornell Kent taught theatre design at Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University.

Joey Moro (Lighting Designer) is a New York based designer, who designs lighting, projection, and scenery.  Joey has designed over 150 productions in NYC, regionally, and abroad. Recent Lighting:La tragédie de Carmen, (Stony Brook) Romeo and Juliet (NAATCO) No Child, (Kitchen Theatre Co) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Choir Boy, (Le Petit Light/Set) The Rape of Lucretia, (Boston Lyric Opera,) Awful Event, (Baryshnikov Arts Center.) Recent projection work, The Wanderers, (Roundabout,) Good Vibrations, (Houston Ballet,) Sunken Cities Exhibit, (Virginia Museum of Fine Art,)  Joey creates and engineers video systems for on/off Broadway, museums, and installations.  BA Cum Laude Cornell, MFA Yale School of Drama.  Joey is an Associate Professor in Design at BerkleeNYC, and a guest lecturer at the Yale School of Drama and NYU Tisch.

Jennifer Schilansky (Production Stage Manager) is delighted to be returning to the Kitchen Theatre. Jen has been the resident stage manager for the Kitchen Theatre Company for roughly 60 main stage productions. KTC favorites include: No Child, A Boy and His Soul, The Royale, Ironbound, Throw Pitchfork, The Mountaintop, Paloma, The Whipping Man, Darian Dauchan's Death Boogie and Brian Dykstra Selling Out.  Based in Groton, NY Jen spends most of her time working in Ithaca, NY and spending time with her 1 1/2 year old daughter, Maya. Previous work includes PSM for Seussical at SUNY Cortland, Jazz Nutcracker SUNY Binghamton, PSM for The Cherry Arts and their English World Premieres: Heading into Night, A Day, Hotel Good Luck, The Fan, and Felt Sad, Posted a Frog.  She has also served as the Production Stage Manager for the Hangar Theatre’s Pride and Prejudice, Dégagé, and A Doll’s House Part 2. Prior to moving to Ithaca, she spent five years as the resident stage manager for Stageworks Theater in Hudson, as well as Stage Managing for Half Moon Theater in Poughkeepsie and Bard College. Jen has been an Equity member since 2007 and is a graduate of Lycoming College in Williamsport PA.

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