May 10 – July 2, 2023

The first Chicago-based production of the Tony Award-nominated Pulitzer Prize finalist!

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 is a “slyly crafted piece of persuasion and a tangible contribution to the change it seeks” (The New York Times) and a “singularly charming, politically urgent and cathartically necessary play” (Los Angeles Times) that shows “how broad concepts of law and governance effect individual lives in the most intimate ways” (The Guardian)

A sensation upon its premiere at New York Theatre Workshop in 2018, What the Constitution Means to Me went on to a five-month Broadway run. TimeOut New York declared: “Here is something that every citizen must see. It’s theater in the old sense, the Greek sense, a place where civic society can come together and do its thinking and fixing and planning.”

Today, What the Constitution Means to Me is bound to feel even more relevant, profound, and searing than during its original run and Broadway debut. In the end, Shreck’s personal stories reflect our own, as does her passion, her laughter, and her outrage at a document that deserves to be challenged as much as it is upheld.

“Here is something that every citizen must see”

HEALTH AND SAFETY: TimeLine is currently requiring mask-wearing at all Thursday evening, Sunday matinee, and Distanced Seating performances of What the Constitution Means to Me. While masking is no longer required at most performances, TimeLine will support an individual’s choice to mask. For more information, please visit our Health & Safety policies.

CONTENT ADVISORY: To learn more about the specific content and themes of this production, please visit our content advisory page.

What the Constitution Means to Me runs approximately 1 hour, 40 minutes with no intermission

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Production Team


* Member of Actors Equity Association

# Member of United Scenic Artists

~ Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

+ TimeLine Company Member

^ TimeLine Associate Artist

§ TimeLine Playwrights Collective


  • Daily Herald

    May 18, 2023

    “★★★★…impeccably realized, deeply resonant…an empathetic, emotional, and unfailingly honest central performance by Beth Lacke that is suffused with righteous indignation and humor”

    —Barbara Vitello

  • Broadway World

    May 21, 2023

    What the Constitution Means to Me is the kind of play that reminds me why I love theater…TimeLine’s production, and especially Lacke’s performance, give [the play] a beating heart”

    —Rachel Weinberg

  • Newcity Stage

    May 23, 2023

    “Time and time again TimeLine Theatre Company’s productions speak to a moment in time through the past in ways we may not see before the show begins…this production is sure to leave you wanting to fight on.

    —Amanda Finn

  • Chicago Tribune

    May 18, 2023

    “a fantastic work of activist and feminist theater [that is] absolutely worth experiencing

    —Chris Jones

  • WGN Radio Behind The Curtain

    May 22, 2023

    “★★★★…Beth Lacke is SO good in the lead role, that she will have you looking at your program to be sure she is not Schreck herself…it should be Constitutionally required for everyone to see this TimeLine show!”

    —Paul M. Lisnek

  • Around the Town Chicago

    May 19, 2023

    “★★★★★…directed to perfection by Helen Young, the production itself was flawless

    —Alan Bresloff

  • Chicago Theatre Review

    May 22, 2023

    “Highly recommended…more timely, more necessary and more powerful than ever.

    —Michael Antman

  • Chicago OnStage

    May 23, 2023

    “a tour-de-force performed to perfection by [Beth] Lacke…everyone who is a person in this world, should go see it

    —Joe De Rosa

  • Chicago Reader

    May 24, 2023

    “Makalah Simpson[‘s debater] reminds us, change only happens when we decide to get (and stay) involved.”

    —Kerry Reid


  • Daily Herald

    May 4, 2023

    “This role is a dream,” she said. “It’s a dream play. It’s so smart, so funny and so full of heart and emotionality.

    The play is a conversation, according to Lacke, which isn’t something people with differing viewpoints have these days. People don’t talk to each other, she continues. Or, if they do, they talk only to those with whom they agree.

    —Barbara Vitello

    Read the full feature

  • Chicago Magazine

    May 4, 2023

    “We look back on the Constitution and think it was all these really smart people designing things. But no, it was fighting. It was gritty. It was dirty. And it was won sentence by sentence. It’s the same thing now.

    —Kris Vire

    Read the full feature

  • Northwestern Now

    May 24, 2023

    The play invites audiences to reflect on girls’ and women’s vulnerability, but also their power and resilience. It also urges them to consider the Constitution itself and what they really know about it. It’s a thoughtful, fun and profound play with a rousing and unpredictable conclusion.”

    —Stephanie Kulke

    Read the full feature

  • The Arts Section: The Dueling Critics

    May 21, 2023

    —Kerry Reid and Jonathan Abarbanel

    Listen the radio show

Discussions & Events

    Various Dates

    Join us for informal post-show discussions with members of the production team and cast.

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  • Distanced Performances of WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME
    Sunday, May 28 & Wednesday, June 7

    These performances have a capacity cap and seating chart.

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    June 1 & June 15

    Join us for an informal sneak peek into this production with members of the production team.

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  • WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME: Company Member Discussion
    Sunday, June 11 at 4pm

    Join us for an informal chat with TimeLine’s Company Members after today’s performance.

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  • Open Captioned Performances of WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME
    June 16 at 8pm & June 17 at 4pm

    Featuring a text display of words and sounds heard during the performance.

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  • WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME: Planned Parenthood of Illinois Night
    Saturday, June 17 at 8 pm

    A special evening raising funds to support sexual and reproductive health care across Illinois.

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    Sunday, June 18 at 3:45pm

    This one-hour post-show panel discussion features experts on the themes of the play.

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  • Audio Described Performance of WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME
    June 22 at 7:30pm

    Featuring audio description of visuals during the performance via individual headset.

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