October 08, 2020 Feature

Was There Ever a Serious Debate About Whether to Approve the Constitution?

Virginia held spectacular debates, conducted by some of the most famous men of the day.

Richard Dean

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The most thought-provoking new play on Broadway last year, and on a national tour before the pandemic, was Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me. Its first part is largely autobiographical. As a teenager, Ms. Schreck regularly spoke on this topic at American Legion contests to win money to pay for college. She focused especially on women’s rights—or the lack thereof—under the Constitution and in the context of her life experiences. The play ends with a brilliant scene where Ms. Schreck challenges a skilled high school debater on whether we should keep or get rid of the Constitution.

Illustration by Sean Kane

Illustration by Sean Kane

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