Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

“What the Constitution Means To Me” To Kick Off ODURep’s Fall Season

Via ODURep.

ODURep’s fall season will open on Sept. 19 with “What the Constitution Means To Me,” a play written by Heidi Shreck and directed by Katherine Hammond. The performance is co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice, the Department of Communication & Theatre Arts, and the Women’s & Gender Equity Center.


“What the Constitution Means To Me” explores themes of the United States Constitution and the rights that it fails to protect. Hammond describes the play as autobiographical and personal to Shreck’s life.


“These stories are gleaned from her life as she was exploring the Constitution. […] she used to do contests to earn money to go to college, and ‘What the Constitution Means To Me’ were the speeches she had to give,” Hammond explains.


Coming off the tail-end of several productions that dealt with heavy themes such as “Macbeth” and “Artemis, I,” “What the Constitution Means to Me” is no different from its predecessors. It weaves discussions of women’s rights, domestic abuse, and immigration issues into its narrative.


“The writing is very humorous. The way that [Shreck] turns a phrase, the way it’s crafted, has humor all throughout it. But the topic is very serious,” said Hammond.


When asked why she chose to hold a production of “What the Constitution Means To Me,” Hammond called it “incredibly timely.”


“It is about the Supreme Court, and who makes the rules of our country and how the Supreme Court is not an elected body, yet it has sway over our lives in many directions,” she said.


“This is a really beautiful selection by Katherine because it drives home the point: don’t just take things as they are. Do your research and find out what really happened,” added cast member Laura Nedvin.


Nedvin is a graduate student of education at ODU, where she previously earned her theater degree. She is a veteran of ODURep, having been in many productions, including “Cinderella” and “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience,” both directed by Hammond. In “What the Constitution Means To Me,” Nedvin steps into the lead role of Heidi, who “resurrects her teenage self to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives.”


“The age range is important in this play,” Hammond said when asked about her decision to cast an older actor as Heidi. “She grows and learns and this is a part of the process of what we see within the piece.”


Hammond considered actors in the area and people deeply connected to ODU when casting Heidi. She regards Nedvin as the “absolute perfect fit” for the role.


Only two other actors round out the cast: newcomer Kyle Kraning as the Legionnaire, acting in his first ODU production, and Kaela Wilson as the Debater. Wilson previously worked on costumes for the “Bacchae” production and was a stage manager for “Artemis, I.”


“This has been a fantastic work-in-progress,” Nedvin spoke about her experience on the production. “Katherine is a fantastic director. She lets us use our creativity to help our own characters evolve.”


“Looking at it, it’s been more personal compared to the stuff I did in high school,” said Kraning. “That might just be the size of the cast. It has to be personal for everyone to get along when talking about such deep and complex topics.”


Hammond hopes that the audience will leave the performances with an interest to learn more about the history of the Constitution and the United States government.


“The message we want to give the audience is hope […] We want people to get intrigued in the themes and messages and get involved in their communities,” said Kraning.


According to ODURep, “‘What the Constitution Means to Me’ is one of the things we always say we want theater to be: an act of civic engagement.” All students, particularly those in criminal justice and women’s studies programs, are encouraged to see the play, along with ODU alumni of the Arts & Letters and Education colleges, who can receive $5 off on a pair of tickets to any evening performance.

“What the Constitution Means to Me” will run from Sept. 19 – 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. at the Goode Theatre. Tickets can be purchased here and start at $10 for ODU students.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Ash F.J. Thomas
Ash F.J. Thomas, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Ash F.J. Thomas is an English major working as the Arts & Entertainment Editor. Ash likes to review the many artistic events and exhibitions at ODU and the general Norfolk area. Outside of the Mace & Crown, Ash is passionate about creative writing, theater, and gaming.

Comments (0)

All Mace & Crown Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *