What the Constitution Means to Me, playwright-performer Heidi Schreck’s Tony-nominated Pulitzer Prize finalist, has recouped its $2.5 million Broadway capitalization, producers announced today.
The milestone arrived with the week ending July 14, with six weeks left in the Broadway engagement. The production will deliver a full return of capital to investors.
The recoupment comes during a Broadway summer when good financial news is sparse. A recent Forbes article tallied $111 million in losses from recent or recently announced Broadway closings, with King Kong, The Cher Show, Pretty Woman, The Prom, Be More Chill, King Lear, Gary: A Sequel To Titus Andronicus, Hillary and Clinton and Frankie And Johnny in the Clair de Lune all falling well short of expectations.
Constitution joins a considerably shorter summertime list: Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman recently ended its limited run in the black, having recouped a reported $6.7 million capitalization.
Even with its relatively low cost, three-person cast, critical praise and numerous awards and nominations, Schreck’s play, directed by Oliver Butler, was hardly a sure thing financially. An Off Broadway phenomenon last fall, Constitution is, for long stretches, a monologue, as Schreck engagingly recounts her true life-story of earning college tuition by winning high school debate competitions across the country. The play blends her personal story with a thoughtful examination of – as the title indicates – the Constitution, its triumphs and its shortcomings.
The Broadway production began previews on March 14 at the Helen Hayes Theater, opened March 31, extended its run twice and will close on Aug. 24. Following the Broadway run, Constitution will play an encore engagement at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater in Washington DC (Sept. 11-22) featuring the Broadway cast.
In a move that surprised even seasoned Broadway-goers, Schreck announced that she would not perform in the national 40-week, 22-city tour of the biographical play (launching at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in January 2020). Casting has not been announced for the tour.
The Clubbed Thumb, True Love Productions, and New York Theatre Workshop production of Constitution is produced on Broadway by Diana DiMenna, Aaron Glick, Matt Ross, Madeleine Foster Bersin, Myla Lerner/Jon Bierman, Jenna Segal/Catherine Markowitz, Jana Shea/Maley-Stolbun-Sussman, Rebecca Gold/Jose Antonio Vargas, Level Forward, Cornice Productions, Lassen Wyse Balsam, and Nederlander Presentations/Kate Lear.
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