By Maureen Lee Lenker
September 17, 2020 at 03:24 PM EDT
Credit: Joan Marcus, 2019

If you need to brush up on the Constitution before the election, Amazon's got you covered.

They announced on Thursday that a filmed version of the Tony-nominated play What the Constitution Means to Me will premiere Oct. 16 on Amazon Prime Video. Starring the show's creator Heidi Schreck, the show was filmed during the final week of its Broadway run by director Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood).

Schreck has also signed an overall deal with Amazon Studios to create additional content to premiere exclusively on Prime Video.

 What the Constitution Means to Me stars Schreck as herself, resurrecting her teenage self who earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the country. Through interrogation of these memories and her prize-winning speeches, she traces the profound relationship between four generations of women and this nation's founding document that shaped their lives. Directed for the stage by Obie Award-winner Oliver Butler, What the Constitution Means to Me also features Mike Iveson, Rosdely Ciprian, and Thursday Williams.

“I'm delighted with how beautifully Mari Heller has translated Constitution to the screen and I’m thankful to Big Beach and Amazon Studios for making it possible to share the show with more people — especially right now when we can’t gather together in theaters,” said Schreck in a statement. “In light of the moment we are living through, I am donating part of my proceeds from this film to the Broadway Cares COVID Relief Fund and to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s Voting Rights 2020 initiative.”

Credit: Amazon Studios

The critically-acclaimed play was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and it won the Obie and New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards for Best Play. Schreck also received two Tony Award nominations for Best Play and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play.

"[Schreck] weighs the soul of America and finds it both beautiful and wanting, a bittersweet exploration of how disillusionment can both obscure and fuel pride," EW noted in a review of the touring production. "What the Constitution Means to Me is an essential examination of our country and an urgent reminder that we should never stop holding the Constitution’s (and those who’ve sworn to uphold it) metaphorical feet to the fire...[It's] the ultimate reminder that the personal is political."

What the Constitution Means to Me was executive produced by Schreck, Heller, Robin Schwartz, Kyle Laursen, Peter Saraf, and Marc Turtletaub. The special was produced by Big Beach and Defiant By Nature, Heller’s newly launched production company. The producers of the Broadway production – Diana DiMenna, Aaron Glick, and Matt Ross – also serve as producers of the filmed version.

"Heidi Schreck is one of today’s most relevant and original voices, and What the Constitution Means to Me delivers a point of view that is equal parts hilarious, heartbreaking and hopeful,” said Albert Cheng, COO and Co-Head of Television, Amazon Studios, in a statement. “We are proud to bring the award-winning Broadway show to the screen for Prime Video and we know that Schreck’s next projects will embody the same intelligence and humanity."

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