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Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Obie Award-Winning
 and Tony Award finalist nominee
by Heidi Schreck is Dezart Performs’ second production of the season from January 19-28, 2024

11 December 2023 – Palm Springs, CA:  The acclaimed WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME by Heidi Schreck is Dezart Performs ( first production of 2024, running January 19 – 28. Part history lesson, part family drama, the Tony Award Nominee and Pulitzer Prize Finalist is a “boundary-breaking play that breathes new life into our Constitution and imagines how it will shape the next generation of Americans” (Forbes). When it opened on Broadway in 2019, The New York Times hailed it as “not just the best play to open so far this season, but also the most important.” “It would be hard to identify a work for theatre with its finger more on the pulse of America right now” (The Washington Post).

“In this unique and envelope-pushing play, it’s an uproariously funny, moving, critically challenging and politically charged play,” says Dezart Performs founding artistic director Michael Shaw. “It is a civics lesson, a cry from the heart and a feminist anthem that reminds us again and again that our country was shaped by founding fathers, not founding mothers.”

Profoundly intertwined with Schreck’s life, WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME chronicles the playwright’s maternal line from her great great grandmother onward, examining how the Constitution and its complexities helped shape and sometimes devastate their lives. Toggling back and forth from the present day to the past, the play starts with fifteen-year-old Heidi chronicling how she earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States.  However, the “psychotically polite” young woman with a crush on Patrick Swayze quickly merges with hilarious – and enlightening – result in an exploration of the “penumbra” that is the “hot and sweaty document” of Heidi’s research.  As Heidi states throughout the play, the Constitution is a crucible in every way: for her family, and for the generations of families this document made by-and-for cisgender white men continues to guide.

As noted by The Guardian: “This funny, tragic and deeply unsettling tour de force shows who the US constitution serves — and who it lets down.”All performances take place at the Pearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club) 314 S Cahuilla Road, Downtown Palm Springs. Ticket prices are $48 – $55 and may be purchased online at , or by calling (760) 322-0179. Showtimes are Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2pm and 7:30pm; Sundays at 2pm and 7pm.

Dezart Performs, one of the Coachella Valley’s preeminent theatre companies recognizes that the performing arts enrich the life and culture of a community, promote greater understanding and provoke insightful discussion. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theatre company, its mission is to provide an artistic home for bold and cutting–edge plays, creating an atmosphere of artistic growth for actors, writers, and directors who uniquely contribute to the diverse theatrical environment in the Coachella Valley.

16th Dezart Performs’ Season Listing

A dramatic comedy written by Heidi Schreck
Directed by Craig Wells
January 19 – 21; 26 – 28

2019 Pulitzer Prize finalist
2019 Tony Award nominated, Best Play
2019 Obie award for Best New American Play
2019 Off-Broadway Alliance Award, Best New Play
2019 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Play

Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful and achingly human new play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives.

“…brilliantly crafted show, harrowing and funny and humane, that accesses the political through the deeply personal.”
– New York Magazine

“A highly entertaining, deeply informative and ultimately hopeful examination of the document that impacts every single one of us, every single day of our lives.”
–Chicago Sun Times

“This funny, tragic and deeply unsettling one-woman tour de force shows who the US constitution serve — and who it lets down.”
– The Guardian

*    *    *

A drama written by Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by Michael Shaw
March 1-3; 8-10

2022 Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play

A CASE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD unfolds in a cubicle where two seated people unexpectedly choose to bring one another into their fragile worlds. Keith, a mortgage broker, and Ryan, a yogurt plant worker seeking to buy a plot of land that belonged to his family many decades ago, realize they share a “specific kind of sadness.” At this desk in the middle of America, loan talk opens up into a discussion about the chokehold of financial insecurity and a bond over the precariousness of parenthood. With humor, empathy and wrenching honesty, Hunter commingles two lives and deftly bridges disparate experiences of marginality.

“Must-see heartbreaker of a play!”
– The New York Times

“Another extraordinary play by Samuel D. Hunter!”
– New York Stage Review

“Easily one of the best of the year!”
–The Wall Street Journal

“…one of the most moving new plays of the year!”
– TheatreMania

“‘A Case for the Existence of God’ Finds What Connects Us All and Holiness in Humanity.”
–The Observer

*    *    *

A drama written by Michael McKeever

Directed by Randy Brenner
April 12 – 14; 19 — 21

At 54 years old, Terry Parker finds himself at a crossroads in his life. After the loss of his partner of 30 years, he finds himself suddenly single and unable to adjust to a world that has moved on without him. After a night of heavy drinking, he wakes up with a 28-year-old bartender-slash-Uber-driver. These two very different people begin a tentative relationship, and what starts out as a one-night stand becomes a journey of self-discovery for a man trying to let go of the past and move forward, while dealing with the pressures of being middle-aged, gay and alone in the ever-changing landscape of today’s America.

“A very intelligent, absorbing look at contemporary relationships and the conflicts that keep us all from aging with joy and peace of mind. This play is a real discovery!”

– Rex Reed

“The protagonist of this new play by Michael McKeever steps gingerly out of grief’s stasis and into the unknown.”
–The New York Times