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Thursday, January 20, 2022

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    What the Constitution Means to Me arrives Tuesday at Fisher Theatre

    Playwright Heidi Schreck and actress Cassie Beck look so much alike — tall, blond, German — that it isn’t uncommon for the two friends to get mistaken for one another.

    “If we’re walking around New York and someone compliments me on one of her shows or she gets a compliment from one of my shows, we just text each other and say, ‘I just took your compliment and said thank you very much,'” said Beck with a laugh, speaking by phone from New York.

    In fact, it’s probably a good thing that the two look alike now that Beck has taken over the lead role of Schreck’s Pulitzer Prize finalist play, “What the Constitution Means to Me.” Arriving Tuesday at the Fisher Theatre and running through Jan. 2, the show is a very personal but funny and poignant look at Schreck’s own life and how America’s most important document has impacted it.

    Beck, who is only the second person beside Schreck to play the lead actor, said it was daunting to take over such a personal role. But she felt honored at the same time.

    “I respect Heidi so much, her as an artist,” said Beck, who has been on numerous TV shows, including “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “The Humans” on Broadway. “I know the kind of personal toll she went through to create this piece. It’s deep and raw and very personal. And I loved it when I saw it at New York Theatre Workshop. When the role first came around to me, I was like, ‘No way. I’m not touching that. It’s perfection as it is.’ But then I said let me read it. When I saw it in black in white, it’s real testament to her as a writer…I started to be able to see myself doing it.”

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