Are parts of the U.S. Constitution keeping the country from being “a more perfect union?” That’s the question posed to Wyomingites this week.
On Tuesday evening communities across the state can gather to discuss today’s political issues and their connection to the historic document. It’s part of a series of events this May on the Constitution and civic engagement.
In a polarized political climate, Teton County Commissioner Natalia Macker says she worries civic engagement is falling apart and people with different viewpoints aren’t talking with and listening to one another.
“It’s not about agreeing with each other, in fact, the opposite is encouraged,” Macker said. “It’s about discussion and ideas and coming together to make our democracy, our country, our community better.”
Macker is also the producing artistic director of the Off Square Theatre Company, which is helping host a series of civic engagement events in Jackson.
The Broadway play “What the Constitution Means to Me” is being staged in a local production by Off Square Theater Company at The Center of the Arts through this weekend. It was created by playwright Heidi Schreck, who earned her college tuition by winning constitutional debates.
“The play ends with an on-stage debate with a Jackson High School speech who is the captain of the speech and debate team and then lets the audience decide the outcome,” Macker said.
The play has also inspired other events including school author visits and a writer’s workshop.
And on Tuesday, Macker and the authors of the book – Fault Lines in our Constitution- The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws that Affect Us Today – will take part in a free statewide political discussion at The Center for the Arts.
The in-person, interactive event between Macker and professors Cynthia and Sanford Levinson will be streamed to libraries and high schools in Casper, Gillette, Sheridan and Torrington. Residents can gather not just to watch, but with the help of a local moderator, discuss what they agree and disagree on.
The Wyoming Humanities Council is sponsoring the event. Organizers say residents in those communities outside Jackson can look for event details on Facebook or contact their local public library.
Macker and humanities council members say they are hoping for a “lively” discussion.