Shows & Tickets
Back for a special 10th anniversary celebration, this made-in-Pittsburgh play about Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. is the best-selling and most beloved production in Public Theater history. Starring Tom Atkins, The Chief offers stories about the founding of a legendary football dynasty, and a great American city.
P: Preview TGIF: Post-show entertainment in the lobby
O: Opening Night B: Brunch Series SF: Sunday Forum
TOM ATKINS (Arthur J. Rooney, Sr.) is a Pittsburgh native and returns for his 17th Public Theater production. In addition to The Chief, he most recently appeared at The Public as Phil Hogan in Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten. Mr. Atkins first appeared in The Public's inaugural season in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. His other Public Theater credits include A Moon for the Misbegotten (James Tyrone, Jr.), Macbeth, Vikings, Cobb, The Steward of Christendom, Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Weir, You Can't Take It With You, and The Drawer Boy. On Broadway, he appeared in The Changing Room and The Front Page; Off-Broadway in Whistle in the Dark and Long Day's Journey Into Night. Numerous television appearances include "The Rockford Files," "Lou Grant," "M*A*S*H," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Homicide," "Oz," and also "Pennsylvania Lynch" and "Lemon Sky," both for PBS. Mr. Atkins has appeared in regional theaters across America including six seasons at Long Wharf and 10 summers at Williamstown Theatre Festival. His numerous film credits include Escape from New York, The Fog, Creepshow, Lethal Weapon, Bob Roberts, Striking Distance, Night of the Creeps, My Bloody Valentine 3D, Drive Angry, and Shannon's Rainbow. He recently starred in an indy film called Judy's Dead.
ROB ZELLERS (Playwright) has been the Education Director at Pittsburgh Public Theater for 25 years. As a playwright: The Chief premiere at Pittsburgh Public Theater in 2003 becoming the biggest box office success in the The Public's history with subsequent productions at Jennerstown's Mountain Playhouse and St. Vincent's Theater, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press, and made into a film; Harry's Friendly Service, premiere at Pittsburgh Public Theater in 2009, Edgerton Award; Safekeeping, O'Neill Theater Conference semi-finalist in 2007; The Red Cat, finalist for the Reva Shiner New Play Award in 2008; The Kitchen, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater in 2006.
GENE COLLIER (Playwright) is an award-winning columnist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has written about sports, politics, and social issues at newspapers here and in Philadelphia for more than 35 years and has been twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. This is his first play. He would very much like to dedicate his work on The Chief to his wife Gerry, without whose inspiration and encouragement it would not have been possible.
TED PAPPAS (Producing Artistic Director) celebrates his 13th season as Producing Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Public Theater and his 20th year of close association with the company as a director. He has staged more than 40 productions for The Public, including the works of Euripides, Shakespeare, Schiller, Wilde, Gilbert & Sullivan, and Sondheim. Some highlights include Sophocles' Electra, Shakespeare's As You Like It, Kaufman & Ferber's The Royal Family, Peter Schaffer's Amadeus, Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses, Kander & Ebb's Cabaret, the American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's RolePlay, and the world premiere of Rob Zellers & Gene Collier's The Chief, which played The O'Reilly for seven seasons and was filmed. His career began in New York City where he worked for Playwrights Horizons, Joseph Papp's Public Theater, John Houseman's The Acting Company, New York City Opera under the leadership of Beverly Sills, and shows on and off Broadway. His regional credits are numerous and varied and include productions for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Arena Stage in Washington DC, the Kennedy Center, the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto's Royal Alexandra, and Goodspeed Musicals. He staged a hip-hop concert hosted by Harry Belafonte which galvanized the Cannes Film Festival, directed a Las Vegas extravaganza for impresario Steve Wynn, and served as choreographer for NBC's legendary series "Saturday Night Live." He studied Shakespeare with Samuel Schoenbaum and modern drama with Eric Bentley, and holds degrees from Northwestern University and Manhattan's Hunter College. He is a past president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the national labor union.
ANNE MUNDELL (Scenic & Costume Designer) is extremely pleased to return to Pittsburgh Public Theater for The Chief. She has designed many productions for Pittsburgh Public as well as hundreds of projects throughout the United States. Some of her most recent projects include Next to Normal at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York and Pop! at City Theatre. Next up for Anne is the production of Chess at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Other recent design work in Pittsburgh has been seen at The Carnegie Museum of Art, City Theatre, Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama, Pittsburgh Repertory Theatre, and Pittsburgh CLO among others. Her design work includes theater, museum exhibition, parade floats, industrial design, opera, symphony, and dance. Anne is an Associate Professor of Scene Design at Carnegie Mellon University, where she just finished a 10-year term as Coordinator of Design. She is Director and founding member of Growing Theater Outreach, a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon Mentors and at risk third and fifth graders. Anne is also one of the founders of the internationally recognized Roboceptionist Project, a social robotics collaboration between the CMU Robotics Institute and the School of Drama. One of the projects products, named Athina, was installed into a permanent exhibit on seminal robotics at the Carnegie Science Center. Anne holds a BA from Kenyon College and an MFA from Brandeis University.
PHIL MONAT (Lighting Designer) has designed 28 productions for Pittsburgh Public Theater over many years, most recently Good People and last season's Private Lives and Superior Donuts. Regionally, he has designed more than 450 productions at theaters around the country, including Seattle Rep, The Old Globe, Cincinnati Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Alliance, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, La Jolla Playhouse, Syracuse Stage, McCarter Theatre, Alley Theatre, Huntington Theatre, among others. Broadway designs include Sly Fox staring Richard Dreyfuss, Finian's Rainbow, and Sally Mar...and Her Escorts. Off-Broadway credits include: Woman Before a Glass (Obie Award), Adult Entertainment, Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weil, Visiting Mr. Green, Mere Mortals, The Boys in the Band, Three Tall Women, Camping With Henry & Tom (1995 Lucille Lortel Award), The World Goes Round With Kander & Ebb, Godspell,Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, and Goblin Market (Drama Desk nomination). In New York he has also designed at Playwrights Horizons, Lincoln Center Theater, Circle Repertory Theatre, the New York Shakespeare Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, the WPA Theatre, Second Stage, and the Vineyard Theatre.
ZACH MORE (Sound Designer) mos recently designed the sound for Good People, Born Yesterday, Private Lives and Around the World in 80 Days here at The Public, and Pop! at City Theatre. He has designed more than 60 productions for Pittsburgh Public, including the world premieres of The Chief, Harry's Friendly Service, The Glorious Ones, The Secret Letters of Jackie and Marilyn, and Paper Doll; the American premieres of The Bird Sanctuary and RolePlay (also original music); as well as Red, Electra, Circle Mirror Transformation (also original music), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Metamorphoses, I Am My Own Wife, Man of La Mancha, Tea, and Wit. Other designs include Sweeney Todd and Angels in America (Pitt Rep), House and Garden (Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre), Completely Hollywood (abridged) (Reduced Shakespeare Company), Falsettos (The Huntington), Paper Doll (Long Wharf Theatre), and Fully Committed (PPT, Dallas Theater Center, McCoy/Rigby Productions). Zach also plays guitar in Hero Destroyed, and operates a small music mastering studio.
FRED NOEL (Production Stage Manager) marks his 24th season at Pittsburgh Public Theater. He also completed four seasons with the National Theatre of the Deaf, touring throughout the United States and China. Mr. Noel was Stage Manager for the Performing Arts Season at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, DC and Gallaudet University's tours of Europe, Argentina, Japan, India, South Africa, Mexico, and Romania. He also serves part-time as Production Manager for DC area Quest Productions, assisting the company in producing Deaf Way II, an international deaf arts festival, and several shows as part of the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe. His credits also include the Off-Broadway production of Women of Manhattan. Mr. Noel is a Pennsylvania native and alumnus of Duquesne University. In Pittsburgh he has also stage managed for Don Brockett Productions, Pittsburgh CLO, and Carnegie Mellon Showcase of New Plays.
ADRIENNE WELLS (Assistant Stage Manager) is glad to be back at Pittsburgh Public Theater. Currently she is the staff Production Stage Manager at the State University of New York, Plattsburgh. There she greatly enjoys working with the student crews to make theatrical events happen. The energy that students bring to productions large and small creates a vibrant and creatively vital theater environment. Ms. Wells has also had the pleasure of working with the University of Pittsburgh's Shakespeare in the Schools program as well as with opera, jazz, fashion, and television. Past Pittsburgh productions include: Freud's Last Session, Private Lives, The Servant of Two Masters, and 11 others at Pittsburgh Public Theater; Beggar's Holiday at Opera Theater of Pittsburgh; Hobson's Choice, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Mask of Moriarty at Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre. Ms. Wells is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon Unversity School of Drama. She is a proud member of Actors Equity.