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Shows & Tickets


January 2 - January 5, 2014

by Rob Zellers and Gene Collier
directed by Ted Pappas

Tom Atkins returns in the performance of a lifetime as Steelers' founder Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. in The Public's all-time biggest hit.

TOM ATKINS (Arthur J. Rooney, Sr.), is a Pittsburgh native and returns for his 21st Public Theater production. This is the ninth time he has played The Chief. In addition, this fall he starred as the Stage Manager in The Public's season-opener, Our Town. Mr. Atkins first appeared at The Public during its inaugural season in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. His other Public Theater credits include two productions of A Moon for the Misbegotten (once as Phil Hogan and once as 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 credits include 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. Mr. Atkins is also well-known for playing Ebenezer Scrooge in Pittsburgh CLO's A Musical Christmas Carol.

ROB ZELLERS (Playwright) has been the Education Director at Pittsburgh Public Theater for 26 years. As a playwright: The Chief premiere at Pittsburgh Public Theater in 2003 becoming the biggest box office success in 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 Theatre in 2009, Edgerton Award; Safekeeping, O'Neill Theater Conference semi-finalist in 2007.

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 14th season as Producing Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Public Theater and his 21st 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. 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 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. Her design work includes theater, museum exhibition, parade floats, industrial design, opera, symphony, and dance at venues such as Utah Musical Theatre, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Quantum Theatre, Pittsburgh City Theatre, and the Hangar Theatre. Anne teaches Scenic Design at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama, where she has taught for 24 years, recently completing a 10-year term as Coordinator of Design. She is the recipient of the Horbostotel Award for Teaching Excellence in the College of Fine Arts. This summer, Anne went to South Africa to help lead a series of workshops on starting creative ventures. She is Director and founding member of Growing Theater Outreach, a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon Mentors and at-risk third and fifth graders. Growing Theater ( has a 14-year track record of success and many college students who have participated have gone on to careers that encompass an outreach component. Anne is alsoon the advisory board of "Murals," an outreach effort created by the Marilyn G. Rabb Foundation, designed to combat violence through the arts. Anne is one of the founders of the internationally recognized Roboceptionist Project, a social robotics collaboration between the CMU Robotics Institute and the School of Drama.

PHIL MONAT (Lighting Designer) has designed often for Pittsburgh Public Theater over many years, most recently Thurgood, Good People, Private Lives and Superior DonutsRegionally, 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 & EbbGodspell, 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 True WestOur Town, Other Desert Cities, Clybourne Park, and Thurgood here at The Public. He has designed more than 60 productions for Pittsburgh Public, including the world premieres of The ChiefHarry's Friendly ServiceThe Glorious OnesThe 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 Pop! (City Theatre), 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 operates a small music mastering studio. 
FRED NOEL (Production Stage Manager) is pleased to be celebrating his 25th 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.

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