About the Stage Play

Art Rooney is the subject of, and the only character in, the one-man play and now feature film THE CHIEF written by Gene Collier and Rob Zellers. The play debuted at Pittsburgh Public Theater in 2003. All productions have starred Tom Atkins as Rooney. His likeness and mannerisms to the real Art Rooney are amazingly true-to-life.The stage play enjoyed seven sold-out seasons at Pittsburgh Public Theater before retiring in January 2010 and captured on film for all to enjoy for eternity. Art Rooney Sr. was the founder and owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1933 until his death in 1988, and is one of the most beloved iconic figures in sports history. This film is publicly endorsed by the Rooney family, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Steelers Nation.The set by Anne Mundell is perfection and reflects Rooney’s personality. It is a recreation of the owner’s office, with all the accoutrements you would expect: wooden desk, many pictures, plaques, a rotary phone, etc. Behind the back office wall is an attractive night skyline of the city with the ubiquitous bridge. Lighting and sound are quite good. Direction by Ted Pappas allows for all audience members around the thrust stage to share in the intimate performance.