The Chief
Written byRob Zellers and Gene Collier
CharactersArt Rooney
Date premiered2003
October 14, 2010 (film) [1]
Place premieredO'Reilly Theater, Pittsburgh
Byham Theater, Pittsburgh (film)
Original languageEnglish
SubjectArt Rooney reminiscing about his early life and how he founded the Steeler franchise
SettingPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Public Theater Official site

The Chief is a 2003 biographical one-man play about the Pittsburgh Steelers' founder and owner Art Rooney (1901–1988). The Pittsburgh Public Theater show has had several revivals since its inauguration, with each production performed by Pittsburgh native Tom Atkins.


The story takes place in 1976 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, two months after the Steelers won their second Super Bowl in Super Bowl X. The story begins in Art Rooney's office at Three Rivers Stadium where he is preparing for a dinner at the local Knights of Columbus hall. He then begins to converse with the audience, where he reminisces about his youth, and how he formed the Steeler franchise.[2] The play concludes with Rooney showing footage of the Immaculate Reception.

2010 film adaptation

In 2010, a film version of the play was produced, with Atkins reprising his role as "The Chief".[3]


  1. ^ ""The Chief" Movie Premiere - Pittsburgh | Official Ticket Source | Byham Theater | Thu, Oct 14, 2010, 7:30pm | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette & Dapper Dan Charities Present".
  2. ^ "'The Chief' makes a return to the Public Theater stage". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. December 9, 2004. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
  3. ^ "Atkins' performance as 'The Chief' available on DVD". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. October 11, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-31.