THE STORY: In 1927, a passionate and rebellious young man, A. Everett ("Chick") Austin, was made director of America’s oldest public art museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. What followed was a career that shook up the city and reinvigorated the arts in America. But what is the cost—both personal and professional—of blazing such a trail? A play in three monologues based on the life and career of “Chick” Austin and his marriage to Helen Goodwin.
“A museum director’s life might not at first be seen as a natural for stage dramatization. But the charismatic A. Everett “Chick” Austin’s life is a dynamic work of art unto itself, filled with incident, color and characters, and embracing a time between the wars that represented a period of unequaled cultural excitement in America…Grimm is a writer with lingual dexterity and classic sophistication. Here he displays his cunning, punning wit but he also shows his subject’s shadows of zealotry, insecurity, and shame.” —Variety. “Written in a light-hearted vein but with eloquence and artistic insight, David Grimm’s spin on the Hartford legendary museum director is every bit as entertaining as it is enlightening. Leave it to “Chick” to shake up today’s audience even long after his death.” —Republican American. “Chick is a patron saint of the arts, and the play is an unabashed, patriotic affirmation of the arts as sustenance of the soul…[Chick’s] wit and personality beguile the audience.” —New Haven Register.