"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

Based on the book "Magician of The Modern" by Eugene R. Gaddis

1M, 1F


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.  


Premiere:  Hartford Stage, 2007.

Directed by: Michael Wilson 

Cast: Robert Sella, Enid Graham.


Commissioned by Hartford Stage, Hartford, Connecticut. 

"Written in a light-hearted vein but with eloquence and artistic insight ... every bit as entertaining as it is enlightening." — The Republican American


"An UNABASHED, patriotic affirmation of the arts as SUSTENANCE OF THE SOUL" 

 The New Haven Register