To Master the Art

World Premiere

Oct 26, 2010 - Dec 19, 2010

Commissioned by TimeLine in 2008, this world premiere recalls the adventure and romance of Julia and Paul Child’s journey of discovery to Paris during the 1950s. From the bistro where Julia fell in love with food, to the kitchen table where she recreated everything learned during cooking class, to a room where Paul was grilled by U.S. agents about alleged Communist contact, this is the story of a larger-than-life culinary icon and her remarkable husband as they struggle to find themselves as Americans abroad.


Production Team

* Member of Actors Equity Association

# Member of United Scenic Artists

~ Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

+ TimeLine Company Member

^ TimeLine Associate Artist

§ TimeLine Playwrights Collective


  • Chicago Tribune

    November 17, 2010

    From a foodie perspective, ‘To Master the Art,’ deserves much applause. After all, any show about Julia Child that begins with the smell of shallots cooking in butter wafting about the theater can’t really go wrong gastronomically.

    —Bill Daley

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  • Variety

    November 4, 2010

    Actress Karen Janes Woditsch nobly embodies the famed chef, author and television personality in an exceedingly likable and convincing performance … [the play] combines the right ingredients to depict the story of a genuinely interesting but initially insecure middle-aged woman coming fully into her own.

    —Steven Oxman

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  • Talkin' Broadway

    November 5, 2010

    A total delight—funny, touching, charming and as enjoyable as an exquisite meal enjoyed together with good company. It need not be rationalized or analyzed—it can simply be savored. … There is so much humanity and wise but never cynical humor that it’s a pleasure just to be in the company of these people for two hours and twenty minutes.

    —John Olsen

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  • Newcity

    November 1, 2010

    Karen Janes Woditsch is so absolutely perfect in the role … capturing not only the singular vocal style, but also the peculiar mix of bookish intelligence and gee-whiz awkwardness that made up so much of Child’s charm … the use of smells as a staging device come to the fore in the very first scene, when the succulent odor of shallots cooking in butter punish the theater-goer who’s failed to feast beforehand …

    —Brian Hieggelke

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  • Chicago Reader

    November 3, 2010

    Brown’s rock-solid supporting cast and an evocative kitchen set by Keith Pitts –enhanced by Charles Cooper’s autumnal lighting — add texture and spice to this unlikely but thoroughly engaging love story.

    —Kerry Reid

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  • Chicago Critic

    November 1, 2010

    A pure delight … Brown and Frew have captures the essence of Julia and Paul as a love story; as a story self-discovery; and as a historically accurate slice of the times.

    —Tom Williams

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Discussions & Events

  • Sunday Scholars Series
    November 14, 4:30 pm

    This one-hour post-show panel discussion features experts on the themes of the play.

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