How To Steal A Picasso

2f, 3m


A comic-drama set against the bankruptcy of the Motor City. The Smith family doesn’t agree on much, but when their son Johnny comes home for the first time in four years, they reluctantly reconvene to celebrate the father (a failed painter) winning the Yoko Ono Lifetime Achievement Award for Non-Objective Art. In fact, tonight, Sean (the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono) is to come to their house and give the father the award personally. But when a Picasso goes missing from the nearby Detroit Institute for the Arts, the family is suspected and Johnny’s homecoming takes a dramatic turn. Soon it’s discovered that the missing Picasso and the fathers prestigious award could both be part of a cruel hoax that forces the family to question the purpose of art in this modern pixilated world where everything is copyrighted and art is no more than a commodity.

Casting & Production



JOHNNY SMITH (Late 20s – male)He gave up art to become a lawyer and regrets it. He has secrets.

CASEY SMITH (Late 20s – female)A rough/tough, street-wise, tattooed artist whose hero is Banksy.

BELLE SMITH (50ish – female)A faded Donna Reed on Ritalin, Prozac and CrestorOTTO SMITH (50ish – male)A vehement artist who hit his peak three decades ago.

MR. WALKER (40ish – male)The Chief Operating Officer of the Detroit Institute of Arts and a psychopath “lite”

(The Smiths are a blended family. The cast can be any race, ethnicity or physicality.)


“A farce with an edge!”

– The Kansas City Star

“The energy of a pinball machine, all flashing lights and erratic chimes and emotions that pivot with the stroke of a flipper… How to Steal a Picasso is unapologetically zany, but Downs finds time to toss a few telling contradictions into the fray.”

– Kansas City Pitch