Review_ AIRNESS at Ahead Theater

I didn’t attend Foreword Theater’s Airness on Saturday with any intention to assessment the present. The truth is, I mentioned to my associate, “Will probably be good to simply see theater once more with out it being my job.” But right here we’re. The rationale for the assessment is straightforward. I would like you to see this present.

This was a type of stunning exhibits that basically has the ability to have an effect on an viewers on a really private degree. I do know it did me. Here’s what I used to be advised concerning the present by varied individuals who noticed it, “It is about air guitar subculture”, “It is a few bunch of people that journey round doing air guitar competitions”, “It is bought some nice music!”. It goes on, however you get the purpose. This, in a nutshell, just isn’t my cup of tea, however once more, I discovered myself with the chance to simply go and expertise reside theater. So, I did. And am I ever glad that I did.

Airness is certainly concerning the subculture of air guitar competitors across the nation, however, like a 1990’s informercial, “WAIT! THERE’S MORE!!”. It’s a deep loving story about friendship, dedication, concern, and vulnerability.

We’re launched to 5 air guitar taking part in buddies, every of which has their very own particular “air Guitar Persona”, all vying for the highest spot, held by good friend and Rock God, David “D Vicious” Cooper (Joe Picchetti). Issues get heated with the arrival of air guitar newcomer Nina “The Nina” O’Neal (Nadja Simmonds), who’s right here for all of the improper causes.

Ed “Shreddy Eddy” Leary (Josh Krause), takes Nina beneath his wings and does his finest to high school her within the methods of rock. The 2 have a implausible chemistry and play very effectively off one another. Others within the “motley” crew add further help. Gabe “Golden Thunder” Partridge (James Carrington) is a pleasure to observe carry out with subtlety and wide-eyed facial expressions. Mark “Facebender” Lender (Marcus Truschinski) is the tender and all too deep in his feeling’s guitarist whose again story is the one one we actually get to listen to. Charming is one of the simplest ways to explain this character as his over-the-top emoting gushes over the stage. Astrid “Cannibal Queen” Anderson (Ashley Oviedo), counters this coronary heart on his sleeve over emotional character by taking part in offended to 11 almost each minute she is on stage. The vitality put out by this forged was exhausting and exhilarating , and at the least twice introduced me to tears. (Rattling you REO Speedwagon!)

Because the play progresses from city to city touring throughout the US, we see our band of heroes undergo the fun of victory and the agony of defeat. All of the whereas instructing the newcomer some very priceless classes, sure, about air guitar, however extra importantly about neighborhood and real caring. As Nina offers together with her demons, she is supported, coached and cared for the whole time, even when her outburst threatens the very threads of their friendships. Collectively, they rise above the harm, to expertise the enjoyment of Airness.

It is a story a lot deeper than the Air Guitar Competitors, and I actually hope that you simply take the possibility and go see it. It was exceptional and touching.

Ahead Theater presents Wisconsin Premiere of Airness, January 26 – February 12 Madison, WI – For his or her third manufacturing of the 2022-23 season, Ahead Theater Firm will current Airness by Chelsea Marcantel. Directed by Molly Rhode. Performances are within the Playhouse at Overture Heart for the Arts, January 26 – February 12.


When Nina enters her first air guitar competitors, she thinks profitable will likely be simple. However as she befriends a bunch of charismatic nerds all dedicated to turning into the following nationwide champion, she discovers that there is extra to this artwork kind than taking part in faux – it is about discovering your self in your favourite songs, and performing with uncooked pleasure. Will Nina be capable of let go and set herself free onstage?

Following Nina’s quest to shred or be shredded, Airness is an exuberant reminder that all the things we have to rock is already inside us.


To have fun the opening of Airness, Ahead is worked up to current the Air Guitar Summit at Excessive Midday Saloon on Monday, January 30 at 7:00pm. This promotional head-banging occasion will characteristic rock n’ roll trivia, an interactive air guitar workshop and performances, and quite a lot of music-themed prizes. Free to public.


Airness is making its Wisconsin premiere at Ahead Theater, after incomes a face-melting stamp of approval at theaters throughout the nation:

“Probably the most enjoyable you’ll have on the theater this 12 months … to name this play a ‘crowd pleaser’ is a drastic understatement.” – Insider Louisville


Airness options James Carrington, Josh Krause, Ashley Oviedo, Joe Picchetti, Jess Schuknecht, Nadja Simmonds, and Marcus Truschinski

Directed by Molly Rhode

Scenic Designer: Neil Mills

Lighting Designer: Greg Hofmann

Costume Designer: Shannon Heibler

Sound Designer/Composer: Joe Cerqua

Props Grasp: Pam Miles

Technical Director: Kevin Zimmer

Stage Supervisor: Shawn Galligan

Asst. Director: Doug Clemons

Asst.Stage Supervisor: Abbi Hess



Ahead Theater Firm presents Airness By Chelsea Marcantel


Thursday, January twenty sixth – Sunday, February twelfth Night performances at 7:30pm, Matinees (Sat & Solar) at 2:00pm All performances are within the Playhouse at Overture Heart for the Arts, Madison, WI


Tickets are on sale now, and could be bought on-line at, or through Tickets could be bought through cellphone at 608.258.4141

Adults: $34-$52

Artist and scholar price: $15

January twenty sixth preview efficiency ticket costs – Basic public: $20, College students/Educators: $10


ASL Interpretation: The Saturday, February eleventh efficiency at 2:00pm may have ASL interpretation. Particular seating is on the market with a view of the interpreter. Ahead Theater additionally presents quite a lot of facilities within the Playhouse at Overture Heart that make the theater going expertise extra accessible for all, together with assistive listening units, giant print applications, and extra. Go to for particulars.


Airness is generously sponsored by Madison Group Basis, Sybil & Maurice Higher, Frank Productions, State Financial institution of Cross Plains, Stafford Rosenbaum LLC, and Our Lives Journal.


Based in 2009, FTC creates a house base for Wisconsin theater professionals and audiences that expands the cultural and financial lifetime of the higher Madison space.