“Unmitigated pleasure… filled with dignity and delight.” – Chicago Reader

“If you are looking for an amazing piece of theatre that will get you on your feet tapping, wailing and clapping in mid-air – while also moving you to reflect on and care for yourself – look no further; this bad boy is for you.” – Santa Barbara Independent

‘Airness’ stays with the viewer after the last guitar chord has faded because of the way its complex layers ask the question ‘what is real?’ when it comes to families, groups, and societies.”  — HowlRound

“The play never condescends … the most smile-inducing play I’ve seen in quite a while.” – Indianapolis Business Journal

“Takes the surface ridiculousness of air guitar and embraces it, amplifies it, and then reveals the yearning, magic, and — yes — artistry beneath the veneer.” –

“In a word, dazzling … the most talked-about production of this year’s Humana Festival.” – LEO Weekly

“A fabulous play about the joy of pretending … both funny and filled with heart.” – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“The most fun you will have at the theater this year … to call this play a “crowd pleaser” is a drastic understatement.” – Insider Louisville

“I love this play… it’s that ‘finding your people story,’ it’s a sports underdog story, and it takes all of the things that you recognize from that, and it does them so beautifully.” – American Theatre Podcast

“Quite possibly my favorite play of the entire festival… Deep and heartfelt for something so superficial. I’m sold.” – The Inexplicable Dumb Show Podcast

Lucas Papaelias and Marinda Anderson in “Airness” by Chelsea Marcantel, part of the 2017 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. (photo by Bill Brymer)


Full-length comedy • No intermission

4M, 2W

When Nina enters her first air guitar competition, she thinks winning will be easy. But as she befriends a group of charismatic nerds all committed to becoming the next champion, she discovers that there’s more to this art form than playing pretend; it’s about finding yourself in your favorite songs, and performing with raw joy. Will Nina be able to let go and set herself free onstage? Following her mission to shred or be shredded, Airness is an exuberant reminder that everything we need to rock is already inside us.  A comedy about competition, completion, and finding the airness inside yourself.  Oh, and Nancy Wilson.


AIRNESS premiered at the 41st Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville in 2017.

Meredith McDonough directed the production.

Production Photos of AIRNESS at Actors Theatre of Louisville

(all photos by Bill Brymer)

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