‘Airness’ prepares to rock the stage

Featured Image: Junior Rob Lindsay rehearses his air guitar moves before the first showing of “Airness,” planned for Thursday, March 30.

Virginia Wesleyan University’s Theater Department will present “Airness” by Chelsea Marcantel from Thursday, March 30 through Sunday, April 2. The production will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. All performances will be held in the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center.

“Airness,” according to playscripts.com, “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.” The play follows its lead, Nina, as she enters an air guitar competition with a group of friends. Sophomore Emma Wehr is taking on the lead role of Nina.

“I am pretty new to acting and this being only my second year, it’s a bit nerve-racking having such a big role,” Wehr said. “But I am super excited for everyone to see all the hard work we have done in the past few months.”

With all of the fun that comes with performing a show like “Airness,” a lot of time and effort goes into perfecting the performance as well.

“We spend about 15 hours a week in rehearsals. Activities in rehearsal include not only working on the lines and scenes but also crafting the numerous air guitar performances,” Professor of Theatre, Chair of Political Science and Director Dr. Sally Shedd said. “The main characters are individuals who participate in competitive air guitar—that’s not something that anyone in the cast or company knew much about until taking on this project.”

Learning these moves isn’t an easy task, either. 

“We have rehearsals for three hours every day Monday through Friday, and outside of scheduled rehearsal, I typically work in the dance studio for extra practice choreographing and rehearsing performances,” Wehr said.

To make the play even more realistic, the stage set and lighting design have also been curated over the course of the semester. 

“A lot of my preparation work is in the research and design stage,” senior Tucker Barco said. “My main goal with the lighting design is to amplify the attitude on stage. ‘Airness’ is a rock concert, so my goal is to create a design that makes the audience really believe they are at a rock concert.”

“Airness” performers and behind-the-scenes members look forward to the show.

Shedd wants to give this advice to those participating: “To quote the show: ‘Everything you need to rock is already inside you.’”

By Carey Seay