The show follows a group of air guitarists as they navigate competitions, love, loss and finding their inner rock star.
When Nina enters her first air guitar competition, she discovers that her fellow competitors are a group of “charismatic nerds” who help her discover the true meaning of the art form as she learns more about herself.
Director Mycah Artis said the show shares a great message about believing in yourself above all else.
“Through the lens of the niche community of ‘air guitar’ and its delightfully eccentric characters, the show inspires you to be yourself and find people who accept exactly that, to become the best you can be,” she said. “We all have everything we need to rock already inside of us.”
Artis said she connected with the script, the music and the overall vibe of the show immediately.
“It resonated with the weirdo in me, and it’s been an absolute joy to direct and work with this talented cast and crew,” she said.
Artis said her biggest directorial challenge was creating air guitar movement that comes across as authentic to both the performers and the those in the air guitar world.
“Thankfully we had a lot of help from our amazing choreographer, Lauren Bobo, and our air guitar consultant, Dave Ayling, ‘The Rocktapuss,’” she said. “Watching the performers grow in their confidence in their movement and develop their own air guitar style has been incredibly rewarding.”
Artis said she hopes audiences respond to the humor, joy and relatability of the show’s storyline and characters.
“We are all here to have a good time together, and this show invites you in and makes you feel part of the group,” she said. “‘Airness’ is a special and unique show, and reminds us of the power in finding your joy.”
Greg Grobis, U of D Mercy’s Department of Performing Arts chair, said the show is a great way to challenge and celebrate its talented group of artists.
“Our season opens with a rocking good time with ‘Airness,’” he said.
The cast includes: Luke Adamkiewicz of Dearborn Heights as Shreddy Eddy; Adam El-Zein of Dearborn as the announcer, Sprite executive and hooded figure; Jeremy St. Martin of Wyandotte as Facebender; Mason Modzelewski of Armada as D Vicious; Katherine Mutschler of Royal Oak as Cannibal Queen; Olivia Swad of Chesterfield as The Nina; and Martell Underwood of Kalamazoo as Golden Thunder.
Performances are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 and 29 and Nov. 4 and 5, and 3 p.m. Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 at the Marlene Boll Theater inside the Boll Family YMCA, 1401 Broadway in Detroit.
The show has adult themes and strong language, and may not be suitable for children under 13 years old.
Tickets are $25 general admission, $18 for seniors and U of D Mercy faculty and staff and $10 for veterans and students with identification.
Tickets are available by calling 313-993-3270 or visiting at the ticket office in Reno Hall, room 43, on campus, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, or online, at DetroitMercyArts.com.