Cast and Creative Team Set for AIRNESS at Citadel Theatre

AIRNESS will open Friday, April 21 at 7:30 pm  (following previews on April 19 and 20), and play through Sunday, May 21.

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Citadel Theatre will conclude its season with AIRNESS, a comedy set in the world of air guitar competitions, written by Chelsea Marcantel, a 2021 winner of the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre. Cast and creative team were announced today.

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. Joe Lehman, who helmed Citadel's 2021 production of YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN, is directing this hit from the 2019 Humana Festival which has since enjoyed productions all over the US. Press of Minneapolis St Paul said of it , "'s a comedy. But it's also a really well-crafted play, full of richly detailed characters with offbeat wisdom to share about getting in touch with yourself and your tribe." AIRNESS will open Friday, April 21 at 7:30 pm (following previews on April 19 and 20), and play through Sunday, May 21.

Julia Rowley, whose resume includes stage credits with The Second City, iO, CIC, Theatre Above the Law, PrideArts, Promethean Theatre Ensemble, The Factory Theatre, and Red Theater; will lead the cast as Nina. Neil Stratman, who played the title role in Citadel's YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN will be Facebender. Sierra White*, who has played such roles as Ruth Younger in A RAISIN IN THE SUN and Mama Morton in CHICAGO, is playing Cannibal Queen. Destin Lorde Teamer (Richmond in Promethean's RICHARD III) has been cast as Golden Thunder. Evan Cullinan (of Metropolis's NOISES OFF) will be Shreddy Eddy, and Will Leonard (who has appeared in national tours of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS is set to play D Vicious. Katherine Abel (Titania/Theseus in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM with Big Noise Theatre) will play Announcer and Sprite Exec and understudy the roles of Nina and Cannibal Queen. Additional understudies are Audrey Fosson (Cannibal Queen), Marquis Bundy (Golden Thunder, Announcer), Steven Labine (Shreddy Eddy ad Facebender), Brandon Beach (D Vicious, Shreddy Eddy), and Philip Macaluso (Announcer, Facebender, and D Vicious).
The production team includes Eric Luchen (Set Design), Cindy Moon (Costume Design), Joe Klamerus (Lighting Design), Jonesy Jones (Sound Design), Isabella Noe (Props Design), Ellen Phelps* and Scott Phelps* (Production Managers), Jessica Greenhoe* (Stage Manager), Jason Clark (Master Carpenter), Anna Petersen (Scenic Artist, Run Crew), Jake Ganzer (Choreographer), Alex Trinh (Run Crew), Gina Czernina (Air Guitar Consultant).

*Member, Actors' Equity Association.

All performances are at Citadel Theatre, in residence in the West Campus of Lake Forest High School at 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, IL. Tickets available online at or by phone at 847-735-8554, ext. 1


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Music Theater Works second production in its 2023 season, Pippin in the North Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts In Skokie, 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie,  is now playing through June 25. See photos from the production.

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The actors, stage managers, bartenders and servers of Chicago’s Drunk Shakespeare have achieved their goal of organizing with Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional performers and stage managers in live theatre.

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City Lit Board President Daniel Robinson announced that Brian Pastor (they/them), City Lit’s current Resident Director and for nine years its Managing Director, will succeed City Lit’s Producer and Artistic Director Terry McCabe, who will retire on June 30, 2024, following the conclusion of City Lit’s recently announced 43rd season.

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The Blues on the Fox Festival Returns This Month

The Blues on the Fox Festival is back, Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17 at downtown Aurora’s RiverEdge Park, where blues legends and rising stars will live on the banks of the beautiful Fox River.

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