About the Author: Chelsea Marcantel

Chelsea Marcantel is a Los Angeles-based writer, director, and collaborator who was raised by Cajuns in Southwest Louisiana. She now resides on the West Coast after living and working in the Midwest, Appalachia, and the Mid-Atlantic. Chelsea’s childhood included local community theatre, she went on to graduate from Louisiana State University with a double major in English and Theatre in 2005 and a master’s degree in English education in 2006. A repertoire of her plays and musicals include Airness (2018) which won the M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award, Everything is Wonderful, Tiny Houses (2018) won the Roe Green Award, Ladyish, Devour, and the online theatrical experience Citizen Detective (NY Times Critic’s Pick).

In 2016, she completed a Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Fellowship at The Juilliard School. Two years later, in 2018 Chelsea joined The Kilroys, a group of producers and playwrights who work to enhance female recognition and trans playwrights. Her particular interests focus on improving visibility for trans and non-binary playwrights. And in 2020 when the world shut down due to the COVID pandemic and theaters everywhere closed, she wrote, and directed an online theatrical experience named Citizen Detective. The show simulates a true crime seminar with audience members unknowingly used as a solution to a 100-year-old unsolved murder, performed entirely on Zoom.

Airness debuted in 2017 at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in the Actors Theatre of Louisville. The play tells the story of a woman who enters her first air guitar competition and quickly realizes there is more to this art form than just pretending to play a guitar. It’s a story that celebrates the idea that we all have the potential to “rock” in our own unique ways, and that true artistry comes from within. It’s a tale of self-discovery, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

Why is this a good story to tell in present day America?
The message that we are all stronger together and that the point of society is to build people up, not tear them down—these messages shouldn’t be political. But in the increasing bifurcated America we live in, I think we desperately need stories about solidarity and teamwork. And plays about joy can be completely refreshing in a world where many of us feel worn-down and frustrated.

The Arts at CCBC presents Airness as part of its 23-24 season under the theme What’s So Funny?  The season is filled with performances that explore and celebrate the shared experiences that make people laugh.

See Airness October 19 – 23 at CCBC Essex, Robert and Eleanor Romadka College Center, F. Scott Black Theatre.
Performance Dates: October 19 at 11:10 a.m., October 20, 21 at 7 p.m., October 22 at 3 p.m. (ASL Interpreted), and October 23 at 10 a.m.
General admission $10, Seniors, Students, CCBC Faculty/Staff/Alumni $5, FREE for CCBC Students with current ID
Purchase tickets online at www.ccbctickets or call the Box Office at 443-840-ARTS.

Content Warning: This show contains hard rock and hard language.

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