Free Festival of Contemporary Performance

PlayFest is a community performance festival held on selected evenings during the Conference in various locations across Omaha.  PlayFest examines how theatre is produced, its connection to society and what new designs are possible.  Performances take on a variety of forms from devised theatre and movement work created by local and national artists, to full-length plays highlighting the work of honored and featured guests, to Neighborhood Tapestries, a celebration of local stories, music, art and community.  The goal of PlayFest is to paint a diverse and vibrant portrait of the city, create a chance for friends and neighbors to interact, and be a catalyst for a dialogue within the community about the stories that affect our lives.

PlayFest is free and open to the public.  All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with general seating, so arrive early!


 2019 Performances

The Blues of Knowing Why
by Christopher Maly
Directed by Denise Chapman

Limited Seating

GPTC Playwright and Guest Artist Preview – May 29th @7:30 pm

Opening night – May 31st @7:30 pm
Additional public performances June 6th – 9th, 13th– 16th and 20th – 24th
Performed at the Union for Contemporary Art, 2423 N. 24th St.

On June 26th, 1969, 14 year-old Vivian Strong was killed by an Omaha Police officer. Her death divided a community and created a fracture that has never been resolved. THE BLUES OF KNOWING WHY provides a community’s account of Vivian’s short life and the timeless magnitude of her death.

EPICPart of GPTC’s Neighborhood Tapestries project
By Ellen Struve
Directed by Michael John Garcés

May 29th, 30th and 31st @ 7:30pm
Metropolitan Community College/South Omaha Campus ITC 120

Exploring the lives of contemporary South Omaha Mayan and artist communities through a time bending journey of the ancient Mayan stories of the Popol Vuh, this multi-generational play will include music, puppetry and pageantry.

Directed by Mary Beth Easley

Limited Seating                                                                                                                                                                               

June 1st @ 7:30 pm
Swanson Conference Center
Fort Omaha Campus of Metropolitan Community College
32nd and Sorensen Parkway

Come celebrate the close of the Festival and Conference with drinks, music, dancing and a performance honoring the life and work of María Irene Fornés.


All performance venues are ADA compliant for accessibility.  For any accessibility questions or needs please contact us at 531-622-2618.  Thank you.

PlayFest is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.  To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit