GPTC PlayFest 2022/23

Omaha’s (Free!) Season of New, Contemporary Performance

PlayFest makes more plays for more people in Omaha. As part of the Great Plains Theatre Commons, PlayFest broadens public access by providing a season of free, high-quality theatrical events. Community organizations and artists (both local and national) participate in the storytelling we see on stage. Evening performances are held at geographically diverse venues. PlayFest gives voice to the stories that have the power to unite and inspire diverse audiences.  The form of these works can vary, including traditional plays, devised work, short forms, music and dance. Much of the content celebrates Omaha stories. Neighborhood Tapestries is a program that puts Omaha stories on stage. Each year this program presents work based on the lives of Nebraskans. The result is a vibrant portrait of our city.


The 2022/23 season includes two plays that were developed as PlayLabs at the GPTC New Play Conference. The other play is by local playwright and GPTC staff member, Ellen Struve.



GOOSE by Michael Yichao

GOOSE is a play about family, getting older… and a magical interstellar space goose.


All public performances at Yates Illuminates, ​3260 Davenport St.

November 18 and 19 @ 7:30pm

November 20 @ 6:00pm

Click here to reserve your seats!

A handful of tickets are held back for walkups at each performance. All performance venues are ADA compliant for accessibility. For any accessibility questions or needs please contact Quinn at Recommended for ages 10+

Dallin is getting older, and nothing is quite as he expected. In act one, he turns 13 and no one shows up to his birthday party. In act two, he returns home after a long time away, now with his own 13 year old daughter. As he confronts challenges and his ever evolving relationships with his family and himself, an unexpected old friend appears to take him on a journey through time and space.


GPTC PlayFest: Goose image


Written by Michael Yichao

Directed by TammyRa’

Cast: Artie Shaw, Darryl Brown, Jr. & Aniyah Skanes

Scenic Design: Kevin Lawler

Props Design: Savannah Savick

Audio Engineer: Craig Marsh/Pink Giraffe

Stage Manager: Nicholas A. Jansen

House Manager: Katie Cameron

Poster Design: @qmetalc


Michael Yichao is a playwright and actor currently residing in Seattle, WA. His plays have received recognition from the O’Neill Theater’s National Playwright’s Conference and the John F Kennedy Performing Arts Center, among others, and have been produced across the US and Canada. Yichao has been an invited playwright at the Last Frontier Theater Conference, Great Plains Theatre Conference, and the Association of Theater in Higher Education (ATHE) Conference. When not writing plays, Yichao works in video games, currently serving as Lead Narrative Designer at Phoenix Labs. Find him on Twitter and online @michaelyichao |


OLD BAT by Ellen Struve

Having lived through a fire, a plague and a war, a desperate woman hunts for treasure on a mythological island populated by monsters, heroes and storytellers. This time she may not survive.

A Co-Production with Benson Theatre.


March 23rd @ 7:30pm.

Benson Theatre, 6054 Maple St.

A staged reading.

In league with a hero, Kira hunts for an unknown treasure guarded by a nymph and a cyclops. She is an ordinary woman beset by extraordinary times. She’s survived a fire, a plague and a war, and is driven by her child’s survival. Finding the treasure is as difficult as finding her place in these ancient stories. She enlists the help of the elements, betrays her companions and is betrayed and discovers the need for transformation.

Directed by Amy Lane

This is a new play by Omaha playwright, Ellen Struve. The play is being workshopped throughout March with support from a director and cast, a dramaturge and a designer.

Ellen Struve is a playwright, community artist and educator. She is a Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellow, a WhyArts resident artist and serves on the board of Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim. She has degrees from University of Iowa and School of the Art Institute of Chicago.



PRACTICE HOUSE by Rachael Carnes

“Practice House” explores a world turned upside-down, and finds a path towards fragile hope.

Directed by Susie Baer Collins

World Premiere

Developed as a GPTC New Play Conference PlayLab in 2021.

May 31 – June 2 @ 7:30pm

All public performances at Yates Illuminates, ​3260 Davenport St.

Based on a real chapter in American education, in which babies were leased from local orphanages for the purpose of training women in the new and improved “scientific parenting methods” —

Playwright Rachael Carnes received a 2020 Oregon Literary Fellowship, and has had productions of her work across the U.S., U.K., the Middle East, Canada and Asia, with invitations to develop work at the Inge Theatre Festival, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Playwriting Intensive, the Midwestern Dramatists Center Conference, the Mid-America Theater Conference, the American Association for Theatre in Higher Education New Play Development Series, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop, the Cambridge U.K. WriteON Festival and the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival. Her work is seen in many literary journals. She and her family live in Oregon.


A warm thanks to our current 2022/2023 PlayFest Sponsors: Nebraska Arts Council, Mutual of Omaha and the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit


2016 PlayFest Highlights
2015 PlayFest Highlights

All performance venues are ADA compliant for accessibility.  For any accessibility questions or needs please contact us at 402-370-8259.  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