Dear Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that we announce, that due to illness within the production team of IN THE UPPER ROOM, we are canceling all three performances of the show.

On Wednesday, June 1st, at 7:30pm, we will have a special on-stage conversation with the playwright, Beaufield Berry, the production costume designer, Lora Kaup, and the Great Plains Theatre Commons Artistic and Administrative Coordinator, Kevin Lawler. The completed props and set design, and a selection of iconic 1970’s costumes from the production, will be on display.

We salute the generosity, artistry, and hard work put forth by the entire production team, and the support of the local and national community to help bring this story to the stage.

IN THE UPPER ROOM will return, and be celebrated in our community one day, because it is a story that is born from, and lives on in, our community.

Thank you for your strength and support.

Kevin Lawler

Great Plains Theatre Commons

GPTC PlayFest 2021/22

In The Upper Room  

by Beaufield Berry

Directed by Denise Chapman

Developed as a GPTC 2017 PlayLab

Midwestern premiere, Neighborhood Tapestries Production

A Co-production in partnership with Creighton University Fine and Performing Arts and The Union for Contemporary Art


Meet the Berrys, a multi-generational African American family in the 1970s. Their lives orbit around a strong-willed matriarch whose secrets drive her relatives nuts. Fed up, they each make plans to break away. But by standing their ground, they may lose what has held them together all along.


Meet the Playwright

Beaufield Berry is a Midwest-based playwright, novelist, and arts education professional. Her work specifically takes on the drama, history and joy of the Black Diaspora and often includes magical surrealism, musical, and mixed-media components. Beaufield’s adventurous work has been performed across the country and in multiple conferences, including the Great Plains Theater Conference, Philadelphia Sparkfest, Manhattan Rep, and Colorado New Play Summit. She has served as a guest artist with Inge Fest in Independence, Kansas, and on several panels and boards. Beaufield is currently the Resident Playwright at Creighton University in Omaha. Her most recent production, In the Upper Room (2018 O’Neill finalist), was produced at the Denver Performing Arts Center in February 2022. Upper Room, directed by Gregg T. Daniel (w/ dramaturg Regina Victor, scenic designer Efren Delgadillo, Jr.), received rave reviews.



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