In The Upper Room

Dark Comedy, Drama
6f, 2m


A play about family secrets, gossip, colorism, voodoo and the magic of the stories we grow up hearing.

Meet the Berrys, a multi-generational Black family living under one roof in the 1970s. Their lives orbit around Rose, a strong-willed matriarch whose superstitions and secrets drive her relatives nuts. Through pointed wit and playful sarcasm, the family elders share fantastical stories about their collective past that call into question the family hierarchy and inspire the youngest generation to take pride in their heritage (and physical appearance). Tender, comedic conversations between tight-knit relatives are interspersed with moments of intense drama that mirror the internal conflicts every family must face at some point.

Loyalty, spirituality and colorism are all at play in this dramatic dark comedy, based on the real family history of playwright and novelist Beaufield Berry.

Casting & Production


An 8 person cast of African-American actors. No doubling.


ROSE-Dark skinned. 50’s. A Mahalia Jackson type. Raised old school in a modern world.

EDDIE-Any shade. 50’s. A quiet, hard working, mild-mannered family man.

JANET-Light skinned. 30’s. A strong voice, matter of fact, stoic.

JOHN-Any shade. 30’s. A boisterous story-teller, with a charismatic way.

JOSEPHINE-Dark skinned. Teen. A book smart girl under the shadow of her Grandmother.

YVETTE-Light skinned. Teen. A fun loving girl under the doting wing of her Grandmother.

JACKIE and DELORES. Any Shade. 50’s+. Two gossiping aunts.

Omaha, Nebraska