The River Niger

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This article is about the play. For the film based on the play, see The River Niger (film). For the river in Africa, see Niger River.
The River Niger
Written by Joseph A. Walker
Date premiered 05 December 1972
Place premiered Negro Ensemble Company
St. Mark's Playhouse
New York City
Original language English
Subject a son returns home not the hero and militant anticipated
Genre Drama
Setting Harlem, New York, present day

The River Niger is a play by American playwright Joseph A. Walker, first performed by New York City's Negro Ensemble Company off-Broadway in 1972. The production made its Broadway debut with a transfer to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on 27 March 1973 for a run of 162 performances.


  • Mattie Williams
  • Johnny Williams
  • Dr. Dudley Stanton
  • Jeff Williams
  • Ann Vanderguild
  • Big Moe Hayes
  • Al
  • Chips
  • Skeeter
  • Gail
  • Wilhelmina Brown


The play was adapted by Walker for film in 1976, directed by Krishna Shah starring Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones.

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 1973 Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Playwright – Joseph A. Walker
  • 1973 Obie Award for Best American Play
  • 1974 Tony Award for Best Play
  • 1974 Tony Award for Actor – Douglas Turner Ward
  • 1974 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress – Roxie Roker

External links[edit]