Dictionary of the Black Theatre: Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Selected Harlem Theatre

By Allen Woll | Go to book overview

W

WALKER, ADA (AIDA) OVERTON ( 1880-1914). Ada Overton, a former chorus member of the Black Patti and Oriental America Company, married George Walker* (of Williams* and Walker) in 1899. She appeared in her husband's shows until Bandana Land,* when George became ill. During the latter part of the run, she impersonated her husband when he could not perform. She then appeared with the Cole* and Johnson company and "The Smart Set" troupe. She died at the young age of thirty-four.

Credits: The Policy Players*( 1900); Sons of Ham* ( 1902); In Dahomey* ( 1903); Abyssinia* ( 1906); Bandana Land ( 1908); The Red Moon* ( 1909); His Honor the Barber* ( 1911).

Reference: Charters Ann, Nobody: The Story of Bert Williams, New York: Macmillan, 1970.

WALKER, GEORGE. See WILLIAMS, BERT, and GEORGE WALKER.

WALKER, JOSEPH A. ( 1935- ). Walker was born in Washington, D.C., on February 24, 1935. He grew up in Washington, attending the then segregated schools of the city and going on to Howard University.

It was at Howard that Walker's interest in drama was strengthened. Although his major field of study was philosophy, he minored in drama and spent most of his out-of-class time working with dramatic productions as a member of the Howard Players. It was in one of their productions that Walker played a key role in a work by another black playwright who was to become famous; Joe played Luke, the returned husband, in James Baldwin's * The Amen Corner,* a play that premiered at Howard University in May 1955. Walker received his B.A. from Howard in 1956 and his Master's of Fine Arts in drama from Catholic University in 1964.

Although actively engaged in teaching at Howard University, Walker's first love remained the theatre. In addition to his playwrighting, Walker had extensive professional experience as an actor. He appeared in such productions as Once in a Lifetime at Washington, D.C.'s Arena Stage; A Raisin in the Sun* at Maryland's Olney Theater; and in Off-Broadway musicals, such as The Believers,* which he also co-authored and which was made into an RCA record album.

In 1970, Walker and his second wife, Dorothy Dinroe-Walker, founded the Demi-Gods, a professional music-dance theatre repertory company. Walker also had contact with the Negro Ensemble Company* which produced several of his works, including The Harangues,* Ododo,* and the award-winning drama, The River Niger.*

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Dictionary of the Black Theatre: Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Selected Harlem Theatre
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Notes xi
  • INTRODUCTION: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BLACK THEATRE xiii
  • Part 1: THE SHOWS 1
  • A 3
  • B 11
  • B 49
  • E 57
  • F 72
  • G 90
  • H 94
  • H 96
  • H 122
  • H 142
  • H 163
  • H 173
  • H 179
  • H 181
  • Part II: PERSONALITIES AND ORGANIZATIONS 183
  • A 185
  • B 186
  • C 193
  • D 199
  • D 202
  • D 203
  • G 209
  • H 212
  • I 220
  • J 221
  • K 227
  • K 229
  • K 230
  • N 238
  • O 240
  • P 240
  • P 242
  • P 246
  • P 250
  • P 252
  • W 253
  • Appendix I: A CHRONOLOGY OF THE BLACK THEATRE 267
  • Appendix II: A DISCOGRAPHY OF THE BLACK THEATRE 279
  • SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 281
  • NAME INDEX 289
  • PLAY AND FILM INDEX 326
  • SONG INDEX 338
  • NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS 357
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