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Cane River King

Winner of the 2015 Activate: Midwest New Play Festival, and the 2014 Full Length Play Award from Region 3 of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.


After receiving news of his estranged, sticky-fingered uncle Ottie's death, college dropout Emile must travel down from Chicago to his family’s home of Natchitoches, Louisiana, where he has been placed in charge of carrying out the last wishes and returning all of Ottie’s stolen crap. Naturally, this is a responsibility Emile would much rather ignore were it not for the insistence of his mother (herself a prodigal daughter), the town priest (who happens to be his mother’s ex-boyfriend), several of his kinsfolk, and maybe even Ottie himself. However, upon arriving in town, Emile begins to learn things about his uncle that challenge the image of the man he thought he knew. As the town reckons with theirs and Ottie’s past, Emile must figure out for himself if he can forgive his uncle’s misdeeds and put him to rest once and for all. Knowing Ottie, it will not be easy.


  • Cast requirements: Four male, and three female. At least two men and one woman must be performed by Black actors.

  • A drama/comedy about family, regret, and moving forward.

  • Influences include: the life and death of my uncle Louie, small town life of Natchitoches, LA, ritual Catholicism, and the plays of August Wilson.

  • Dedicated to Louie and my cousin Herb Metoyer.

  • Three of Herb’s songs were featured in the Chicago premiere. You can check two of them out on the right.

Art Credit: Mary Jackson

May Be Gone TommorowHerb Metoyer
00:00 / 04:31
Five QuestionsHerb Metoyer
00:00 / 05:14
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