ArtsEmerson and the Mayor's Office of Resilience and Racial Equity Present MR. JOY: THE NEIGHBORHOOD TOUR


TOURING BOSTON AREA: ArtsEmerson and the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Racial Equity present Mr. Joy: the Neighborhood Tour, a series of free theatre performances throughout the city of Boston of Daniel Beaty’s Mr. Joy, a play that explores issues of race and class in America to help us find our common humanity. Directed by David Dower and performed by Adobuere Ebiama, performances start April 1, 2017 in the Boston neighborhood of Hyde Park (in partnership with Riverside Theatre Works), before traveling to Allston (in partnership with the BCYF Jackson/Mann Community Center), East Boston (in partnership with ZUMIX), and Dorchester (in partnership with The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative and Fairmount Cultural Corridor). Tickets to all performances on the tour are free; however, due to limited space, advance reservations are strongly encouraged. Tickets may be reserved at www.ArtsEmerson.org or by calling 617.824.8400.

Mr. Joy was originally produced by ArtsEmerson in the Emerson Paramount Center in October of 2015. The play’s themes of ‘transforming pain into power’ – a signature concept of playwright Daniel Beaty – strongly resonated with Boston audiences both through sold-out performances and provocative post-show conversations. The experience of the play became a catalyst to begin important discussions on race, class and community, and ArtsEmerson felt an urgency to continue them by touring the production throughout the neighborhoods of Boston.

“We bring Mr. Joy back this spring,” says ArtsEmerson Co-Artistic Director P. Carl, “to give more of Boston a chance to experience this transformative work by our artist in residence, Daniel Beaty. We are delighted to partner with the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Racial Equity and our neighborhood presenting partners to make this tour both accessible and far-reaching as we visit four Boston neighborhoods to create a community-wide conversation about race and deeper human connection in our city."

“The City of Boston's resilience initiative includes a unique focus on social and economic resilience in a city affected by historic and persistent divisions of race and class, says Atiya Martin, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Boston. The story of Mr. Joy is one example of how these challenges can manifest into opportunity and we are proud to support its tour in Boston neighborhoods that will start new conversations to propel our work forward.”

ArtsEmerson has enjoyed an ongoing relationship with Daniel Beaty, producing his Breath and Imagination in January 2015 (featuring Elijah Rock and directed by David Dower), and presenting his Emergency, in which the playwright also starred, in May 2013.

“Having Daniel Beaty in residence here, says ArtsEmerson Co-Artistic Director David Dower, “has really been very significant for ArtsEmerson, our audiences, and for the hundreds of people who have participated in his I Dream: Boston workshops so far. Daniel has been both a mentor and a champion for our values and this neighborhood tour of Mr. Joy adds one more dimension to his impact on our city.”

What happened to Mr. Joy? A Harlem community is shaken when Mr. Joy, a Chinese immigrant whose shoe repair shop has been a neighborhood pillar for decades, is the victim of an attack. Through the lens of Mr. Joy's customers, from the bubbly eleven-year-old Clarissa (who captured everyone's heart in Daniel Beaty's Emergency) to the sincere and savvy “gangsta granny” Bessie, we learn the profound yet unassuming impact the shop owner has had on each of their lives. Playwright and ArtsEmerson artist-in-residence Daniel Beaty (Breath & Imagination, Emergency) returns with another moving reflection on transforming pain into power, this time through the virtuosic performance by actress Adobuere Ebiama. A poignant, funny and stirring solo piece, Mr. Joy invites us to consider how we respond to violence as individuals and as a community, and the power of the invisible ties that bind us all. The tour is funded in part by the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation.

Mr. Joy Neighborhood Tour Performance Schedule

Hyde Park
Riverside Theatre Works
45 Fairmont Avenue, Hyde Park, MA 02136
Saturday, April 1 8PM
Sunday, April 2 3PM

BCYF Jackson/Mann Community Center
500 Cambridge Street, Allston, MA 02134
Friday, April 7 7PM
Saturday, April 8 7PM

East Boston
ZUMIX Firehouse
260 Sumner Street, East Boston, MA 02128
Saturday, April 15 8PM
Sunday, April 16 3PM

The Strand Theatre
543 Columbia Road, Dorchester, MA 02125
Thursday, April 20 7:30PM
Friday, April 21 8PM