Mr. Joy: The Neighborhood Tour 2020
A poignant story of class, race and learning to dream again.
Debra Walton, Actor
Debra has been in search of and tracking Mr. Joy since she first heard of it back in 2013. Being cast in the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park production of Mr. Joy changed her life forever. She is not only thrilled but honored that she has been tapped by the ArtsEmerson family to continue sharing this story with this community! Her recent artistic endeavors include finally being initiated into the “Law & Order SVU” family. In her words, making her now and forever a ”Real” New York actor! Other recent adventures include playing Gloria in the Robert Schenkkan play Building the Wall & The Leading Player in Pippin! Favorite roles include Anita in "West Side Story", Minnie Fae in "Hello Dolly", and Velma in "CHICAGO", Broadway and off-Broadway highlights include "The Pajama Game", "Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, The Bubbly Black Girl", and "Cookin’ at the Cookery: The Music and Times of Alberta Hunter", in which Debra created her award-winning roles that earned her a Drama Desk nomination and a Barrymore Award! She made her primetime debut on Blue Bloods. National tours include South Pacific, Annie Get Your Gun and CHICAGO.
For more fun facts, check out YouTube. Or follow her on Twitter: @DebWaltonActs & Instagram: @Debwalton
Daniel Beaty, Playwright
Daniel Beaty is an award-winning actor, singer, writer, and community activist. He is the co-writer and lead actor of the upcoming feature film Chapter & Verse with Loretta Devine and Omari Hardwick about a man who re-integrates into society after eight years in prison. His critically acclaimed plays Through the Night, Emergency , Mr. Joy , Breath & Imagination, and The Tallest Tree in the Forest, have been produced at leading theaters across the nation and venues ranging from Lincoln Center to the White House, garnering numerous awards including an Obie award for writing and performance and three NAACP Theatre Awards. A highly requested keynote speaker, Daniel has spoken throughout the U.S., Europe, and Africa. In 2012, Daniel created I Dream, a nationally recognized social justice initiative that uses the tools of the arts, immersive group exercises, and trauma recovery to support young people to rewrite the story of race and class inequity in America, and create social justice projects to make that new story a reality. I Dream has reached over 2000 young people in three cities across the nation: Watts, CA; Omaha, NE; and Boston, MA. A graduate of Yale University (BA) and American Conservatory Theatre (MFA), Daniel has developed original TV shows for Showtime and Fox/Imagine, and recently completed a documentary about the impact of mass incarceration on children and families called Behind the Glass. A child of an incarcerated parent himself, Daniel’s poem "Knock Knock" is an Internet sensation receiving millions of views and has been made into a children's book, also titled Knock Knock, published by Little Brown Books. Penguin-Random House published his empowerment book Transforming Pain to Power in 2014. DanielBeaty.com
David Dower, Director
David Dower joined ArtsEmerson as director of artistic programs in 2012. He is also co-founder and a contributing editor to HowlRound. Prior, he served as associate artistic director of Arena Stage (Washington, D.C.); and founded and served as artistic director of The Z Space Studio and co-founded and served as co-artistic director of The Z Collective (San Francisco, CA). With ArtsEmerson he directed Guillermo Calderón's Kiss, Daniel Beaty’s Mr. Joy and Breath and Imagination, Melinda Lopez’s Mala, Baritones UnBound, and Maurice Hines’s Tappin’ Through Life. Dower earned the Inclusive Excellence Award (Emerson College); was a Gerbode Fellow (Gerbode Foundation); was named “MVP of Bay Area Theater” (San Francisco Chronicle); and was a Policy Fellow (National Endowment for the Arts). He studied at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, American University (Washington, D.C.) and Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. Originally from Westerly, RI, David resides in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood.