Mr. Joy: The Neighborhood Tour 2020
A poignant story of class, race and learning to dream again.
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, performed by Tangela Large, became a catalyst for important discussions on race, class and community, and ArtsEmerson felt an urgency to continue these by touring the production as part its ongoing commitment to help transform Boston’s reputation, and reality, around race.
For the first iteration of the Mr. Joy: The Neighborhood Tour in April 2017, ArtsEmerson joined forces with the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Racial Equity and toured to the Boston neighborhoods of Hyde Park (in partnership with Riverside Theatre Works), Allston (in partnership with the BCYF Jackson/Mann Community Center), East Boston (in partnership with ZUMIX) and culminated at Dorchester’s historic Strand Theatre (in partnership with The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative and Fairmount Cultural Corridor) with an official proclamation of April 20, 2017 as Daniel Beaty Day in the City of Boston. The 2017 Tour starred Adobuere Ebiama in the solo role.
May 2018 marked the second annual Mr. Joy: The Neighborhood Tour, again starring Adobuere Ebiama, and featuring performances at Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, Scituate High School (in partnership with METCO Inc.), Roxbury Community College and in Allston (in partnership with the BCYF Jackson/Mann Community Center). And in November 2018, Mr. Joy was presented in partnership with Dover-Sherborn High School.
February/March 2019 marked the third annual Mr. Joy: The Neighborhood Tour, starring Debra Walton and featuring performances at Newton North High School, Wayland High School, BCYF/Mildred Avenue Community Center and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.