Mr. Joy

The Neighborhood Tour 2019

FEB 26 - MAR 16, 2019

ArtsEmerson presents the 3rd annual Mr. Joy: The Neighborhood Tour, a series of free theatre performances 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 Debra Walton, public performances start at Newton North High School (in partnership with METCO Inc.) and then travel to Wayland High School (in partnership with METCO Inc.), Mattapan (in partnership with BCYF/Mildred Avenue Community Center), and end in Salem (in partnership with the Peabody Essex Museum and Cojuelos' Productions). The general public is also invited to the final dress rehearsal at the Emerson Paramount Center in downtown Boston on February 20th.

Tickets to all performances on the tour are free; however, due to limited space, advance reservations are strongly encouraged.


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 acclaimed actress Debra Walton. 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.