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 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.
ArtsEmerson presents the 2nd 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 Adobuere Ebiama, performances start May 5 in Charlestown at Bunker Hill Community College before traveling to Scituate High School (in partnership with METCO), Roxbury Community College, and Allston (in partnership with the BCYF Jackson/Mann Community Center). Tickets to all performances on the tour are free; however, due to limited space, advance reservations are strongly encouraged.