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What Did You Think of Mr. Joy?


Thank you for attending the neighborhood tour of Mr. Joy! Tell a friend it’s coming to their neighborhood and add your voice to the conversation below.

  • What connects for your neighborhood? Is there a place everyone goes?
  • What have you inherited in your neighborhood or your community? How does it challenge you? How does it make you stronger?
  • Where do you see joy in your daily life? What are the ways you can reach out to people around you and create more opportunities for joy?
  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts in the comments section!



  1. Absolutely brilliant Daniel Beaty! Creatively layered with real life struggles and thoughts that will challenge everyone’s biases. Albeit, the common thread is Mr. Joy, who is a jewel treasured by all. You’re drawn into Mr. Joy’s neighborhood and experience the emotions of each of character. The actress was AMAZING and I LOVED IT! Will definitely see it again and bring other to experience it.

  2. It was truly phenomenal. I can’t fathom how one women can discover and capture the essence of several characters in one play… at the same damn time… I need to see it again! #fivestars

  3. Eric V FieldsApril 12, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    What an Amazing Story from DANIEL BEATY and What An Amazing Actor in ADOBUERE EBIAMA !!!

    I could relate this story to my own experiences growing up and “seeing the changes over the years”.

    I Laughed, I Cried , I was Moved … many times.

    This IS the BEST Theatrical Project I have seen in a Very Long Time because of ADOBUERE EBIAMA, who able to seamlessly morph into the many characters needed to give this story Life!!!

    What a True Joy !!!

  4. Marcia BoothApril 21, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Agreed. If there is any way that you can cancel your plans for tonight in order to be able to attend, do so.
    It’s a wonderful, hope-filled, responsibility-reminder of a play.
    Thank you to all the partners who helped make this happen.

  5. I am in agreement with the previous comments. I thought it was a phenomenal work performed by a phenomenal actor! I also enjoyed the interaction with the audience – the call and response! Hopefully these neighborhood tours will continue. I suggest that this one be held over into next week. I was also pleased to see a youth group at the Strand performance.

  6. This was an amazing performance. I related to the story. ADOBUERE was brilliant. She brought you into her world of many characters. How can someone remember all the lines and transcend herself into these different characters so easily. Beautiful written piece of work

  7. AMAZING! Such a thought provoking play and unbelievably delivered by Abobuere Ebiama – what a truly talented and gifted Actress! Bravo Abobuere!! Bravo!

    Inspiring, intense, humorous, REAL, and leaves you with a desire to make an impact – to jump in and “get involved”!

    I am sharing this with a client in Baton Rouge who is an activist for the good in that area eradicating prejudice, labeling and the multitude of issues we need to address – to educate our youth on and to engage them in healthier philosophies, morals and actions that back them up!

    Thank you Daniel Beaty – pure genius!
    And bravo again Adobuere for delivering it as I believe Daniel envisioned it!
    Truly Outstanding!

    Thanks ArtsEmerson for listening to your audience and bringing this to the community!

    A Fan!

  8. Donna MacLeodApril 22, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Daniel Beaty is indeed brilliant. It would seem that only someone with the rich, yet sad history could produce these heart-wrenching, real life and wondrous tales. It is mesmerizing to watch this actress convey the pain, sorrow, joy and elation over a non-stop 90 minutes. I am in truly in awe of her performance.

    My hope is that Mr. Joy will again be offered to wide audiences. What a priviledge to see it.

  9. How grateful I am to Daniel Beaty for the fabulously moving, authentic script, Mr. Joy! Ms. Ebiama is amazing in her portrayal of the diverse cast of characters. I was in riveted as I took in the web of roles and their powerful monologues. I hope to read the script and see Mr Joy again soon. There are so many friends I want to witness it! Thank you artsemerson, Ms Ebiama, Mr.’s Beaty and Dower – Bravo!

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Joy! The narrative of each character was well thought out and had so much depth, I feel as if I am still processing it all. However, what I liked the most about the play was the message around “community healing.” I strongly believe this is the only way things will begin to change for us.

  11. Phenomenal performance by Adobuere Ebiama of a vital piece that I wish every single person in this city (state? country? oh, why not…world!) could see. Thanks, DSNI and Fairmount Creative Corridor and Mayor’s Office and ArtsEmerson and other partners, for bringing it to The Strand. If there’s a way we can help keep it out there in the neighborhoods, we’d like to.

  12. Angela Williams-MitchellApril 24, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Spectacular, amazing, very thought provoking. I totally enjoyed the performance. I attended the performance with 2 of my daughters, 2 grandchildren (ages 16 & 17) and my husband. Driving home from the play, the topic of conversation was Mr. Joy and some of the many “ism” of members of our society. What was equally moving to me, is the message of hope.

  13. Cheryl Clyburn CrawfordApril 24, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Thank you for bringing Mr. Joy to the Strand Theatre. Adobuere was absolutely phenomenal! Her delivery was brilliant!

  14. Rebecca SliszApril 24, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    This is a play everyone should see. First because Adobuere Ebiama is amazing. That she could play such diverse characters and make them each seem so real was riveting. A second reason is, as Dr. Atyia Martin from the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Racial Equity (an amazing woman in her own right) put it, it helps us better understand racism on a number of levels, from internalized, to institutional, and including interactions between even well-intentioned people every day. Third is because of the message of hope and the reminder to seek joy; not “just” to hope for joy, but to take action to realize joy.

    On a more personal note, I was a summer intern at DSNI more than 20 years ago. I feel proud to have been associated – even briefly – with an organization that is continuing to do such good work. I am also struck by how much work there is yet to do. We all need to play our part. I wholeheartedly support continued performances of Mr. Joy throughout Boston and as far across the country as it can go.

  15. Sarah CiambroneApril 27, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    What an experience it was to see Adobuere’s performance in Mr. Joy. The play was wonderful but her performance was so exuberant, clever, nuanced and beautiful in the way that she brought every character to life! extraordinary performance and a true joy to see Mr. Joy! thank you for bringing this wonderful experience to our neighborhood of Dorchester!

  16. Brilliant acting, brilliant writing! Such a wonderful, thought provoking piece and an exhausting, beautiful performance.

  17. Jean Dany JoachimMay 7, 2018 at 9:16 am

    The whole country should have access to this play.
    Great text!
    Impressively beautiful acting!

  18. Mimi SvenningMay 9, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    What a play Daniel Beaty has written! What an experience the solo actor, Ms. Ebiama gave us as she channeled nine very different characters with intuitive expertise and authenticity. Mr. Joy, around whom the play revolved, was not portrayed but it was clear he left a legacy of love and hope in his vibrant, diverse neighborhood where racial, generational, gender difference can often breed fear and misunderstanding. For some of the people whose lives he touched, that role was even redemptive. If you haven’t already, see this play!

  19. Parmie PolkMay 16, 2018 at 11:06 am

    This narrative written by Daniel Beaty was brilliant and thought provoking. It is relevant and touches on issues that we experience everyday from violence, racial acceptance to gentrification going on in our inner city neighborhoods. I also connected with the themes of hope and tolerance within the play. I have seen Mr Joy twice, by two very different actresses. Tamela Large and Adobuere Ebiama, both were phenomenal in their portrayal of all nine believable characters. My favorite was Clarissa and I loved her story of Kinky-Girl. I also enjoyed the call and response, that promted the audience’s participation. I am in awe of how Daniel Beaty has brought characters from his previous works into this piece. It’s like a circle of life.
    Bravo to all associated with the production of this work, and special Kudos to Arts Emerson for continuing to bring relevant productions to our communities in their effort to produce Civic Engagement.

  20. Loretta E CedroneMay 20, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Absolutely brilliant performance on May 19th in Brighton. My suggestion is that if Corporate enterprises (Starbucks for example are looking to do staff training, this play provides a fabulous vehicle for prompting discussion. Thank you for providing this to our community.

  21. Yes indeed! All the above comments are right on. In addition to the depth and pain of many issues addressed in the piece, there was also a wonderful, irreverent sense of humor that often made us laugh at the absurdity of racial, gender, class or generational clichés. ADOBUERE EBIAMA Is an amazing actor, embodying each character with particular speech, timing, and movement. Kudos also to David Dower for his direction. It is powerful to see as much diversity in the audiences at ArtsEmerson as we see on stage. Much of this is thanks to the hard work of Akiba Abaka in audience development. Rock on, ArtsEmerson!

  22. Deborah GreeneMay 23, 2018 at 2:57 am

    Mr. Joy was inspirational and encouraging! I’m not around my neighborhood much since I’m always on the go but when I attend Church, its my neighborhood and I think of my filling the role of ‘gangsta granny’ there. As I walk the streets of my neighborhood, I pray — knowing only God can help our communities. I’m getting a group together for this and we now will have a title for what we do!

  23. Mr. Joy was powerful and wonderfully performed, written and produced. I hope you are able to keep it going and do more local neighborhood reach. I also loved the talk back, it was also so moving to hear all that people shared. I did not share myself, and it’s interesting to me that I felt awkward thinking of what I would say…
    My history is that I was in a gang in my teenage years, not in MA, but I got out. I got out, honestly, by running away to another state(s), eventually living with another relative elsewhere and finished school and all that stuff. I’m proud of my children, they’re good people. I am glad I got out, but it hasn’t been easy, or even easy to talk about. In one way, I feel guilty, as I let my fellow gang members down just by leaving. Far as I have heard, I am the only one to have made it out. I wish I was able to help them get out too, but I wasn’t able to as a teen, and a confused one at that. Is this what they call “survivor’s guilt”? They weren’t really bad kids for the most part, just a scary world to grow up in at the time… Didn’t mean to share all this here, but it has been on my mind since seeing Mr. Joy.

    Anyway, it’s a powerful show, I hope you do more runs, people need to see it!

  24. So many fantastic things to say thank you for – ArtsEmerson, Roxbury Community College [RCC] and StepAfrika. Thank you for Welcome Boston, the Migration and Mr. Joy. I had friends from Atlanta and Hawaii visiting me and really wanted to take them to see the Migration, but we’re all retired seniors and couldn’t afford it, so I ordered tickets to Welcome Boston at RCC. They absolutely loved the show, they were excited about the reception and, most of all, went crazy about the $15 tickets for the Migration 🙂 Wow!
    Mr. Joy was an exceptional play. We were amazed by the great solo performance. Wish I had time to organize more folks to go.
    Thank you for holding performances in my community [Roxbury/ Dorchester]. RCC is a good location for holding future events, plus it has parking.
    I understand you are planning a gospel event at the Strand Theatre in early June. Great! I hate to see the Strand Theatre being under-utilized. It would be fantastic if there were more cultural events were held at the Strand. If there’s anything I can do to help bring back more performances at the Strand, please let me know. Once again, thank you


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