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Mr. Joy

Mr. Joy


Not Currently Playing
Old Shelterhouse
SEPT. 23 - OCT. 22, 2017

Directed by NICOLE A. WATSON

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 a sudden and violent attack. Through the lens of nine of Mr. Joy's customers – all brought to life by one actress – we learn the subtly profound and unassuming impact the shop owner has had on each of their lives. Poignant, thoughtful and stirring, Mr. Joy invites you to celebrate the power of the invisible ties that bind us all. Written by Playhouse favorite and Dayton native Daniel Beaty!

“An acting tour de force … Walton’s performance is dazzling” – The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mr. Joy is appropriate for adults and older teenagers. The show is a depiction of individual hardships in an inner-city community of Harlem, New York, and contains adult language and realistic narratives describing violence.

RUNNING TIME: Mr. Joy runs approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Promotional photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.











Debra Walton

Clarissa/Bessie/DeShawn/ John Lee/Rebecca/ Peter/Clifford/Ashes/James

Daniel Beaty


Nicole A. Watson


Misha Kachman

Set Designer

Kenton Yeager

Lighting Designer

Amatus Karim-Ali

Sound Designer

Stephanie Klapper

Casting Director

Andrea L. Shell

Second Stage Manager


On the Blog

Every Person Has a Story

Aug 29, 2017
Natalie Clare

Written by Dayton-native playwright Daniel Beaty, Mr. Joy is a thoughtful drama that weaves together the personal narratives of nine different characters who unravel the mystery of Mr. Joy’s disappearance.


Speaking Truth to Power

Sep 15, 2017
Natalie Clare

Before he made his Playhouse debut, playwright Daniel Beaty had been making waves in the arts community. In 2005, he performed an original, spoken word poem titled “Knock Knock” on HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry. The poem, inspired his own upbringing, traces a son’s fractured relationship with his incarcerated father.


Storytelling that Makes an Impact

Oct 6, 2017
Natalie Clare

MR. JOY playwright Daniel Beaty has built his artistic career on a foundation of social healing and transformation. Here’s a look at other artists and organizations who are working today to create meaningful art that aims to make a social impact.


5 Questions with Debra Walton

Oct 12, 2017
Natalie Clare

Meet Debra Walton, who returns to the Playhouse in Mr. Joy, after having appeared in Ain't Misbehavin' and Beehive. Learn how Debra became an actor, what she loves about performing and what she's enjoying most about Mr. Joy.


Bringing Mr. Joy's Shoe Shop to the Shelterhouse

Oct 13, 2017
Natalie Clare

Set Designer Misha Kachman and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park Properties Manager John Gallagher share their artistic insight into bringing the highly detailed and realistic scenery of Mr. Joy to the Shelterhouse stage.

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