March 14, 2019

Mr. Joy: The Neighborhood Tour Comes to Salem for Two Free Performances

by cns2020

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What: Mr. Joy: The Neighborhood Tour at the Peabody Essex Museum
When: Friday, March 15 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, March 16 at 1:00 pm
Where: Peabody Essex Museum

For the third straight year, ArtsEmerson is producing 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. So far this year it’s been to Newton, Wayland, and Mattapan, and this weekend for two performances only, it’s arriving in Salem.

It’s the concluding weekend for this year’s production of Mr. Joy, and a collaboration between the Peabody Essex Museum and Cojuelous Productions is making these performances possible.

“I’m always looking for opportunities to curate experiences where participants get exposed to untold stories so that they come out somewhat transformed,” Rosario Ubiera-Minaya, owner of Cojuelos Productions explains. “I want to bring people together in one room who, for different reasons, wouldn’t necessarily come together otherwise.

Mr. Joy, Directed by David Dower and performed by Debra Walton, is one of those opportunities.

Originally produced by ArtsEmerson in the Emerson Paramount Center in 2015, the play presents the themes of ‘transforming pain into power.’ When it opened, Mr. Joy not only sold-out its shows, but also spurred conversations of race, class, and community. As a result of that, ArtsEmerson has continued these ongoing discussions by touring the production around greater Boston and the North Shore.

“I thought Mr. Joy could serve as a vehicle for facing the complex issues of race, tolerance, implicit bias, and stereotypes, in an artistic and cultural setting, that can lead to growth and understanding in our communities,” Ubiera-Minaya continues.   

“I launched Cojuelos’ Productions because I’m passionate about creating opportunities – especially for younger generations, and at the same time, I want to empower and engage through the arts to create positive lasting impact and to make a difference in our communities.”

North Shore communities have been facing issues of race, diversity and socioeconomic divides for decades, and one of the biggest topics of these discussions is representation in arts, culture, and the media, and Rosario explains that “Presenting opportunities to see those realities and ‘experience life in other people’s shoes’ is an excellent tool for continuing the critical conversations about tolerance that we’ve started here locally.”

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

About Cojuelos’ Productions:

Cojuelos’ Productions proudly celebrates all artistic expression through creative and innovative, diverse and culturally-oriented programming and high-end special events.

Cojuelos’ Productions thrives in creating curated experiences for private, corporate, and community settings with an emphasis in cultural & educational programming.  Also, we offer consulting services for effective community engagement, cultural awareness, and audience development strategies with arts and culture as tools for engagement.

Our company specifically focuses on creating a platform for elevating under-represented cultures and communities of color by promoting and managing creatives of color (musicians, visual artists, authors, and performers) representing different cultural groups.  We develop opportunities for showcasing their art, passion, and creativity at the same time that we contribute to their professional growth and the growth of our communities.

In collaboration with some of these artists, Cojuelos’ Productions also offers services of murals and installations for commercial and residential projects (restaurants, office parks, real estate developments) through a collective of the visual artists and designers we represent.