Art DBF to bring plentiful free performances to AJC Decatur Book Festival

The third Art DBF, the arts festival tucked within the AJC Decatur Book Festival, is particularly strong with theater offerings over Labor Day weekend, and almost all of the free presentations this year come complete with a literary connection.

Highlights include:

Sept. 5

  • Serenbe Playhouse presenting "The Secret Garden," based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's book about a lonely orphaned girl sent to a mansion in the English countryside where she discovers a mysterious, abandoned garden. (10-10:45 a.m., Community Bandstand)
  • The Wishing Jar, a singer-songwriter duo performing a family-friendly set. (11-11:30 a.m., Community Bandstand)

  • The Imperial Opa Circus performs its unique twist on "The Great Gatsby." (Presented by 7 Stages, 1-1:30 p.m., Community Bandstand)
  • Atlanta History Center presents "Tomorrow Is Another Day," a fictional exploration of the day before the Atlanta premiere of "Gone With the Wind." (1:45-2:30 p.m., Decatur Library)
  • Synchronicity Theatre presents a staged reading of Atlanta playwright Lee Nowell's "Beyond Reasonable Doubt — The Troy Davis Project" along with a conversation about play development and racial justice. (3-3:45 p.m., Historic Courthouse)

Sept. 6

  • The freestyle hip-hop poets of Soul Food Cypher will give an interactive performance. (1:30-2 p.m., Community Bandstand)
  • 7 Stages presents an interactive performance from Atlanta ensemble Found Stages during which audiences will join "The Joy Luck Club's" weekly mahjong game. Characters from the novel serve tea, teach the game and share a story from the book. (2:30-3:15 p.m., Decatur Recreation Center Studio)

Throughout the festival

  • Art DBF also will offer different kinds of ongoing interactive arts happenings around the festival grounds, including: the Guerilla Haiku Movement and Out of Hand Theater creating sidewalk chalk haikus, written by festivalgoers in response to their DBF experiences; chalk artist Katie Bush re-creating a famous book cover in chalk on the square; and pop-up performances by Atlanta Shakespeare Company and Imperial Opa Circus.
  • The Art DBF Atlanta PlanIt Pavilion, located atop the MARTA plaza, will feature some 15 Atlanta cultural organizations passing out information about their seasonal offerings.
  • At the former location of the Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur (101 W. Court Square), the Decatur Arts Alliance hosts the juried exhibit "The Book as Art 3.0: No Jacket Required."

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