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.
- 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)
- Alliance Theatre’s Theatre for the Very Young presenting “Play the Play With Cat the Cat.” (12:30-1:15 p.m., Decatur Recreation Center Studio)
- 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)
- Former Atlanta Journal-Constitution photography editor Alysia Burton Steele offers a presentation on her book “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom,” documenting more than 50 female church elders in the Mississippi Delta. (5:30-6:15 p.m., Decatur First United Methodist Chapel Stage)
- Synchronicity Theatre performs “Fancy Nancy: The Musical.” (12:45-1:15 p.m., Community Bandstand)
- 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)
- Norman Girardot, a Lehigh University Religion Studies Department professor emeritus and former Atlantan, discusses his book “Envisioning Howard Finster: The Religion and Art of a Stranger from Another World,” an analysis of the intertwined artistic and religious significance of the work of the late Georgia folk artist. (2:30-3:15 p.m., Marriott Conference Center Ballroom C)
- The Atlanta Shakespeare Company presents famous scenes/monologues from Shakespeare’s canon. (4:30-5 p.m., Community Bandstand)
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.”
More information: www.artdbf.com.