Atlanta Life and Culture

The AJC Features Team spotlights arts previews, reviews, profiles, news features and breaking news on Atlanta's cultural and life scene.

art|DBF to bring plentiful free performances to Decatur Book Festival

The AJC Decatur Book Festival has announced plans for the third art|DBF, the arts-festival-within-the-book-festival held over Labor Day weekend.

This year's art|DBF will put an even stronger emphasis on theater, dialing down somewhat the other performing arts and visual art that were a big part of last year's arts fest component. Almost all of the free presentations this year, whether staged indoors or outdoors, will boast a literary connection.

Performance highlights will include:

  • Serenbe Playhouse presenting selections from "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. Sept. 5, Community Bandstand)


  • The Wishing Jar, a singer-songwriter duo performing a family-friendly set. (11-11:30 a.m. Sept. 5, Community Bandstand)
  • Alliance Theatre's Theatre for the Very Young presenting "Play the Play With Cat the Cat." (12:30-1:15 p.m. Sept. 5, Decatur Recreation Center Studio)
  • Imperial Opa Circus performing its unique twist on "The Great Gatsby." (Presented by 7 Stages, 1-1:30 p.m. Sept. 5, Community Bandstand)
  • Atlanta History Center presenting "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. Sept. 5, Decatur Library)
  • Synchronicity Theatre performing "Fancy Nancy, The Musical." (12:45-1:15 p.m. Sept. 6, Community Bandstand)
  • 7 Stages presenting 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 will serve tea, teach the game and share a story from the book. (2:30-3:15 p.m. Sept. 6, Decatur Recreation Center Studio)
  • Atlanta Shakespeare Company presenting famous scenes/monologues from Shakespeare’s canon. (4:30-5 p.m. Sept. 6, Community Bandstand)

art|DBF also will offer different kinds of ongoing interactive arts happenings around the festival grounds, including: the Guerilla Haiku Movement creating sidewalk chalk haikus, written by festival-goers in response to their DBF experiences; chalk artist Katie Bush re-creating a famous book cover in chalk on the square; and pop 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 Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur location (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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The AJC Features Team spotlights arts previews, reviews, profiles, news features and breaking news on Atlanta's cultural and life scene.