Celebrating his newest book, The Night Train, famed Southern writer Clyde Edgerton will be showcasing not only his writing skills, but also some singing and guitar playing!
Beloved singer/songwriter Caroline Herring will be performing The Little House Songs: songs inspired by and about Virginia Lee Burton's beloved picture book, The Little House.
Local entertainer and educator Vincenzo Tortorici’s interactive, dynamic, pro-book production, “The Wow Show,” will be featured on the Children’s Stage.
Theatrical Outfit Events
As part of a special presentation at the AJC Decatur Book Festival, Theatrical Outfit and the Center for Puppetry Arts will share and discuss their two new productions “The Green Book,” and “Ruth and the Green Book,” both written by Calvin Ramsey. The Negro Motorist Green Book was a nationally published manual that guided African American tourists to safe accommodations during the country’s tumultuous Jim Crow era; Ramsey has used this important book as the centerpiece for both these productions. He, along with members of Theatrical Outfit and the Center for Puppetry Arts, will be discussing and previewing scenes from these two important and engaging shows.
The second festival offering by Theatrical Outfit is a collaborative workshop of the stage adaptation of Welty’s The Optimist’s Daughter by Tom Key, who will read selections from his first-draft script, while singers/songwriters Kate Campbell and Caroline Herring perform separately songs that Welty’s work has inspired them to write. In the story, when widow Laurel Hand’s father falls ill, she returns to their Mississippi home, and with his death, learns to break free from her past and start living for herself. In this touching new adaptation comes all the lyricism and poignancy one expects from one of America’s foremost writers and the South’s truest voices.
The Atlanta Opera: “From the Briar Patch to the Big Stage: Adapting Brer Rabbit for Opera”
The Atlanta Opera has commissioned a one-hour children’s opera around the famed tales of Brer Rabbit — popularized by Joel Chandler Harris — for its 2011-2012 season, and at the AJC Decatur Book Festival we will have a special presentation about its development and creation (as well as a sneak peek of some of the songs!).
The premise is simple: WRITE CLUB is a high-velocity competitive readings series that donates all its proceeds to charities of the winning writers’ choosing. So be sure to bring a donation to contribute at the door! WRITE CLUB takes the form of “literary bloodsport,” but it’s all good-natured and high-energy fun to take place this year on Saturday of the Festival.
You can learn more about the show at writeclubrules.com, and see pieces by Ian at ianbelknap.com.
Carapace, inspired by The Moth in New York, is all about true personal storytelling by ordinary people, with no notes. Always raw, often funny, and sometimes disarmingly moving, Carapace tales are told the fourth Tuesday of the month at Manuel’s Tavern, 602 N. Highland. In recognition of the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9/11, the Decatur Book Festival offers a special Carapace event: “Persistence of Memory: Stories of Renewal from 9/11.”
Theodore Boone & the Thrill of Rights
This is an interactive theatrical bus tour based on John Grisham’s middle grade thrillers. It stars The Story Pirates, a nationally respected arts and creative writing organization founded in 2003 to celebrate the words and ideas of young people, to promote literacy as a vital part of education, and to preserve the spark of youthful creativity often lost in the transition to adulthood. The “legal comedy” takes place in a court room setting with Theo acting as his own attorney when he’s put on trial for stealing the Bill of Rights. This high-action, audience-participation drama will be featured on the children’s stage.
The 2011 Experimental Writers Asylum
This year’s festival within a festival at the Seen Gallery (coordinated by Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery) brings back the popular Poetry on Demand stand, where local poets accept themes from passersby and weave those themes into verse on the spot. Also returning is the indie publishers’ showcase, which spotlights items from the prizewinning press Fort!/da?, among others. Expect at least one piece of surreal theater and several unreal surprises (though, of course, the argument could be made that if one expects them, they hardly qualify as surprises).
The Center for Puppetry Arts presents The Ugly Duckling
It's not easy being different. Just ask the Ugly Duckling, a newly hatched bird who sets off to explore the wonders of the pond and ends up finding his true self with the help of two mischievous forest sprites. Puppeteers will present a short scene from the play — intended for young audiences — and answer your questions, on the children's stage Saturday.