Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Here are Encore Atlanta’s recommendations (in alphabetical order). Pictured: Tom Key and Bethany Anne Lind in True Colors’ world premiere staging of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” opening this weekend. Photo by Tyson Alan Horne | The Horne Brothers.

Alice in Wonderland. WORLD PREMIERE. Critics call this Serenbe Playhouse adaptation “imaginative,” “goofy,” “creative” and “playfully refashioned.” Atlanta playwright Rachel Teagle puts Alice in the past with a band of commedia dell’arte cohorts and into the present with pop culture references. This hourlong site-specific adventure for all ages is staged outside. Through July 28. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday. Serenbe is in Chattahoochee Hills, west of Palmetto, about 30 minutes from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. $15; $10 students and children; under 2 free. Details, tickets, directions: www.serenbeplayhouse.com or 770.436.1110. For discounts, visit poshdealz.com.

Evelyn in Purgatory. Part of Essential Theatre‘s 2012 festival of new plays. This world premiere by Atlanta’s Topher Payne is about five public school teachers caught in the limbo of a disciplinary holding area. He calls it “a Breakfast Club for teachers.” Critics call it “smartly crafted,” “a very funny dramatic comedy” (with an ambiguous ending that is “problematic”) and the playwright’s “strongest work to date.” You decide. Through Aug. 2. In repertory with the company-created piece The Local and Bat-Hamlet by Jordan Pulliam (beginning Tuesday). See the Essential Theatre schedule for details. $23. Festival passes available. Performances at Actor’s Express, 887 W. Marietta St., in the King Plow Arts Center.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. OPENING WEEKEND. True Colors Theatre Company presents a world premiere based on the 1967 Sidney Poitier-Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy movie about a family whose liberal beliefs are tested when their daughter brings home her handsome, wealthy, brilliant, successful fiancé — who happens to be African-American. Kenny Leon directs a cast that includes Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad (left, with Afemo Omilami) and Atlanta actors Tom Key, Tess Malis Kincaid, Andrea Frye, Bethany Anne Lind, David De Vries and Elizabeth Wells Berkes. Part of the National Black Arts Festival. Through July 29. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. No show July 17. $20-$75. Tickets HERE or at 877.725.8849. Rialto Center for the Arts, 80 Forsyth St. N.W.

Illyria: A Twelfth Night Musical. In repertory with Much Ado About Nothing and The Importance of Being Earnest. This gender-bending love triangle is set to a rock ‘n’ roll, country, gospel and Andrew Lloyd Webber-ish score. Got that? Good. Good for ages 6 and up. Picnicking before the show is encouraged. Bring a basket and a bottle of wine or pre-order from Carole Parks Catering. Check the GS website for performance dates and a schedule of pre-show and post-show chats. Through Aug. 5. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. $15-$45. Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E. Details, tickets: www.gashakespeare.org or 404.504.1473.  For discounts, visit poshdealz.com. Meet Courtney Patterson, Illyria’s Viola HERE.

Bill Loach Photography

The Importance of Being Earnest. In repertory with Much Ado About Nothing and Illyria: A Twelfth Night Musical. The third show in Georgia Shakespeare’s summer season is its first Oscar Wilde ever. The satirical comedy concerns a couple of pals, each with his eye on a different lady, who masquerade as a libertine named Ernest in order to close the deal (or is that deals)? With Courtney Patterson and Joe Knezevich (right). Good for ages 8 and up. Picnicking before the show is encouraged. Bring a basket and a bottle of wine or pre-order from Carole Parks Catering. Check the GS website for performance dates and a schedule of pre-show and post-show chats. Through Aug. 3. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. $15-$45. Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E. Details, tickets: www.gashakespeare.org or 404.504.1473.  For discounts, visit poshdealz.com. Meet Courtney Patterson, Earnest’s Gwendolyn Fairfax HERE.

The Local. Essential Theatre opens the second show in its three-piece 2012 festival of new plays with this collaborative project about the city of Atlanta created by playwrights, poets, choreographers, photographers, designers, songwriters, rappers, dancers and more. It’s about about belonging (and not belonging), how you shape the place you live and how it shapes you. Actor-director Ellen McQueen directs the project she developed, funded in part through a Kickstarter campaign. Through Aug. 3. In repertory with the Topher Payne comedy Evelyn in Purgatory and Bat-Hamlet by Jordan Pulliam (beginning Tuesday). See the Essential Theatre schedule for details. $23. Festival passes available. Performances at Actor’s Express, 887 W. Marietta St., in the King Plow Arts Center. $18-$23

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. FINAL WEEKEND. Rage and jealously. Lust and laughter. Longing and love. The bard’s celebrated romantic comedy gets a sumptuous makeover in the enchanted forests of Serenbe Playhouse, with a nod to the music and aesthetic of the 1950s. Performed by Laura Floyd and Kenneth Mayfield (left) plus a host of fairies and sprites in the open-air room at The Inn at Serenbe (enter on Atlanta Newnan Road, before the main Serenbe entrance). 8 tonight-Sunday. $15-$25, plus tax. Serenbe is in Chattahoochee Hills, west of Palmetto, about 30 minutes from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Details, tickets, directions: www.serenbeplayhouse.com or 770.436.1110. For discounts, visit poshdealz.com.

Much Ado About Nothing. In repertory with Illyria: A Twelfth Night Musical and The Importance of Being Earnest. This second show in Georgia Shakespeare’s summer season is a tale of infidelity, trickery and a faked death. Remember, all’s fair in love and war. Bring a basket and a bottle of wine or pre-order from Carole Parks Catering. Check the website for performance dates and a schedule of pre-show and post-show chats. Through Aug. 4. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. $15-$45. Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E. Details, tickets: www.gashakespeare.org or 404.504.1473.  For discounts, visit poshdealz.com. Meet Courtney Patterson, Much Ado’s Beatrice HERE.

National Black Arts Festival. FINAL WEEKEND. This annual event showcases the work and contributions of artists in dance, film, literature, music, performance art, theater and visual art. Engage in conversations and panels, theater performances, an art competition, a book fair, concerts, a marketplace and art exhibitions all over town. Special events include the fundraising gala “A Ruby Evening: Honoring the Legendary Ruby Dee” (right) on Saturday and the popular International Marketplace at Centennial Olympic Park (through Sunday). Admission prices vary; many events are free. See the complete schedule HERE. Details on the NBAF website or at 404.730.7315.

Remembering Orly. Teens from the Alliance Theatre’s Collision Project and the High Museum of Art’s Teen Team commemorate the 50th anniversary of the crash at Orly Field in Paris this original production. Collision Project teens perform they piece they wrote in collaboration with playwright Pearl Cleage; the Teen Team handles all set and production design under the guidance of Michael Haverty, producing artistic director of The Object Group. 2 p.m. Saturday. Free. Outside the Woodruff Arts Center on Sifly Piazza, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details: 404.733.4200.

Sheddin’. OPENING WEEKEND. The next chapter in the life of empty-nesters Walt and Ruthie, who we met in 2009’s A Cool Drink a Water. This time they’re preparing to welcome home son Trane, a rising hip-hop artist.  The comedy from the prolific Thomas W. Jones II is about reuniting generations and those who hunger to still have a place. Part of Horizon Theatre’s New South Play Festival and the National Black Arts Festival. The cast: Jones, Donna Biscoe, Enoch King, E. Roger Mitchell, LaParee Young and Francesca McKenzie. Through Aug. 19. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. (No 3 p.m. show this Saturday.) Tickets start at $20 HERE  or at 404.584.7540. Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave. N.E.

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Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s managing editor, has been seeing, covering or working in the performing arts for most of her life. Please email: kathy@atlantametropub.com

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s editor, is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

View all posts by Kathy Janich