DEBBIE DOWNERS I’ll confess that I’m an easy mark for things with completely wacky titles. And you can’t do better than Kill the Debbie Downers! Kill Them! Kill Them! Kill Them Off!, the new work now in previews at Shotgun Players. Debbie Downers (or, perhaps, KTDDKTKTKTO) is a new theatre piece “inspired” by Chekhov’s Three Sisters. Here’s how Shotgun explains it: “Live music, movement, and text creates an original exploration of Chekhov’s lasting themes of memories fading, revolutions looming, and visions of the future beckoning.” Oh, there’s a gun in act one (ref: Chekhov’s gun). Pay-what-you-can previews are this weekend and Wednesday and Thursday, before opening night next Friday (the weekend performances are sold out, but there are additional walk up seats available each night). Friday, March 22, 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 24, 5 p.m., Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave.
TRANSFORMATION FESTIVAL The Black Repertory Group Cultural Arts Center presents its Transformation Festival throughout this weekend. It’s two days of music, the arts and testimonies to human resiliency. Among the highlights will be gospel choirs, Sue Haines Solis’ inspiring story of transformation, as told to Oprah Winfrey, composer Carman Moore together with Danish vocalist Lotte Arnsbjerg performing their musical “Girls of Diamond Mountain,” panel discussions, speakers and testimonials from survivors. Schedule details are available on the festival website. Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24, 3-10 p.m., Black Repertory Group Cultural Arts Center, 3201 Adeline St.
GILMAN ART WALK The third year of the Gilman Art Walk will be held on Sunday afternoon. The Art Walk is an independent, community-focused showcase of local artists organized and hosted by Tom Franco and The Firehouse Art Collective (left). Ninth Street, between Gilman and Camelia, will be closed during the Art Walk, and there will be a dance area, music provided by DJs, live musical acts, and a scrumptious selection of food trucks. Sunday, March 24, 12-5 p.m., 1313 Ninth St.
COLLAGE CINEMA Are you a film fan? I mean, a fan of the actual, physical celluloid film? BAMPFA has a Sunday workshop, led by filmmakers Alix Blevins and Colin Brant, where you can learn to use constructive and destructive processes to create a collaborative work directly on 16mm film. It’s a chance to repurpose found materials using tape collage techniques, and experiment with inks, paints, awls and sandpaper to build intermingling layers. The resulting film will be projected at the end of the workshop. Sunday, March 24, 12 p.m., BAMPFA, 2155 Center St.
BERKELEY SYMPHONY AND BHS JAZZ Sunday’s Berkeley Symphony matinee concert includes two works performed together with the BHS Jazz Ensemble. The orchestra will open with Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony (“From the New World”), but then the BHS Jazz Ensemble will join for Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige, followed by Sofia Gubaidulina’s Concerto for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Band. Sunday, March 24, 4 p.m., Zellerbach Hall.
Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside: