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CCU faculty re-create slave history in one-act play

April 6, 2012

Three Coastal Carolina University faculty members are recreating oral history from former slaves with a short, one-act play, "When I Just Can Remember," on Sunday, April 22, at 2 p.m. at the Tara Theatre at the Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort. The performance is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

"When I Just Can Remember" recounts an episode from the mid-1930s when Genevieve Willcox Chandler (played by emeritus theater professor Sandi Shackelford) interviewed ex-slaves from the Waccamaw Neck for an oral history sponsored by the Federal Writers Project. The one-act play focuses on her conversations with Ben Horry (philosophy and religion instructor Preston McKever-Floyd) and Hagar Brown (English professor Veronica Gerald).

In authentic Gullah dialect, Gerald and McKever-Floyd tell stories from their characters' long experience as residents on the plantations that now make up Brookgreen Gardens. The stories they tell are funny and sad, joyous and terrible, and they are told in the characters' own words, recorded by folklorist Chandler more than 60 years ago.

"When I Just Can Remember" was written by Katherine Kellam, who formerly worked with educational programs at Brookgreen Gardens.

Tickets may be picked up at the University's Waccamaw Center for Higher Education at 160 Willbrook Blvd., Litchfield Beach. Or reservations can be made by calling 843-349-6584. The play is part of the South Carolina Academy of Authors induction schedule.