Salk Stew to take Barnwell back to 1960s

First Byline: 
Jonathan Vickery - Staff Writer

Salkehatchie Stew's new play will take audiences back to the 1960s to learn "What Matters Most."
The play, which is on tour this month across Allendale, Barnwell, Bamberg and Hampton counties, is based on more than 80 stories from the Salkehatchie region, including Barnwell County. It stops at Barnwell's Circle Theatre March 15 at 3 p.m. The play will also be performed March 22 and 23 at the Palmetto Theater in Hampton at 3 p.m. and March 29 at the Dane Theater in Denmark at 3 p.m.
"A lot of people still don't realize these are the stories that went on here," said Alex Cone, an actor, writer and co-producer of the play.
Chronicled in the play are different milestone events of the 1960s, including people's accounts of where they were when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the Vietnam War, and voter registration drives for African-Americans. The play explores how those events impacted our area, said Cone, an Allendale native.
"This is a heart-wrenching story with original music that will make you laugh and cry and one that you won't want to miss seeing," according to a press release.
This year's play features many characters, portrayed by a diverse cast of over 50 people of all ages, but it starts and ends with the same character. Cone said it's someone who is well known, but you will have to come to the show to find out who it is.
One local connection is the appearance of Solomon Blatt, the late speaker of the S.C. House of Representatives who was from Barnwell. "It's hard to talk about the 60s without mentioning Sol Blatt and Edgar Brown," said Cone. "It shows the pull those guys used to have with getting things done."
This year, in addition to the play, Salkehatchie Arts is partnering with area groups to sponsor self-guided historical tours in each county from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Saturday of each production. For Barnwell County, the tour will be March 15 and include 10-15 sites.
Tickets will be $10 for each tour, while tickets for the play will be $10 for adults and $7 for students. Group packages are available.
For more information, call (803) 584.6084 or visit Salk Stew's Facebook page at