Walking up the wooden steps, the first things I noticed were the many lacrosse sticks propped up in a row along the walls, the dozens of soccer cleats strewn below them, and the plethora of multi-colored socks tossed haphazardly throughout the walkway.
As I moved along the wraparound deck, the first things I heard were the joyous tunes of campers as they rehearsed this week’s gospel songs, the nearby strumming of a guitar, and the daily chatter of all types of people, who met in ADK chairs and called out updates as they spotted one another.
Witherbee Hall, aka WeeBee, was already a-buzz this Wednesday morning, and it was barely 9:30 a.m.
“Oh, Blimey!” Diana George, who is entering her third consecutive summer at Dudley (10 summers overall) laughed when I asked her to tell me all about what happens here at WeeBee.
First, George talked to me about the famous Wednesday Night Show.
It’s a more “more fun skit night,” George said. “It’s not rehearsed and is more about the kids having fun.”
The Wednesday Night Show includes these hilarious skits from campers, leaders, and staff alike, as well as also a fantastic slide show that highlights the week past.
Next, George compared this to the equally anticipated Saturday Night Show, which is “more serious and intense” because the kids have been rehearsing all week long, George continued.
“It’s more like you’re really going to a theatre,” George laughed as she looked back on this past Saturday night performance of, “Dannie.”
As director of this male version of “Annie” play, George proudly proclaimed to me that she was, “very proud of the kids teamwork,” as she continued rehearsals throughout the past week.
“It just amazes me how the kids all come together,” George remarked as she continued to reflect back on the performance, which had only allowed for ten complete hours of rehearsal time.
They “bring the stories to life,” she finished.
When asked to describe the backstage scene after the performance was over, George smiled and told me shouts of ‘O. M. G. that was so awesome!’ could be heard from the cast, as they passed around high fives and hugs.
In addition to these spectacular plays, WeeBee staff are in charge of the Sunday Hymn sing. Headed by James Mayo, the Gospel Choir puts on a “beautiful and pretty special afternoon performance,” George commented.
WeeBee also includes Pete Mauriano’s instrumental group, The Ramblers, a group of campers who have chosen majors in theatre, set design, etc., and campers who just want to sit on the deck and play guitar.
WeeBee is a “pretty magical place,” George mentioned with a longing smile. In that moment, I could tell how much she truly loved it.
It’s “one of the few places every week that everybody at camp gets to see your work,” George said as she set into a brief description of all the players involved in making sure that everything gets done in a timely fashion.
George pointed out the above named, as well as the maintenance crew who help build sets, Sophie Titterton and the Brody crew who make the sets come to life, the phenomenal directors who create entertaining plays each week, Mark Davenport, who as Director of the Arts oversees it all, and above all the campers, who at the end of the day are the ones this is truly all for.
“As you can see there are tons of things going on at the same time,” George finished, knowing she had only named a portion of those involved.
What’s up next for WeeBee you ask? Director Nick and campers will finish up working on, “The Little Prince” and then Chris Ramirez has, “The Lion King” in the works for change over.
George’s last remarks were that she really “wouldn’t want to work anywhere else,” and after today I knew this to be true.
By #22835 Alexa Mitchell