Welcome witches and warlocks,

I had the great pleasure of attending Zombie Joe’s Presents: CAMP WHITSIT and figured I would offer up my thoughts for my fellow immersive enthusiasts. To best describe the proceedings, I will turn to the description provided on Zombie Joe’s website:

“Counselors guide eager and courageous campers throughout a haunted rite of passage that is whimsical, freakishly-strange, psychedelic…and filled with worldly merit!”

The set was simple: we were met by a scout master who made sure we were up for the physical tests we were to endure on our journey. After swearing our boy scouts oath, we put on our blindfolds and were led onto the path. The first stop on our trek was a tent (one of the few moments when we were able to remove our blindfolds) where we were handed a pinecone as an offering to the spirit of the woods and from here, the real fun began.

That is right, we were blindfolded for nearly the entire experience, making this a sensory based journey. This lack of sight was used to great results as we climbed along the edge of a cliff, were sniffed by forest animals, fished off a dock, got to partake in an archery class, and many other weirdly wonderful things. One of my favorites was the cliff as the wind blowing in our faces felt steps within the confines of the building, it still felt like we covered a lot of ground over our twenty minute journey.

This blindness also meant that, for the most part, we did not get to see the counselors who guided us through the evening. It seems like we were introduced to so many different, distinctive counselors along our trek that I honestly am not certain how many people there were with us at any one time. Either, there was a cast of fifteen plus people, or each person took on multiple roles/voices to create the illusion of a fully staffed camp. Either way, the cast of characters was impressively distinctive, which added a lot to the mostly sightless experience.

The few cast members we actually got to see were very convincing in their performance. I will admit, I only recall three scenes where I got to keep my blindfold off for any length of time, but the cast managed to make an impression with those brief moments. One of these particular scenes was an astronomy session that proved a simple, yet effective highlight of the production.

All in all, this was a fun, engaging blackout experience that managed to feel packed full of activities. The cast does an especially good job of guiding us through while also creating characters with distinctive personalities and voices. Fans of immersive theater will find this to be a fun dark way to spend about a half an hour.

CAMP WHITSIT will be at Zombie Joe’s for one weekend only, Friday January 19, Saturday January 20, and Sunday January 21 at 8:30pm. Tickets are $15.


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