Musical director Deb Williamson retires from stage after 7 years


Photo Submitted

Director Deb Williamson poses with students at the Addams Family cast party.

Madison Sanders, Assistant Editorial Editor

March 27, 2021 was an emotional day for all of the students in the Drama Club. They had to say goodbye to their seniors at their last time ever performing “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” but little did they know, it would be their last performance with their musical director Debra Williamson. 

Williamson has been involved with Freedom’s musical productions for the past 31 years, with seven of those years being director. She also worked as a choreographer, the makeup coordinator, a costume designer and then went into assistant directing before becoming Freedom’s head director. Her first musical as director was in 2015 and she went on directing shows for another five years. Throughout her years of directing, she put on multiple shows such as “West Side Story”, “The King and I”, “Grease”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Addams Family”, “Little Shop of Horrors” and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”. 

Williamson was always known as the director that would push her kids to their full potential while still making surethey were having fun too. 

“She has always been so kind to me, encouraging, and supportive. Even though she shows tough love, it’s love nonetheless, for all the kids a part of the Drama Club,” sophomore Brenna McIlvain said. 

Students have always remembered Williamson for the little things like being the director who got into a dance battle with the choreographer to prove she was better or someone that would call students out in front of everyone to make them come out of their shells. All she ever wanted was for her students to live up to their full potential on and off of the stage.

“I think what I’ll miss most about Williamson is her passion for making sure that we were trying our hardest and putting 100% effort. She pushed us to our limits and although it was harsh sometimes, it always paid off in the end,” senior Gracie Shane said. 

Williamson’s number one drive for doing this job was always the kids.

“I will miss the students. Watching them commit themselves to the musical and seeing them come out of their shells to become strong independent young adults,” Williamson said, “Hoping that what they learned about work commitment and going after what they want stays with them through their lives. Being in a musical, no matter what part of it they are involved with, gives confidence. Confidence they will use as they grow older.”

For the future of the Drama Club, students’ eyes are set forward to having a successful Drama Club in the future. The club is hoping for the position to be filled by a district employee for the sake of practices and recruitment. After many successful years with Williamson, the Drama Club is hoping for a new era filled with excitement. 

“I wish whoever is the new director all the best and I hope the students remember to go for the role you want. As I’ve always said, if you want it bad enough you have to do whatever it takes to make me believe you are that person. Always be prepared!” Williamson said.