THEATER CAMP – A Review by Jenn Rohm
In 2020, a short film by Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman, Ben Platt, and Noah Galvin was released. This short has been turned into a full-length film of the same name, Theater Camp.
A documentary is being filmed about a theater summer camp and on the first day of filming the owner of the camp has a stroke and ends up in a coma. The documentary continues following the summer run of camp for the year. Her son who knows nothing about theater comes to take over and returning teachers and counselors continue as they have for years.
With the adults in the cast portraying caricatures strong on the stereotyping, it was a struggle to connect. I did find this especially ironic in the scenes where coaching for more of the kids in their performances for productions was taking place.
The additional sub-plots took away from the film for me. The dinner party at the camp became offensive with the use of a real organization that does a lot of good in the world. A teacher at the camp that doesn’t know anything about theater came across as just needing another adult on the cast. The party with the other camp. The acting was well done, just the plots themselves could have been left out of the film.
This is a mockumentary with the concept written out and openings for improv over memorized script. This style takes a strong cast to carry out the story. With most of the cast being the kids attending the camp, Casting did a great job with their selections. I expect to see some of these faces on Broadway or starring in feature films in the future.
Those that took theater classes, attended theater workshops, and or theater camps while growing up will have memories of their childhood. This is really a film for the thespians out there. For me, the sibling of a theater kid, a lot was lost. Many of those in the audience I was with laughed the whole way through the film. For me, with three separate time checks, the last third was the most entertaining.
Director: Molly Gordon, Nick Liberman
Written By: Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Nick Liberman
Cast: Ben Platt, Molly Gordon, Nah Galvin
MPAA Rating: PG-13 strong language and suggestive/drug references
Selig Rating: 3 Stars
Runtime: 1h 32m
Release Date: August 28, 2023
Movie Site: Theater Camp Website
Trailer: Theater Camp Official Trailer
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.
4 Stars – Good movie/show
3 Stars – OK movie/show
2 Stars – Well there was nothing else . . .
1 Star – Total waste of time.