Theater Camp

Verdict: Everyone should find something to enjoy with this film because it is hilarious, joyous and full of heart.

  • Ben Platt, Molly Gordon, Ayo Edebiri, Caroline Aaron, Owen Thiele
  • August 25th 2023
  • Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman

This mockumentary comedy follows the students and teachers at a summer musical theatre camp in upstate New York.

Longtime friends Molly Gordon and Ben Platt have been starring in stage productions together since they were children so they are the perfect fit for a project like Theater Camp.

The mockumentary-style comedy, directed by Gordon and Nick Lieberman, tells the story of the AdirondACTS musical theatre camp, which takes place every summer in upstate New York.

Before this summer’s camp, the boss, Joan (Amy Sedaris), falls into a coma and it is left to her incompetent son Troy (Jimmy Tatro) to run the project, even though he has no idea how to do that or even keep it financially afloat.

Despite the possibility of its closure, former students and longtime teachers Rebecca-Diane (Gordon) and Amos (Platt) forge ahead with their latest original production, Joan, Still.

Much like a typical documentary, the movie follows the teachers as they give classes, hold auditions, create original music and rehearse the production over and over. There is also plenty going behind the scenes – Troy is being tempted to sell the camp to its rival, stage manager Glenn (Noah Galvin) has many technical issues to fix, and longtime best friends Rebecca-Diane and Amos no longer see eye-to-eye.

Theater Camp was improvised from a script written by Gordon, Lieberman, Platt and Galvin and it is so, so funny. There is a wide variety of weird and wonderful characters and it is a delight to watch them put on a show.

The film centres around Platt and Gordon’s characters and their real-life friendship really pays off here because they can easily bounce off each other when improving scenes.

Elsewhere, Galvin makes the most of his big time to shine, Tatro has a ridiculous but amusing turn of phrase and child star Alan Kim is amazing as a wannabe agent.

Those who are interested in theatre or musicals, or people who act themselves, will probably appreciate Theater Camp the most because it is a clever satire of acting schools, musical theatre nerds and wacky teachers. However, everyone should find something to enjoy with this film because it is hilarious, joyous and full of heart.

In cinemas Friday 25th August.

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