There’s nothing that sings summer like (theater) camp.
Molly Gordon’s directorial debut “Theater Camp,” which she co-helmed with Nick Lieberman, draws upon the beloved chaos of theater camp days lore. The film debuted at 2023 Sundance and boasts an impressive ensemble cast including Amy Sedaris and “The Bear” breakout Ayo Edebiri, with Tony winner Ben Platt co-writing the script and starring in a lead role opposite Gordon.
The official synopsis for “Theater Camp” reads: Tony Award winner Ben Platt and Molly Gordon star in the original comedy as Amos and Rebecca-Diane, lifelong best friends and drama instructors at a rundown camp in upstate New York. When clueless tech-bro Troy (Jimmy Tatro) arrives to run the property (into the ground), Amos, Rebecca-Diane, and production manager Glenn (Noah Galvin) band together with the staff and students, staging a masterpiece to keep their beloved summer camp afloat.
Noah Galvin, Patti Harrison, Nathan Lee Graham, Owen Thiele, Alan Kim, Alexander Bello, Bailee Bonick, Kyndra Sanchez, Donovan Colan, Vivienne Sachs, Quinn Titcomb, and Caroline Aaron also star.
Producers include Gordon, Platt, Lieberman, Will Ferrell, Erik Feig, Samie Kim Falvey, Julia Hammer, Ryan Heller, Maria Zuckerman, and Jessica Elbaum.
IndieWire’s Kate Erbland called the film “a crowdpleaser for the misfit in all of us,” with the cast echoing the autobiographical sentimentality of the comedy.
“This is definitely a love letter to that sort of experience, and the intensity of those three weeks in the summer where nothing matters except for who are your friends and what is that world and that time, and maybe the adults who wanna stay in that world, forever,” director and co-writer Lieberman told IndieWire during the Sundance Studio. “And it is a love letter, but there’s also you know, especially in the world of the theater, we have some jokes to be made about the way that the theater world operates.”
Co-writer/director Gordon added, “We dedicated the movie to all of our drama teachers, even though we’re making fun of them, because when they’re telling you to do crazy things, it is this first moment of feeling seen. I was never that good in school, and when I was in my acting classes, anything was possible and there was no wrong answer. That first moment where you can really own your intelligence, even if they’re asking you to crawl as a lion or whatever.”
“Theater Camp” premieres July 14 in theaters from Searchlight. Check out the trailer below.