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General Information

Director(s) Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman
Screenplay By Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman, Ben Platt,  and Noah Galvin
Based On “Theater Camp” (2020, short)
Date Released (In Theaters,) July 14, 2023
Genre(s) Comedy
Film Length 1 Hour  34 Minutes
Content Rating Rated PG-13
Noted Characters and Cast
Troy Rubinsky Jimmy Tatro
Amos Klobuchar Ben Platt
Rebecca-Diane Molly Gordon
Caroline Krauss Patti Harrison

What Is “Theater Camp” Rated And Why?

“Theater Camp” is Rated PG-13 for profanity and alcohol and drug usage.

Film Summary

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

The plot is thin, but the comedy is abundant in “Theater Camp,” a mockumentary that lovingly pokes fun at its subject material. Anyone who has been part of or witnessed the making of a theater production will recognize any of the shenanigans that take place throughout the movie. The adults may provide the majority of laughs, but the kids provide the heart of this original summer comedy.

After a theater camp’s founder falls into a coma, the show must go on for the rest of the staff as they continue to put on a production featuring children. The slight problems are that their announced production, “Joan, Still,” has not yet been written, the theater founder’s clueless son Troy (Jimmy Tatro) is now in charge of the camp, and the place doesn’t have the funds to stay afloat.

The egos and antics at any theater camp are fully recognized and mocked with love in “Theater Camp.” From bickering between directors Amos and Rebecca (Ben Platt and Molly Gordon) to horror stories about being non-union or Throat Coat being sold like a drug. While some recognized comedy stars like Patti Harrison, Amy Sedaris, and Caroline Aaron are criminally underused, the ensemble cast and crew make the movie bounce along with a laugh a minute.  “Theater Camp” may not appeal to everyone, but for those who have ever been on stage or behind the curtain, this is a special love letter to you.

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Theater directors Rebecca (Molly Gordon) and Amos (Ben Platt) discuss their unwritten play.

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. The film was reportedly filmed in 19 days with over 70 hours of footage.
  2. Three of the writers, Molly Gordon, Noah Galvin, and Ben Platt, also star in the movie.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Troy Rubinsky

Troy is the clueless yet lovable son of the theater camp founder. When he’s tasked with running the camp’s finances, he finds himself quickly having to learn and, at times, embarrassing himself to keep the camp financially afloat.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Home Economics” and “LifeAccordingtoJimmy.”

Amos Klobuchar

As one of the production directors and teachers, Amos is an enthusiastic and passionate director and is in a codependent relationship with the camp’s other director, Rebecca. Amos starts to feel abandoned by Rebecca after she mysteriously starts to contribute less to the production.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Pitch Perfect” and “Dear Evan Hansen.”

Rebecca-Diane

Rebecca is Amos’ other half and co-writes and directs all of the productions with him. Rebecca may even be the more talented creative partner as she turns down an opportunity to be at the camp. But she begins to wonder about her future at the camp.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Booksmart,” their role in “Animal Kingdom,” and their role in “The Bear.”

Caroline Krauss

Caroline comes from a rival camp and town that is wealthier and has more resources. As the camp’s antagonist, Caroline looks to seduce Troy and buy out the camp.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Together Together” and “Shrill.”
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Troy (Jimmy Tatro) talks to Janet (Ayo Edebiri) about joining their theater staff.

Review

Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Notable Performances or Moments

Some may have found Ayo Edebiri by watching “The Bear,” but the rising comedy star continues a streak of funny supporting characters in “Theater Camp” as a teacher who lied on her resume and now finds herself in a job and clueless about how to do it. Edebiri and Alan Kim (the child agent) need their own spin-off movie.

Highlights

Fantastic Ensemble Filled with Comedy Veterans and Rising Stars 

“Theater Camp” understands that a story depicting a camp or school needs to be an ensemble. Chaos and creativity thrive with a cast of characters, and even if it’s a brief cameo, each actor rises to the occasion in “Theater Camp.” From rising theater stars like Alexander Bello to New York staples like Amy Sedaris and Caroline Aaron, if you know comedy, you’ll recognize a face or two. What makes much of the comedy (literally) sing in “Theater Camp” is the excellent casting.

A Sweet and Funny Satire of Theater Students

For parodies or mockumentaries to work, there must be some love for their subject, and “Theater Camp” balances satire and genuine care for struggling artists who want to put on a show. The comedy comes fast in visuals and spoken one-liners, but most importantly, it’s fun to laugh with and laugh at equally.

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On The Fence

A Slapdash Collection of Improv That Feels Like an Inside Joke

With four writers (three of whom are actors in the movie), the movie’s structure is still loose and unwieldy, like an improvised sketch. The filmmakers and performers love the world they created, yet the plot is so thin that the story feels tacked on, and the dramatic scenes are whiplash compared to the comedy. “Theater Camp” is not a high school or strictly summer comedy; it’s a film made for actors by actors.

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch
  2. Bottoms
  3. Booksmart
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Theater Camp (2023) – Review and Summary
Overall
"Theater Camp" may not appeal to everyone, but for those who have ever been on stage or behind the curtain, this has now become mandatory viewing for theater kids.
Community Rating0 Votes
0
Highlights
Fantastic Ensemble Filled with Comedy Veterans and Rising Stars 
A Sweet and Funny Satire of Theater Students
Disputable
A Slapdash Collection of Improv That Feels Like an Inside Joke
80

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