Theater Camp (2023)

Directed by Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman

After the indomitable and beloved founder of a scrappy theater camp in upstate New York falls into a coma, the eccentric staff must band together with her clueless "crypto-bro" son to keep the thespian paradise afloat.

Seattle International Film Festival 2023: Film #26

An absolute riot of a movie, made even more enjoyable given I went into it expecting to dislike a film on the topic of musical theatre. Yet it ends up almost as an anti-Glee and maybe even closer to Arrested Development in its tone and mockumentary framing, with only a few moments of that coarse and gratingly loud style of Broadway singing that sets my brain on edge. The film treats the final performance as the screenplay's emotional high point, but the real success was in the almost laugh-a-minute dispatch of gags throughout, some of them almost scandalous when voiced by a child.


The secret to Theater Camp's success [is that] however vicious the humor gets, the spirit of the story is not mean.

Tatiana Hullender


Aiming for a combination of Waiting for Guffman (1996) and Wet Hot American Summer (2001), the film’s satiric quality might have landed, except the filmmakers never quite justify the mockumentary framework. When not one attention-hungry kid looks at the camera, it borders on suspicious, suggesting the filmmakers either didn’t commit themselves to the conceit or simply added the titles after the fact.

Brian Eggert (Deep Focus Review)