It seems like curtains for the rundown AdirondACTS theater camp when their founder falls into a coma, leaving the counselors, a clueless new owner, and an eccentric ensemble of impressionable kids scrambling to put together the best summer show possible.
The feature-length expansion of the series of YouTube stop-motion shorts about Marcel the Shell with Shoes On led to a SIFF 2022 slot and an Academy Award® nomination; maybe the same will happen for this mockumentary about aspiring stage performers, taking off from an acclaimed 2020 short of the same name. The subject hasn't changed: It's still about a cash-strapped teen theater program led by talent-strapped faculty in upstate New York, and writers Ben Platt and Noah Galvin (who plays "third-generation stage manager" Glenn) and co-director Molly Gordon still anchor the cast. The plot? When the founder (comedy goddess Amy Sedaris) falls into a coma, prompting a foreclosure threat from a richer rival camp, the camp is forced to say, "Hey, kids, let's put on a show!" as both a fundraising benefit and as a tribute to her. As anyone who's seen Waiting for Guffman knows, there's no easier target for satire than theater folk, but there's also no audience more reliably presold, which led to a rapturous standing ovation at Theater Camp's January Sundance premiere.
- Director: Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman
- Principal Cast: Molly Gordon, Ben Platt, Noah Galvin, Jimmy Tatro, Patti Harrison, Ayo Edibiri, Amy Sedaris
- Country: USA
- Year: 2023
- Running Time: 88 min.
- Producer: Jessica Elbaum, Samie Kim Falvey, Erik Feig, Will Ferrell
- Screenplay: Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman, Ben Platt
- Cinematographers: Nate Hurtsellers
- Editors: Jon Philpot
- Music: James McAlister, Mark Sonnenblick
- Awards: Sundance Film Festival 2023 (U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Ensemble)
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: English
- US Distributor: Fox Searchlight