"Theater Camp" Delivers Laughs and a Look Behind the Curtain at Sundance Premiere

  • January 25, 2023
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The red carpet was buzzing with enthusiasm as the massive cast and crew for "Theater Camp" greeted each other in shared excitement ahead of the film's premiere in Park City on January 21. Written and produced by Nick Lieberman, Molly Gordon, Noah Galvin and Ben Platt, and co-directed by Gordon and Lieberman, the mockumentary was a whirlwind production that completed filming in upstate New York in 19 days.

"Our directors especially have been really pushing and pushing to get it in shape in the hopes of getting to premiere some place like this," said Platt on the red carpet alongside co-writer, producer and fiancé Noah Galvin.

The hard work paid off: Soon after its premiere, "Theater Camp" was acquired by Searchlight Pictures for a reported $8 million

The mockumentary is based off of a short film by the same title created and uploaded to YouTube in 2020 by Galvin, Gordon, Lieberman and Platt. The feature-length expands the storyline and relies heavily on improv to deliver a laugh-out-loud, endearing story that gives an inside look into the world of musical theater. 

Will Ferrell, whose production company Gloria Sanchez Productions produced the film, said on the red carpet that it was the enthusiasm of the four creators that drew him to the project.

"We were drawn to the comaraderie that Molly and Ben and Noah and Nick all have together," Ferrell said. "And just [listening] to them pitch this idea and the way they would kind of overtalk and finish each other's sentences and everything, it just made us think, 'this is going to be fun. This is something we should get involved in.'" 

"Theater Camp" tells the story of AdirondACTs, a summer musical theater camp where kids passionate about theater and with the ambition to prove it go to be mentored by a slew of eccentric teachers. The camp is at risk of being shut down and its up to the founder's son, Troy — a self-professed "finance bro" with no real knowledge of musical theater — to save it. 

Personal lives unravel as tensions run high, and an unexpected star rises to the occasion when it becomes clear that, in order to save the camp, all hands must be on deck. 

A knowledge and/or passion for musical theater is not required to like this film. It's simply enjoyable. Sometimes, that's exactly what audiences need. 

"Theater Camp" has two more showings during the Sundance Film Festival: 

Thursday, January 26 at Library Centre Theatre in Park City; 9:30 p.m.

Friday, January 27 at Rose Wagner Center in Salt Lake City; 9:30 p.m. 

Find more information by visiting the festival website