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Things I Personally Learned from “Theater Camp”

Theater Camp
Director: Molly Gordon, Nick Liebrman
Writer: Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman
Stars: Ben Platt, Molli Gordon, Noah Galvin
Synopsis: The eccentric staff of a rundown theater camp in Upstate New York must band together with the beloved founder’s bro-y son to keep the camp afloat.

It’s ok to not outgrow your inner child. Especially if you are an artist creating a project, may it be a play a short film or a anything artistic. You still have to still look to your past your experiences and your longtime inspiration. Allow yourself to be young again. Remember what makes you excited and reflect that in your latest work. You maybe accused of being childish, too simple, too basic but maybe you are just being truthful to yourself. In the film Theater Camp, you will see that all characters including the Facilitators are back to being young again. You see everyone awkward and lanky again but their creative juices seem to be overflowing. You see everyone emotional again like teenagers because they feel again. You see everyone fierce again because in the camp everyone is your competition. You see friendship rekindled again because in a summer camp it’s where the bond is cemented.

It’s natural for an artist to be jealous. Jealousy is defined as envy of someone else’s achievement. You can not stop yourself from comparing yourself, your talent, your face, your body, your movement, your dance moves, your acting skills, your reaching a high note compared to your scene partner or to your co auditioner… Maybe because at auditions or at a summer camp we see our competition. They are the similar to us. They are the same height as us.

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They are the same level as us. They look like us. At a camp you have to learn how to just realize that the feeling jealousy is our reality. It might be a negative feeling but you should just learn to accept it. Maybe even use it to challenge yourself to be better next time. Maybe to challenge yourself to accept yourself as it is? Maybe to challenge yourself to be competitive.

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You have to learn to use it for the positive for your self improvement for creating or transcending the you into the best version of you. Use the feeling of jealousy and fuel yourself to be the Best Artist that you can be.

Accepting the new. In Theater Camp, the children were surprised with everything new. A new leadership, new assignment, new ideas, new everything. It scared a lot  especially the adults. Does the new (change) excite you or scare you? I learned from this movie that accepting the new could be difficult especially if it’s dumped on you just like that. I myself get excited about something new. But yes, I must admit that adjusting to the new might entail needing to grow into it. It seems that the young has a better grasp in acceptance the new. The older ones seem to be stuck in the past and not letting go thus their dealing with all the change at the camp made them go literally crazy. it stunted their creativity to the extent of giving some of them writer’s block. You have to find the true beauty in change. Maybe seeing the pros and cons of the change? Maybe listening to new ideas? Maybe communicating with your co creatives? Maybe asking ideas from others? Maybe just maybe just being open to the new?

Open communication. You have to learn how to listen as well. Most creatives are very expressive. Sometimes even overly talkative and does not listen. Artists are full of ideas and when their creative juices are flowing they seem to overflow. Actors are taught how to deliver their lines well and also to listen  intently as well. A lot of the characters in Theater Camp were talented and they knew it. They knew how to perform, express themselves but sometimes there is a communication gap because of the lack of interest in listening to their scene partner, their co writer and their co teacher. Communication is a two way street. I learned from the movie that open communication could eventually be realized after a fight, after they have learned their lesson after being hurt each other. You have to learn to express yourself by talking less and listening more.

Collaboration is key. Collaborations starts with an idea shared by multiple people in a group. It could just be an idea shared to one another. It could be just a song, a play, a story,  a musical. All of the parts have to move. The writers have to create a workable script., a perfectly selected cast have to be picked, a technical crew have to be in place, producer has to have money, the audience have to be found, a future investor has to be attracted. That is the premise of Theater Camp. It’s  a film about a camp that has problems, full of promise, full of talented kids, full of ambitious teachers who live in the past, added with a son who inherited the camp. Since the matriarch of the camp is in coma everyone had to learn to collaborate by themselves. Everyone got frazzled, bewildered and confused. It seems no one knew what to do it. It seems the collaboration of a final show was in trouble. That’s the dilemma, that was the problem. you have to watch the film to see how it unfolds. Meanwhile see how collaboration unfolded at each and every scene of the movie.

You create because you love the craft. Do you think kids come back to a Theater Camp for the friendship? Maybe? Do you think the facilitators come back because they love to teach? Maybe ? Do you think the camp producers or owners create this camp to make money? Maybe? I think all of them come back every summer because they love the craft, -they love the art.

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This film is for artists like me who love the art. You have to love musical theater to enjoy this film. You have to love to see new talents to be thrilled by this film. You have to love to see creative mockumentary style aka Christopher Guest filmmaking to enjoy  this comedic film. You have to be a fan of great performances of Ben Platt and Molly Gordon to enjoy this unique film. You have to be a creative to love this film. This is for you the die hard creatives !

Grade : A
Luis Pedron
Luis Pedron
𝐋𝐮𝐢𝐬 𝐏𝐞𝐝𝐫𝐨𝐧 is a Director, Actor, Founder and Film Festival Director of the International Film Festival Manhattan, New York, now in its 13th edition, proudly promoting Filipino, Asian, Scandinavian and European films and presenting them in New York. 👉 A winner of numerous awards as a director and actor, he has been a voting member of the SAG Awards® (Screen Actor Guild / AFTRA (SAGAFTRA) Union) since 1998. Pedron was also co-founder/organizer of the Soho International Film Festival New York(USA 2010, 2011), director of the Asians on Film Festival North Hollywood California (USA 2013), director of the One FILAM Film Festival Hollywood California (USA 2013), director of the Viva Latino International Film Festival New York (USA 2015) and juror of the Sundayag Film Festival Philippines 2022. Pedron has written film reviews and interviewed celebrities on and off the red carpet since 2007.


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