Molly Gordon and Ben Platt in Theater camp

The ‘Theater Camp’ Trailer Is Too Real, as a Former Theatre Kid

Growing up as a theatre kid means that for the rest of your life, you’re a theatre kid. There’s no escaping it. Even if you think you can, you can’t. Don’t even try. With the new film Theater Camp, we’re brought into the darkest parts of the theatre world: a special camp dedicated to the most annoying of us. See, I can say this. If you weren’t a theatre kid, don’t you dare, but I recognize that we’re annoying. We hold things up as “too important” when the reality is that they don’t matter, and man does the trailer for Theater Camp really make me feel like I’m stepping back into my theatre department in the worst way.

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The cast includes Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Ben Platt, Jimmy Tatro, Patti Harrison, Nathan Lee Graham, Ayo Edebiri, Owen Thiele, Alan Kim, Alexander Bello, Bailee Bonick, Kyndra Sanchez, Donovan Colan, Vivienne Sachs, Quinn Titcomb, Caroline Aaron, and Amy Sedaris—a lot of legends and people who do know what it means to be a theatre kid.

That’s all made that much more obvious by the description for the movie, which labels Ben Platt as a “Tony Award Winner,” which he is, but he’s also joined by Gordon (who has been on Off-Broadway) and more. “Tony Award winner Ben Platt and Molly Gordon star in the original comedy THEATER CAMP as Amos and Rebecca-Diane – lifelong best friends and drama instructors at a rundown camp in upstate New York. When clueless tech-bro Troy (Jimmy Tatro) arrives to run the property (into the ground), Amos, Rebecca-Diane and production manager Glenn (Noah Galvin) band together with the staff and students, staging a masterpiece to keep their beloved summer camp afloat.”

The trailer, though, is incredibly triggering if you’ve been in theatre at any point in your life. Beware.

Theater camp is life

the theatre kids in 'theater camp'
(20th Century Studios)

As previously stated, I’m a theatre kid, which means I would spend my summer breaks from school helping to build sets for the upcoming season, would stay late at school to do theatre things, and was my theatre teacher’s favorite student. (If you’re reading this, Mr. Sims, just go with it.) But it also means that I understand completely the amount of drama that goes on behind the scenes. It doesn’t have to be about the show itself; it can literally just be because theatre kids live for dramatic moments, and having theatre kids running a theatre camp seems like the worst move possible, yet I’m obsessed with this trailer.

It feels very Wet Hot American Summer-esque, with Susie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Bradley Cooper) leading the troop, but this trailer is wildly triggering for me. Maybe it’s because I thought I’d finally moved on from my theatre past, but then I saw just how ingrained it still is in my psyche. I’ve been on both sides of this coin. I’ve been the kid trying to get a leading part and trying her best, but I’ve also been the one with the power.

Giving a theatre kid power is the worst thing we can do as a society. Whatever pain I feel watching this, it has me hooked. It makes me want to go back to doing theatre, throw myself to the wolves again, and even if Molly Gordon and Ben Platt are about to destroy the hopes and dreams of some kids, I’m here for it.

Theater Camp hits theaters on July 14.

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.