Saturday, October 21, 2023

4K Digital Review: Theater Camp


Theater Camp was acquired by Searchlight Pictures after the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and after a very short time in theaters, it is available to stream at home. While you can watch it on Hulu, you will not get all of the bonus features only available on the digital release. Please note that there is no physical copy release. 

The film opens with AdirondACTS theater camp founder Joan (Amy Sedaris) suffering a seizure from the strobe lights during a staging of Bye Bye Birdy. Her son Troy (Jimmy Tatro), who knows nothing about drama or the theatrical arts, is forced to step in to run the camp while she recovers. The returning camp counselors Amos (Ben Platt) and Rebeccas-Diane (Molly Gordon) are not happy with Troy especially since he has cut a number of counselors to help save on costs. It turns out the camp has been running for years at a loss and a neighboring camp wants the land. 

Theater Camp is shot mockumentary style and is filled with situational humor. Most of the film is improvised and all the actors do an incredible job, especially the child actors. If you were ever part of a drama club or camp, either as a student or a teacher, Theater Camp will bring back found memories.    


Theater Camp was shot to recreate the look of 16mm film. The look is soft with muted colors and artificial film grain that really capture this look of 16mm film. 


The audio presentation is in a 5.1 audio mix. The dialogue is crisp and clean with little surround sound presence other than music and crowd noise and ambience. It is a dialogue heavy film so no surprise with the audio coming mostly front the front channels. 

Bonus Features

  • Side by Side by Side: A Theater Camp Chat (7:17) – Go backstage with the creative team of THEATER CAMP as they discuss why being in sync as actors, writers, friends, and filmmakers brought their comedy to life. Featuring Ben Platt, Molly Gordon, Noah Galvin, Jimmy Tatro, Owen Thiele, and Nick Lieberman.
  • Deleted Scenes (4:44) – Enjoy a front-row seat to some of the funniest material ever to grace a cutting room floor in this string of highly amusing deleted scenes.
  • Extended Scenes (4:05) – Sometimes the comic magic just can't be contained in the final cut. So, when enough isn't quite enough and you crave just a little bit more, these extended scenes are the perfect thing to satisfy you!
  • Talent Showcase Reels (16:52) – Witness the improvisational genius of the cast in these talent showcase reels and watch as the actors build upon and embellish each scene with hilarious, impromptu, alternate takes.
    • Rebecca-Diane (4:06)
    • Amos (3:29)
    • Troy (2:45)
    • Songwriting with Rebecca-Diane & Amos (3:41)
    • Troy Meets with Rebecca-Diane & Amos (2:58)
  • Outtakes (3:36) – With a cast as funny as this, it's no surprise that even these pros couldn't keep from cracking up. This outtake reel reveals just how hard it can be to keep a straight face.

A fun film that pays a loving homage to those that were in drama club. A quirky mockumentary with solid audio and fun video to recreate the 16mm film feel. Some fun bonus features but I would have loved an audio commentary. 

* The digital copy was provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment for the sole purpose for the review and the review is solely my opinion*

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