Go see the movie “Stagedoor”

This is a great documentary directed by Alexandra Shiva (Bombay Eunuch) that tells the story of five campers in one session at Stagedoor Manor the theater camp in the Catskill mountains. The film really captures the love that these kids have for musical theater and performing. It’s funny and endearing and really entertaining. Highlights are the scene in which an incensed camper complains that the costume designer for Fiddler On The Roof has made them wear Amish looking hats; also, a British Master Class Acting teacher that is so absurd and over the top he seems like a Ricky Gervais character. Go read about the film at www.stagedoor-movie.com Go see it and tell all your friends!


  1. Hi Michael.

    I was searching “Stagedoor” on Google and found this. I went to Stagedoor when I was seven and twelve and went to see this film alone recently.

    Yes, that Master Class guy is my favorite type of ridiculous. The best thing ever caught on film was when the teacher announces there are one too many kids in the class…then he makes each kid say what class member shouldn’t get to take the class.

    He insists that a student is not allowed to nominate him/herself. One kid does anyway, sincerely defending why he isn’t up to par, knowing that if the teacher knew how unfit he was to talk this summer camp class, he’d be willing to bend the rules and let him excuse himself.

    Another girl nominates a young rockery male classmate whom she feels has already surpassed the level of Master–he really has nothing left to learn.’ (He’s done. He’s livin’ it.)

    Then one jerk nominates a girl who seems quiet and a little awkward, whom he has never met, because, as he explains, he doesn’t ‘see anything’ there…no spark. I suspect he just can’t imagine she’d be very good, because her hair is in thick braids and her legs are folded over on one side and it looks like she probably does her homework…and, he reasons, ‘this camp is a place where kids pride themselves on having an environment where they are accepted UNLIKE at home and at school. If this girl were good a both, it would shatter his notions of ‘kids who do well all school year are robots, but us summer performers, we’re the geniuses. You’re one or the other.

    I hate thinking about the girls’ parents at home at that moment, not knowing that their daughter is having this horrific moment at a camp which they’re paying for. When they’d dropped her off, they were like, “don’t be nervous, you’ll have fun at camp! That’s the point!”

    I’m getting so mad thinking about it. I know I’m projecting, but it feels good.

    I hate that guy. What a jerk. I’m sure he has his own insecurities, but I don’t feel like thinking about those.

    Oh no, I just remembered—was HE the guy that the other girl said was already a master and had nothing left to learn? Oh man. I think it was him.

    The teacher should have humiliated that guy with a swift and bold stroke. My first thought is some kind of quick traumatizing genital exposure, but I know that wouldn’t even be effective, cause he’d become the new victim.

    I imagine if I were sitting there like that girl, kinda shy and nervous at the beginning of the summer with all these jerky professional children. I’, I’m trying to convince myself that the other kids aren’t judging me, that noone’s noticing me, etc…then BAM! That jerk and his mouth! And what if I’d been curiously eyeing him, cause he seemed cool, imagining some kind of possibility of a romance unfolding over the summer…and then BAM. His mouth.

    If I were the teacher, and had erred by choosing that exercise in the first place, I’d probably have responded by being like “actually, it’s funny you said that, because based on my professional experience and dead-on instincts in this field, Julia was the only class member who walked in her whom I had sensed might be capable of bringing any honesty to the stage.

    That might be too obvious an effort at making Julia feel better. I’d probably need to tone it down a little, subtly destroy that guy. It would benefit him in the end. He needs to learn what it means to be a person.

  2. Impressive. Great execution on a great idea.

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