Stagedoor Manor is a theater camp in the Catskill Mountains and it becomes home to 250 kids each summer. Over a 3 week time period, they all attend varied classes that culminate with 12 full-scale productions. The final shows are for family, friends, and casting directors looking for new talent.
Each camper is cast in a show and additionally, some are chosen to perform in a talent contest and others in a cabaret with the latter category here being a highlight that many aspire to be a part of. The talents and skill levels are varied among all camp attendees but their shared passions for performance arts are universal among them all. Everyone is held to a high standard of professionalism and the work ethics are stringent but necessary to achieve the impressive results seen in their final performances.
Although 5 individual campers are examined in this documentary, it is also a broad look at the entire group of members here and their shared experiences. Many relate that this retreat from regular life is free from stigmas, cliques, peer pressures, and other stressors that they would normally find in school back home. Competition can be heavy at times and individual expectations are high but the rewards outweigh the difficulties.
Current superstars Natalie Portman, Robert Downey Jr, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Felicity Huffman were all former members of Stagedoor Manor and this is a testament to the excellence of this facility and its dedicated staff.