Release date:May 24, 2006
Starring:Nicole Doring, Randi Kleiner, Taylor Rabow, Maddy Weinstein, Madeline Weinstein, Robert Wright
Deep in the woods of the Catskill Mountains is a place where the curtain is always raised, the stage is lit and children have the opportunity to shine. Stagedoor Manor is a performing arts camp like no other in the world, molding and spawning talent including Academy Award nominees Felicity Huffman, Robert Downey Jr., Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Zach Braff and Mandy Moore. Each summer, 250 kids, ages 8-18 come together from all over the world to share and celebrate their unique passion. These campers come from different backgrounds and upbringings, with different levels of skills and experience but it is their burning desire to sing, act, and dance that unites them. In Alexandra Shiva's latest documentary, "Stagedoor," she joins five very diverse and artistic teens as they spend their days auditioning, rehearsing and performing their true love, theater. "Stagedoor" is certainly overdramatic, at times hilarious, and often sad. Shiva follows these campers for 3-weeks and in doing so reveals the pain of not making the cut, the glory of a standing ovation, and the interactions between each other and the professional staff. On the very first day of camp, the children are cast in 1 of 12 full-scale drama and musical productions, which are to be mounted exactly 20 days later. The camp is fiercely competitive, ranging from theatrical novices to Broadway veterans, however every camper lands a part. While living, working, and playing together these children do more then just hone their vocal and acting skills. The time spent on and off the stage builds friendships that will last a lifetime. The movie culminates with each child's moment in their show, as they find their own balance of talent and community, on stage and - more importantly - off. It is at Stagedoor that these children feel safe and unafraid to be themselves, to laugh, cry and share their gifted talents. Many of them struggle at school and with a challenging family life. For most of them, it is the first time in their lives that they are not alone. Here at camp they can forget about their problems and focus on memorizing their lines and hitting their mark, because the only hierarchy at Stagedoor is based solely on talent.