There’s a second towards the tip of “Theater Camp” the place one of many campers says that being at camp has helped him settle for that he is straight. His two homosexual dads inform him they at all times knew and nonetheless help him. After all it is a joke, a parody of the extra widespread second the place a child has to come back out to his dad and mom as homosexual. However the essence of “Theater Camp” — and why it is in all probability my favourite queer movie of the 12 months — is in that second. “Theater Camp” effortlessly and instantly creates a queer world, the place nobody — irrespective of their age — has to elucidate or defend themselves. It is a imaginative and prescient of a queer future.

Let’s again up. The brand new film, directed by Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman from a script written by them, Ben Platt, and Noah Galvin, transports you to camp AdirondACTS, which is struggling to remain afloat in upstate New York. Platt and Gordon play Amos and Rebecca-Diane, greatest mates who fell in love with the camp as youngsters and now educate there. Galvin performs the extra virtually minded Glenn, who runs the tech division and is mainly the one factor protecting all the pieces from falling aside. They’re joined by “The Bear” star (and newly minted Emmy nominee) Ayo Edebiri as Janet, who’s faking her means by way of the summer time; Owen Thiele as Gigi, an over-the-top costume designer; and Jimmy Tatro as Troy, the hapless son of the camp’s beloved director Joan (Amy Sedaris). When Joan has a medical emergency that retains her in a coma for the summer time season, it is as much as this motley crew to maintain the camp going — all whereas educating the camp’s greatest and brightest an unique musical about Joan’s life, titled “Joan Still.”

Which brings us to the children. “Theater Camp” merely wouldn’t work with out this group of youngsters. The squad consists of Alan Kim of “Minari,” Kyndra Sanchez, Alexander Bello, Bailee Bonick, Donovan Colan, Vivienne Sachs, Quinn Titcomb, Jack Sobolewski, and Madisen Lora. “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” star Luke Islam performs maybe my favourite camper, Christopher L. He brings a presence and lightweight into all his scenes that is only a pleasure to look at. It is simple to think about that each different week of the 12 months, Christopher L. has to cope with individuals who have an issue with an enormous homosexual child who simply desires to bounce and speak about Audra McDonald. However at camp, he can simply be himself.

These youngsters are theater youngsters. They worship their academics, even once they torment them. They hoard Throat Coat tea earlier than the massive efficiency. Performing “Rent” final summer time modified their lives. And as a queer grownup watching “Theater Camp,” I do know that a whole lot of these youngsters are queer. The titular camp is the place the children’ gender expression, sexualities, and burgeoning identities are celebrated and embraced. It is the place the one straight child has to fret that he will not be accepted for as soon as. I really like this fictional haven, this beautiful celebration of queerness, that “Theater Camp” creates.

That is to not say that AdoriondACTS is an ideal place. The academics — particularly Amos and Rebecca-Diane — are often out of pocket with their critiques of the youngsters. Each former theater youngsters is aware of that competitors for lead roles may be heart-breaking, and for those who have been a former theater child, you may giggle further arduous at a number of the deranged dynamics on show. Each second is further ridiculous for comedy’s sake, however once I take into consideration issues that occurred once I did highschool theater (together with a trainer who instructed us to ask our dad and mom for a sip of whiskey so we may play drunk extra convincingly), these moments aren’t that ridiculous.

In “Theater Camp,” Troy is the most important outsider. He is an aspiring crypto bro. He wears tie-dye sweatshirts and bizarre baseball hats. However by way of the course of the movie, Troy evolves. He comes to know his mother and why she made this particular place, and realizes there’s room for him right here, too, if he desires it — and he is shocked to appreciate that he does. To me, Troy’s journey looks like his personal popping out story.

Troy and Glen — who additionally learns rather a lot about self-acceptance all through the film’s 90 minutes — work collectively to save lots of the day, and Tatro and Galvin actually steal the present within the film’s last moments. And sure, I cried through the last musical quantity.

At a time when queer individuals — and particularly trans individuals and drag performers — are coping with an avalanche of assaults, usually cloaked in fake concern for youngsters, “Theater Camp” is a reminder that queer youngsters exist, and their creativity and love will proceed to vary the world.

“Theater Camp” is in choose theaters now.