THEATER CAMP*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
A documentary crew follows Joan Rubinsky (Amy Sedaris), founder of AdirondACTS, a summer camp for theater kids. Joan is beloved by all, and she has a passion for the stage. Joined by camp director Rita Cohen (Caroline Aaron), the two visit a nearby school for a production of “Bye Bye Birdie” to recruit new campers. During the show, a strobe light effect causes Joan to suffer a seizure, which puts her in a coma.
The crew continues to film around the camp, as Joan’s son Troy (Jimmy Tatro), has been put in charge of running the place, to the chagrin of longtime friends and teachers Rebecca-Diane (Molly Gordon) and Amos Klobuchar (Ben Platt). The two started as campers for eleven years before teaching for nearly a decade. Rebecca-Diane believes she can channel spirits and energies while Amos has a strong attachment to the camp. Meanwhile, Troy is a crypto-bro who has no idea how to run the camp and even fired half the teachers to cut back on costs. He meets Glenn Winthrop (Noah Galvin), the awkward and quiet tech guy.
The campers arrive for the start of summer. Troy tries to do morning announcements, but nobody listens to him until Amos steps in. He and Rebecca-Diane then gather to announce the summer’s play, which they always write and direct. They have chosen to do a musical about Joan’s life called “Joan, Still”.
Rebecca-Diane and Amos join fellow teachers Clive DeWitt (Nathan Lee Graham) and Gigi Charbonier (Owen Thiele) for auditions, while an unwelcome Troy sits in. The kids belt their hearts out, but Troy is admonished when he gives one of the boys feedback for singing a Post Malone song. They are then visited by Caroline Krauss (Patti Harrison), a rep from Barnswell, a bank that sponsors the neighboring, more expensive camp Lakeside. Caroline speaks to Troy privately to inform him that the camp is in danger of being forclosed due to failure on back payments. While Glenn listens in, he accidentally kills the power to the camp, but he later manages to fix it.
Classes begin, with Rebecca-Diane teaching drama theory, and Amos handling acting. Clive does dancing and Gigi does costumes. Troy hires a young woman named Janet Walch (Ayo Edebiri), who lied on her resume and has little to no knowledge of what she’s doing, she just really needs a job. Later on, the cast list goes up. Darla Sanchez (Kyndra Sanchez) is selected for Old Joan, Mackenzie Thomas (Bailee Bonick) stars as her young self, and Devon Miller (Donovan Colan) is picked to play Joan’s father.
Troy gets a call about the camp coming close to getting repossessed, so he recruits some of the campers to help him raise money by hosting a dinner for donors and making the kids think it’s a theatrical exercise. Unfortunately, the kids get out of hand with their characters and make the men uncomfortable, leaving Troy with only 40 bucks.
In between writing the songs and directing rehearsals, Rebecca-Diane goes off in secret for a job offer. Amos starts to get suspicious when she misses her nightly bedtime performance. During one of their rehearsals, Rebecca-Diane catches Mackenzie using an eyeliner that makes you tear up, which upsets the directors because they think it’s a cheating way to express emotions.
A mixer is held between AdirondACTS and Lakeside. Troy manages to get the kids dancing with a remix of “Give My Regards to Broadway”. However, when he tries to talk to Amos for help with raising funds, Amos coldly snaps at Troy, saying that he isn’t like the rest of them because the camp is a place for them to fit in when they otherwise don’t feel like they belong. Caroline comes by and Troy is implied to have slept with her by the next morning. She gets him to sign a document, which he believed was to hold off the foreclosure, but Caroline tells him he inadvertently sold the camp.
During rehearsals, Rebecca-Diane comes up with an improvised finale song since she hasn’t been keeping up with Amos. He calls her out in front of the other kids, forcing her to admit that she took a two-year contract to sing on a cruise line. They argue about how they aren’t achieving their dreams of performing before Caroline and other guys from Barnswell come by to make plans for demolition. Troy is then forced to admit to the campers and teachers that he sold the camp, leading to a panic amongst the kids.
The weekend of the play arrives, and Troy tries one last-ditch effort to save the camp by calling a group of crypto-bros called the Founding Ballers to try and get an investment from them. He also tries to set up a livestream in his mother’s hospital room so that she can see the show. Meanwhile, Glenn, who has been slowly showing his skills onstage and musically, is encouraged by Troy and the other kids to play a bigger part in the show. As the parents arrive, Amos finds out that Darla is leaving early because she got a part in a movie. He finds her in time before she leaves, and is told by Darla and her grandmother that his teachings have helped improve her craft. Janet is also found by a camper named Alan Kim (Alan Park), who aspires to be an agent. He knows that Janet lied on her resume, but he says she has the makings of a good agent.
The show goes on, starting with Joan’s childhood coming to America from Poland with her father. As she grew older, she worked her way up through Wall Street and Studio 54, where she tried to stop wayward kids from falling into drug addiction. Glenn takes on the role of Old Joan and surprises everyone with his singing and acting abilities. There is also a touching number showing Joan after Troy was born. When they get to the final number, it turns out to be an improved version of the song that Rebecca-Diane came up with. She and Amos are so moved by the kids’ performances that they reconcile. Everyone appears to love the play and cheers.
The ending text states that the Founding Ballers loved the show, but they have no money and are being investigated by the SEC. Troy is saved because the guest that he hosted for an AirBnB loved the play because he worked on Wall Street and had a coke problem, so he gives a sizable enough donation to keep the camp afloat for now. Rebecca-Diane has a successful run on the cruise until she burns the boat down during a seance. Amos stays at the camp and is closer to the kids he teaches. Troy continues to try and raise funds for the camp and is trying to shop a book around. Glenn goes on to play Elphaba in “Wicked”, and he operates his own harness.
Just as the play ends, the woman in the hospital room wakes up, only it’s not Joan, but her roommate. She does still say she loved the show and that the kids will be stars. Moments later, Joan actually wakes up and shouts to not let Troy run the camp.
AdirondACTS is a summer camp for theater kids in upstate New York. When its founder, Joan Rubinsky, suffers a seizure and falls into a coma, her nitwit son Troy is put in charge of the camp, to the dismay of the other instructors. Longtime campers/teachers Rebecca-Diane and Amos Klobuchar come up with an idea for the summer's play to make a musical about Joan's life, called "Joan, Still".
Troy learns that the camp is in danger of being repossessed due to many failed payments, so he tries to find ways to raise funds, even though the others won't help him. He sleeps with Caroline Krauss, the rep from the bank trying to take the camp, and he accidentally signs the camp over to them. The campers and instructors find out and begin to panic. Meanwhile, Rebecca-Diane and Amos experience a rift in their friendship when she tries to take a new job on a cruise after all the time they spent at camp.
The night of the show arrives. The lead girl picked to play Joan drops out for another job, so Glenn Winthrop, the awkward and quiet tech guy, steps up after people realize he has incredible performing skills. The show portrays Joan's rise to helping kids perform and starting the camp. Everyone ends up loving it, and Rebecca-Diane and Amos reconcile. Troy is later able to acquire a sizable donation to keep the camp afloat from an AirBnB guest he hosted, while Rebecca-Diane, Amos, and Glenn are said to go onto their own successes. Joan eventually wakes up and yells for Troy not to run the camp.