Theater Geek by Mickey Rapkin

Theater Geek

What do Natalie Portman, Robert Downey, Jr., Zach Braff, and Mandy Moore have in common? Before they were stars, they were campers at Stagedoor Manor, the premier summer theater camp for children and teenagers. Founded in 1975, Stagedoor continues to attract scores of young performers eager to find kindred spirits, to sing out loud, to become working actors—or maybe even stars. Every summer for the past thirty-five years, a new crop of campers ...


Details Theater Geek

TitleTheater Geek
Author
Release DateJan 1st, 1970
LanguageEnglish
GenreNonfiction, Plays, Theatre, Humor, Biography, Autobiography, Memoir
Rating

Reviews Theater Geek

  • Deana Greenberg
    1970-01-01
    I really wanted to like this book as it's always been my "when I grow up" dream to be an actor AND to go to summer camp. But the author didn't bring it alive for me. He was too present and name dropped too often and didn't make me feel that I was there. I felt neither wistful for an experience I never had nor relieved to have avoided it. I don't feel like I got to actually know the kids he centered the book around. It was meh. I am disappointed.
  • Yael
    1970-01-01
    I picked this up since I am an unabashed theater geek and have always had a bit of an obsession with Stagedoor Manor. (Or more like I've always had a weird crush on the place, if you know what that feels like). While the book doesn't reveal much about the camp that isn't already known (I kinda get the feeling that he just really, really wanted to spend the summer there, and figured that this was the best way to do it), Rapkin does a truly fantast...
  • Ally
    1970-01-01
    I'd love to be able to split my review into two ratings - 4 1/2 stars for part of it, 2 stars for the other. The part that is about the camp, the productions, the day-to-day is great. It's exactly what I wanted from this book. The idea - a guy going in and spending one session at Stage Door and telling us what goes on, laced w/camp history, is what the whole book should have been. Though, I would have liked if he'd followed more than just the 3 k...
  • Camelama
    1970-01-01
    Having been to Interlochen myself for marching band camp, I expected to enjoy this book more. Unfortunately it was too much name-dropping, "omg" type reactions, and a little too caught up in "look at me!" kind of writing.I did enjoy the descriptions and histories, and following the individuals themselves through their personal histories and along their journey. Perhaps if I was more into the inner workings of the theater industry, I'd have enjoye...
  • Heidi
    1970-01-01
    This was just sort of "meh" for me. The author took forever to get to the meat of the story. It didn't feel properly edited to me. It felt as if it jumped around. I read "Theater Geek" after having read Jon Cryer's very entertaining book about his life, in which he mentions reading it. I appreciated Cryer's personal descriptions of Stagedoor Manor much more than in this particular book. Parts were interesting, but this was definitely a "skim" rea...
  • Marc Schroeder
    1970-01-01
    I only wish that they had adult theater camp. This fun account of one summer at the famed Stagedoor manor brings you back to those awkward teenage years when you just want to fit in. Luckily for these kids, each summer, they find a home where that special kind of geek, known as the theater geek, lives on top of the pile.
  • Doug McCoy
    1970-01-01
    This book really needed an editor. The story had lots of potential, but having to stop and deal with all the name dropping every other sentence was too much. Since this book is based on interviews footnoting would have been much more effective.
  • Critter Reyome
    1970-01-01
    As entertaining as a Stagedoor production...and as frustrating as life therein. I would love to have seen this go so much more indepth and focus some more on the dramatic as opposed to just the musical side of things. But the author seems enthralled with the latter and I suppose that's okay. It didn't keep me from enjoying the book, though it could have been so much more. That said, this 56 year old unabashed theater geek can thoroughly recommend...
  • Neil
    1970-01-01
    This is an entertaining account of one of the better (and pricier) musical theater camps in the country, Stagedoor Manor in the Catskills. It has two focuses, the history of the camp with an emphasis on a couple of the founders and the famous people who have attended, and a report on the ups and downs of one session at the camp with three experienced, talented campers, taking on challenging roles. I don't know that there's great insight to be fou...
  • Chance Dudley
    1970-01-01
    As a fellow theatre geek myself, I highly recommend this book! Several of my friends have worked at Stagedoor in years past as counselors and technicians and I knew I had to read this and it was just a delightful read. The troubles of these children as they work to put on great shows in little time is definitely true and I enjoyed feeling like I was along for the ride!
  • Elizabeth
    1970-01-01
    Really enjoyed this!
  • Jaclyn
    1970-01-01
    A fun, quick read, great for theatre geeks.
  • Susan
    1970-01-01
    I would have liked more anecdotes about past campers who are now professionals.
  • Val Calderone
    1970-01-01
    Val Calderone Mrs. Zucker English 9 Period 8 23 November 2016 Theater Geek, The Real Life Drama Of A Summer At Stagedoor Manor Before there was Glee or American Idol, there was Stagedoor Manor, a theater camp in the Catskills where big-time Hollywood casting directors came to find the next generation of stars. It’s where Natalie Portman, Robert Downey, Jr., Zach Braff, Mandy Moore, Lea Michele, and many others got their start as kids. At age th...
  • Sammy
    1970-01-01
    A really lovely read. "Theater Geek" is a loving profile of Stagedoor Manor, one of the most famed performing arts camps in the world. Nestled in the Catskills, it nurtures a few hundred non-auditioned teenagers for three to nine weeks each summer, as they prepare thirteen high-quality productions of plays and musicals (often including the 'highschool premiere' of newer works, and challenging or forgotten musicals that rarely see non-professional...
  • Katie
    1970-01-01
    This was definitely interesting. At times it felt a little disorganized, but never so that it was distracting.
  • Matthew Frets
    1970-01-01
    I thought this was a fascinating, quick read for fans of theater. Theater Geek (TG) is a fast paced look at one summer at Stagedoor Manor, a renowned performing arts camp. Unlike some books that could stand to lose fifty pages, I really thought that Theater Geek actually could have added a couple of hundred more pages. Yes, it was informative to read about the history of the camp and its founders, and the inside look at one summer was great. But ...
  • meghan
    1970-01-01
    I really enjoyed this book - I enjoyed reading about the history and evolution of a place that obviously is doing great things for kids in the arts - even in this current age of YouTube and American Idol... The Post-Kids Incorporated Era. My biggest critique of the book, however, is that it seemed to be a compilation of articles or short essays... with no adaptation for a BOOK format. What I mean is, as a reader, I didn't need to be reminded with...
  • Snogged
    1970-01-01
    3 1/2 Stars.I bought this book back in 2013 as a set with Mickey Rapkin's other book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Capella Glory. After feeling disappointed with Pitch Perfect (especially considering how much I love the movies), I was reluctant to put this book near the top of my to-read list. This year, I decided I'd put enough distance between the two books to give it a shot.The best parts of this book were the times when Mickey was...
  • Tarryn
    1970-01-01
    Growing up, I remember seeing the ads for Stagedoor Manor in the Boston Sunday Globe, and thinking that theater summer camp had to be some sort of nirvana. Looking back, I'm glad my parents refused to send me here ... because while I was in drama club and the spring musical and whatever, I was definitely not this type of THEATER KID (insert jazz hands here). These campers would have eaten my alive. With songs. But still, reading about life at Sta...
  • Elizabeth
    1970-01-01
    Author Mickey Rapkin takes the reader into the crazy sometimes stressful, but ultimately rewarding world of the summer theater camp. This is not just any theater camp though, it's Stagedoor Manor where some of the campers have gone on to be world famous celebrities. What is refreshing about this camp is that while small parts of it are audition based, there are no auditions to be in the camp, and everyone gets cast in a show.Rapkin follows three ...
  • Katie
    1970-01-01
    I would have given this 4.5 stars, because I could have used a little more story as opposed to the recurring research tone it took on sometimes, but other than that, this book made me depressed/hopeful/jealous/at home all at the same time on almost every page. I'm depressed that I didn't know this existed when I was in highschool and could have had the chance to go, because I know I would have adored it at Stagemanor. I was hopeful because of rea...
  • Kristin
    1970-01-01
    I liked it. Quite a bit, actually. The retrospective on the camp's beginning was a little boring, but that's mostly because I just wanted to read about these kids and their shows. I was a theater kid all throughout high school, but I wasn't like these kids. First of all, my parents would have never spent $5000 to send me to camp for three weeks. And I wasn't planning on a career in theater. Perhaps if I'd gone to a camp like this I would have...?...
  • Shauna Elias
    1970-01-01
    I need to be honest....I really enjoyed this book because it gave me greater appreciation for what goes on at Stagedoor and the people who run the camp! I thank the author for giving me a glimpse into my child's life. I was able to ignore the "name dropping" aspect that bothered some of the other readers because I believe the author was mentioning them so that people could appreciate the range of the outcomes of the people who trod the Stagedoor ...
  • Sarah
    1970-01-01
    Well, I just couldn't resist having watched and rewatched "Camp" so many times. The author Mickey Rapkin writes for Entertainment Weekly and is just a bit too "gushy" and free with his exclamation points! Anyway, seeing as there is no other book that profiles campers at Stagedoor Manor in such detail, I tried to ignore the hyperbole and let the jazz hands! just roll! over! me! The book needs editing, but is at its best when it recounts actual kid...
  • Kdevoli
    1970-01-01
    This nonfiction book about a kids' theater summer camp - Stagedoor - had some interesting anecdotes and good photos, but the disjointed writing and the insider jokes and comments made it a little offputting. If you are intimately familiar with the work of Stephen Sondheim, for example, you may be more intrigued with the various stories and quotes from people involved in the summer camp productions. And when I say disjointed writing, it just felt ...
  • Jennifer Denney
    1970-01-01
    If you're a "theater geek" like me, then you will get a kick out of all the name-dropping and show references in this book. If you're a "theater geek" because you're on track to become the next Broadway superstar, then you will get inside knowledge into one of the toughest and most prestigious theater camps around. Stagedoor Manor opened in the 1970s and gave kids a sense of what it might be like to be part of a true professional production. Runn...
  • Abbie
    1970-01-01
    Hmm... I can't quite look at this the way I might look at another book.Because, it's not so much a book to me as it is a catalogue of a camp where I considered going/where people I know have gone/where like EVERY actor I like (okay, not even close, but a LOT of actors I like) have gone. It's bizarre to think all of them had these childhood adventures together. I felt weirded out and amused every time the name of a celebrity I admire popped up wit...
  • David Jay
    1970-01-01
    I was excited to read this book. I was a camper at the upstate NY drama camp French Woods (mentioned a few times in this book) throughout my teens and had actually wanted to go to Stage Door instead (my mother thought Stage Door had too narrow a focus==nothing offered outside of the performing arts-- while French Woods had many activities in addition to performing arts--tennis, swimming, etc.). The book was a disappointment, boring and overwrough...