STAGE TUBE: CBS Profiles Stagedoor Manor and the "Theater Geek"
On August 8, the CBS Sunday morning show profiled performing arts breeding ground, Stagedoor Manor, and the recently released book that takes readers inside the camp, "Theater Geek." BroadwayWorld brings you the segment below.
Stagedoor Manor was founded by Carl and Elsie Samuelson in 1976. Together with original Artistic Director Jack Romano, they worked to create a performing arts center where kids could explore and find expression, fulfillment and tap their creative potential. Currently owned by daughters Debra and Cindy Samuelson, Stagedoor Manor is frequently the subject of national profiles and newsmagazine pieces as its alumni campers have become famous faces on film, television, and stages around the world. Stagedoor Manor has been the subject of several film projects, including Todd Graff's independent feature, "Camp," Alexandra Shiva's 2005 documentary, "Stagedoor," and the STARZ KIDS network's featured short-segment vignettes. Stagedoor Manor produced the world premiere of Disney's High School Musical, Music Theatre International School Edition of Avenue Q, Rent, Aida, Miss Saigon, Sweeney Todd and Andrew Lippa's Wild Party.
"Theater Geek," released June1 tells the story of Stagedoor Manor's rich history and amazing track record for producing the next generation of stars. "Theater Geek" is penned by a GQ Senior Editor and author of "Pitch Perfect," Mickey Rapkin. The book is published by Free Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Press notes describe "Theater Geek" as a "poignant, funny and revealing portrait that follows three determined teenage actors who use theater to navigate adolescence and figure out who they are and who they want to be during their summer at Stagedoor. In addition, the book details the camp's history, including the impossible tale of Jack Romano, a charismatic gay Cuban-Jewish refugee who served as the Artistic Director of Stagedoor during its early years - a man who influenced alumni like Oscar-nominees Robert Downey, Jr. and Amy Ryan as well as one-time Stagedoor musical director and current Broadway composer, Jeanine Tesori (Shrek - The Musical).
"Stagedoor Manor remains the gold standard in theater camps, and an impressive list of bold-faced names have passed through the doors," said Rapkin, who jokes: "I wish I could have been a camper there. Had I known there was a place where other kids were making Broadway mix tapes, I might have had an easier childhood." With alumni that include Natalie Portman, Jon Cryer, Zach Braff, MAndy Moore, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Julia Murney, it's no wonder that talent agents call Stagedoor Manor "the only place of its kind in the world!"