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Stagedoor Manor (Summer 2006)

Stagedoor Manor is a performing arts summer camp located in Loch Sheldrake, New York. Over the past 35 years, it has trained thousands of young actors, many of whom have gone on to success in film, television, and theatre.

Stagedoor Manor was founded by Carl and Elsie Samuelson in 1975. They, along with artistic director Jack Romano and Jacqueline Ferber, moved the camp from the Berkshires to its current home.

Stagedoor Manor is located in a former Catskills Borscht Belt resort (Karmel Hotel) in Loch Sheldrake, New York that was redesigned in the 1970s. The camp consists of a variety of theatre spaces: the Carousel, the Cabaret, the Merman, the Forum, and the Garden Theatre. The three largest spaces are the 350-seat Carl and Elsie Samuelson Theatre, the 250-seat Jack Romano Playhouse, and Stagedoor Manor's newest space, the Oasis Theatre - a theatre-in-the-round.

Each summer, Stagedoor Manor holds 3 three-week long sessions (starting in late June and ending in late August). Enrollment for each is approximately 280 campers, who range in age from 10-18. During each three-week session, the camp produces 8 musicals, 5 dramas, Dramafest (a one-act playwrighting competition) and two unique cabaret performances (the Our Time Cabaret and Player's Ensemble).

The school's impact on the careers and networking of child actors was described by film director Shawn Levy in the June 15, 2007 New York Post:

If someone plays that Stagedoor card. it's like whispering the location of a party with a secret location...I could sing you that song from the camp's yearly cabaret, and that's the equivalent of the secret handshake.[1]

Stagedoor Manor served as the inspiration for the 2003 independent film Camp written and directed by Stagedoor alumnus Todd Graff. Stagedoor was also a subject of a 2006 documentary by Alexandra Shiva. [2]

Stagedoor Manor has a long history of "firsts" through its long-time partnerships with MTI (Music Theatre International) the American Theatre Wing, and other Broadway producers and composers. In 2004, Stagedoor produced Richard Maltby and David Shire's "Starting Here, Starting Now." Maltby and Shire conducted a special workshop with the cast during the rehearsal period and also attended the opening night performance. In 2006, Stagedoor produced the world-premiere of Disney's High School Musical. In 2007, Stagedoor produced special workshop productions of Avenue Q and Rent in partnership with MTI (Music Theatre International). In 2008, in partnership with the composer, Stagedoor produced Andrew Lippa's Wild Party. Later that summer, Stagedoor became the first non-Equity stage to produce Mel Brooks' The Producers.

Stagedoor Manor regularly partners with MTI and has done workshop productions (for School Editions) of Aida, Miss Saigon, Avenue Q, Rent, and Sweeney Todd.

In 1999, Stagedoor Manor staged their own version of Carrie - The Musical, despite the fact that amateur performing rights never were released for the show. Composer Michael Gore and Book-writer Larry Cohen attended one of the performances. Gore enjoyed seeing the show with its re-worked ending and a real teen cast, and stayed after the performance to talk to the cast.

Performers and creators of current Broadway shows (including Stagedoor alumni) return to the program each summer for master classes and workshops.


Notable alumni


  1. ^ [ Setting The Stage How A N.Y. Summer Camp Spawned A H'Wood Mafia By Leslie Gornstein - New York Post - June 15, 2007]
  2. ^ Stagedoor Manor Docu Shown at LA Film Festival (


External links



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