Open Forum

Why no AP theatre courses?

  • 1.  Why no AP theatre courses?

    Posted 04-12-2019 09:45
    I'm sure this has been asked somewhere before but why aren't there any AP theatre courses?  I spoke to some art teachers at my school who said that in the arts it has to be a course where students can do individual projects/portfolios or take an individual test.  I understand this but I used to teach a Theatre Literature course that could be taught very similar to an AP Art History course.  Also, if there were an AP Theatre Design class you could do something similar.  This might encourage some of my college credit hungry students to do my theatre courses instead of leaving my classes to do more APs.  Is there a way to propose this to the College board?

    Just thinking out loud.

    Joel King
    Atlanta GA

  • 2.  RE: Why no AP theatre courses?

    Posted 04-12-2019 09:58
    I agree Joel!  Let's make this happen!

    Tracey Buot
    Performing Arts Dept. Chair
    Drama Director
    Cambridge High School
    Milton, Georgia

  • 3.  RE: Why no AP theatre courses?

    Posted 04-13-2019 07:01
    Heya! You are right, we have discussed this in the forum on numerous occasions and if you search for "AP Theatre" or "AP Drama" you'll find it. It has been proposed to College Board on more than one occasion and in the past year or so College Board has done some surveys with teachers on interest levels and even reached out to some teachers about doing a test run for a course. So I believe it is possible that we will be seeing one in the next few years. What it entails/ looks like- no idea. I'm sure they've been given numerous suggestions.

    Victoria Kesling Councill
    Chapter Director - VA Educational Theatre Association/ Virginia Thespians
    Artistic Director- NKHS Trojan Theatre, Kent England Exchange Partnership Production
    VCU BFA Theatre Education, BFA Art Education '08, University of Houston - MA Theatre '16

    "Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art." - Konstantin Stanislavski

  • 4.  RE: Why no AP theatre courses?

    Posted 04-13-2019 07:47
    AP does offer a Pre-AP course in Theatre which is meant for 9th graders as an introduction to the thinking and writing tasks expected in more advanced coursework generally.  You can find the course guide at:

    Suzanne Katz
    Washington DC

  • 5.  RE: Why no AP theatre courses?

    Posted 04-14-2019 15:49
    There's an AP course at Skyline High School in Sammamish, WA.

    Beth Rand, EBMS
    Educational Lighting Designer
    School Theatre Operations Coach

    - HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE OPERATIONS ONLINE COURSE ( - NEW! INDEPENDENT STUDY for those who don't have time to join a cohort!
    Westminster, CO

  • 6.  RE: Why no AP theatre courses?

    Posted 04-14-2019 17:09
    They have IB Theatre, it's not the same.
    Sent from Gmail Mobile

  • 7.  RE: Why no AP theatre courses?

    Posted 04-15-2019 23:36
    This is a great question that has been asked for many decades.

    First, I want to say that I am not speaking for The College Board. I am one of three EdTA members who sit on the The Pre-AP College Advisory committee, along with our friends in dance, music, and visual art.

    For the last four years we have met regularly and have learned a great deal about the process of launching a new AP course. At this time AP is not considering an AP Theatre or AP Dance course. However, I'm very pleased that all four of the Arts have been included and are supported in the Pre AP courses, and I'm very proud of the rigorous units we have developed for theatre students which encompass directing, acting, dramaturgy, design, movement, and more. Our work is ongoing and more curriculum is scheduled to be developed next fall.

    Further information on those courses can be found here- More information on the entire Pre AP program is here-

    It has been suggested to us that dance and theatre programs encourage their school to offer the AP Capstone Seminar course where students can design their own project and use a theatre or dance topic.

    In a fun twist of fate I am also a trained IB Theatre teacher, so I've been able to look at the work we've done through the lens of an honors theatre course. I also get a kick out of quoting my IB Theatre experiences under the roof of The College Board!

    At the July EdTA Leadership Summit I usually give a short update on the Pre AP program, and I am available to talk to teachers in DC, in Lincoln, or NYC this fall. Look me up and I'll be glad to go into more details about the conversations the committee has had, and my personal opinions on what the future holds.

    Krista Carson Elhai
    CA Educational Theatre Association, Past President
    CA Educational Theatre Association, Past President
    CA Thespians Director of Membership & New Teacher Outreach
    Theatre Chair Claremont HS
    An International Baccalaureate World School
    Claremont CA

  • 8.  RE: Why no AP theatre courses?

    Posted 04-16-2019 08:09
    I teach Dual Enrollment Theatre. I think that the AP system is just a money making scam. I always suggest to my students to take dual enrollment classes because if they pass the class they get the credit. There is no crazy test to take. However, in order to teach dual enrollment you have to have at least a masters degree in the subject you want to teach so it is somewhat restrictive, but if you have a college/university in your area they will send an instructor.


    W. Riley Braem, M.F.A.
    Director of Theatre
    Theatre Teacher
    Northwest High School
    Clarksville, TN