About Us

General Information:

Arnold High School Theatre and Dance is a full scale, community service centered, performing arts program at Arnold High School in Panama City Beach, Florida. We focus on learning through experience and provide our productions free of charge to our community as a way to share arts opportunities with everyone. For more information about current productions, see our home page. For information about sponsoring our current season please visit the sponsorship page.

What we do:

It can be hard to explain what it is that we do. It’s acting, singing, dancing, technical theatre, costumes, lighting, set design, and so much more. Here is a little documentary one of our students made about our production of Shrek the Musical a few years ago that we think helps break it down nicely!

Information for Students and Parents about Arnold High School Theatre & Dance:

Arnold Theatre & Dance has three primary ways for students to get involved. Student’s may participate in one, two, or all three of these areas of involvement and can choose from year to year to be more or less involved based on their individual goals, needs, and time availability. The three areas of involvement and a brief description of each are listed below.

1. Theatre & Dance Classes

Theatre courses are open to anyone (some require a pre-requisite or teacher approval) and generally require usually only a small time commitment outside of the classroom, though advanced and technical courses may require more extensive after school participation.

At Arnold we offer:

Dance Unique courses are offered each year and may include:

  • Dance Choreography: Focused on learning principles of choreography design, this course is best for students with a background in dance looking to expand their experience to group and solo choreography projects and skills. Recital performance options.
  • Ballet: A beginners course focused on learning the core movements of all dance through ballet. Recital performance options.
  • Dance Celebration: A dance course specifically designed for Access Diploma students and those with mixed mobility needs to be able to work in a dance environment with peers of differing ability levels. Recital performance options.

Acting 1-4 (taken in order)

  • Acting 1: Focused on acting basics such as pantomime, projection, characters, script writing and analysis, and foundations of improv
  • Acting 2-4: Focused on intermediate to advanced acting skill sets and processes, building on the skills from prior acting class and more intense exploration into areas such as acting theory, script analysis, devised theatre, and stage combat

Dance Techniques: Musical Theatre (level 1)

  • Counts as a PE credit waiver course for PE graduation requirement (you still have to take a Personal Fitness class before you graduate, but not a PE)
  • Focused on basics of movement and dance styles related to musical theatre, especially in the area of character development.
  • Recital performance options.

Musical Theatre 1-3 (pre-req Dance and then taken in order)

  • Focused on voice, dance, movement, character, and acting, this course combines all elements of theatrical performance.
  • Students will explore performing in various styles, and will develop musical theatre direction and choreography skills as well.
  • Areas explored include research and performance of work from different decades of musical theatre development, character work, and song and script analysis

Directing/Stage Management 1-2 Honors (Pre-req is at least one other theatre course and teacher approval)

  • Help support in level 1 classes through management and directing in the course.
  • ONLY for those who have taken multiple theatre courses and shown leadership abilities.
  • Applications are available at the end of each school year.

Technical Theatre Design and Production:

  • Costumes, Makeup, and Hair: Focused on designing as well as hands on work in theatrical character creation though costumes, makeup, and hair design, construction, and application.
  • Design & Production 1-4 Honors: Focused on maintaining and running our auditorium and designing and building theatrical sets and props, students learn about elements and principles of design and get to do hands on projects working school and community events, as well as building and crafting real sets and props used in our productions.

AP 3D Studio Art: Theatre (pre-req one prior theatre class)

  • For students serious about exploring theatre as an art form and performance art.
  • No GPA requirement, but each student must primarily do their own individual work, so you must have an individualized academic focus to theatre and an interest in personal theatre and artistic exploration.
  • Acting or technical based students can both be successful and can bring their own unique skills/talents to the course.
  • No AP test, instead you submit a portfolio of photos of your work from throughout the year as your AP Assessment. Over 80% of students who took this course last time it was offered passed the AP examination for it and received college credit for the course.

AP Capstone Program: Two year program that culminates in the award of an AP Capstone designation on the student’s diploma

  • Year 1 – AP Seminar: Combining presentation and public speaking skills with unique and creative approaches to scholarly research materials and literary works, this course is truly an exciting challenge designed for creative problem solvers with an interest in researching, supporting, and defending their ideas. Examination includes presentation and written work.
  • Year 2 – AP Research: Individualized year long research based project (i.e. writing and producing a play about a historical topic). Examination is a research paper and presentation of the project’s process and discoveries.

2. International Thespian Society (I.T.S.)

International Thespian Society is an honors association for theatre students that is recognized around the globe. The mission of I.T.S. is to honor student excellence in the theatre arts. Members must maintain a 2.0 GPA, excellent school attendance and behavior, and get to earn points towards graduation honor awards through their participation in theatre productions, showcases, and competitions.

I.T.S. Members:

  • Pay dues ($30 one time only)
  • Earn points towards internationally recognized I.T.S. awards for graduation
  • Travel and compete in a District Festival each year (November in Niceville)
  • Must attend meetings, spirit events, and troupe fundraisers
  • Are eligible to attend State Festival (March in Tampa)
  • May participate in competition productions as well as general after school productions
  • May purchase official I.T.S. club shirts and gear and AHS Theatre spirit shirts and gear

3. Theatre & Dance Performances

This is participation in what would be considered more traditional Drama Club or high school Dance Team type activities. It’s often after school, most activities are open to all students (even those not involved in theatre or dance classes or ITS), and everything designed to offer performing arts to not only Arnold but in support of the arts throughout our community.

Example events and activities include:

  • School plays
  • Dance recitals
  • Community service projects in the performing arts
  • Improv Shows
  • Technical theatre support for local events
  • Arts Alive (check out bayeducationfoundation.org)

ALL students at Arnold are welcome and encouraged to audition for open casting after school productions (usually 2 per year), attend general I.T.S. meetings (to stay updated on info. & socialize), and participate in various after school theatre and dance activities like working tech in the auditorium, Play in a Day, Improv, and theatre social events.

Students involved in after school theatre:

  • Do not have to pay dues or attend competitions/festivals
  • May attend meetings, spirit events, and fundraisers
  • May audition for school productions and Improv shows
  • May purchase AHS Theatre spirit shirts and gear

If you have additional questions about getting involved please speak with our Directors Ms. McNulty, mcnulkl@bay.k12.fl.us or Ms. Hatcher, hatched@bay.k12.fl.us

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