AT Performing Arts and Catalyst

AT Performing Arts provides an opportunity for our top performance students to showcase their artistic mastery and versatility. Through a collaborative seminar experience and independently produced performances, student artists will deepen their collaborative, reflective and performance skills while they achieve the Catalyst graduation requirement.

What are the major projects you will complete in this course?

The culminating experiences will come in the form of a final independently produced recital or showcase. These are equivalent to university level recitals/showcases for performance majors. Students will also write a 2000 word Artistic Statement that helps them to define their artistic journey.

Course Details

Nanette Devens (Music)

"You should take this course if you are passionate about your art and have demonstrated your commitment to the performing arts during your time at SAS."

Tom Schulz (Theater)

"You should take this course if you love theater."

AT Performing Arts and Catalyst

ID: 46325 (Dance) / 46326 (Music) / 46327 (Theater) Grade: 12 Length: Year
Credit: Visual/Performing Arts
Prerequisite: Completion of three courses in the performance discipline and completion of application process detailed below. Specific strands may also include course pre-requisites.
Note: The Advanced Topic (AT) designation indicates a course is at university level, putting it at or above the level of a traditional Advanced Placement (AP) course. This course has a grade point weighting of 0.5.

This course provides students with opportunities to create and engage with university-level performance experiences. Students working within one of the disciplines of Dance, Drama, Vocal or Instrumental Music will fulfill requirements specific to that discipline. These include: guided research, exploration of methodologies, development of a performance, and in depth reflection. The application process is as follows: a) students audition as per usual for higher level performance groups by March, b) upon passing the audition, students submit a written application, and c) applicants are vetted by a Performing Arts Teacher panel in April. All applicants must be rising seniors. 

There are three strands within AT Performing Arts: 

  1. The Dance strand (46325) is designed for the serious dancer who has had sufficient dance training and would like to study choreography and production aspects more intensely. Students will continue to be part of the Dance Performance class and the two semester production, but will also engage in guided research, exploration of methodologies, development of a performance, and in-depth reflection. 
  2. The Music strand (46326) is for serious music students. AT Music students will expand their group performance experience by performing as an individual and by deepening their skill as music analysts, theorists and historians.  
  3. The Theater strand (46327) requires students to work collaboratively to create a piece of original theater and has a prerequisite of Theater Production. Students will assume positions of leadership in the ensemble: creators, designers, and directors, as well as performers. They will work in ensembles to examine and develop ideas to generate theatrical material for performance. AT Theater students must be enrolled in a theater course both semesters of their senior year. 

The course requires rigorous study and emphasizes in-depth research.

What Our Students Say


This course is for the student who has been dedicated to their art throughout high school. They are ready and excited to explore the collaborative nature in which art intermingles with our lives and those around us (and other art!). It’s not a course you can slack off on, but also should be eye-opening and fun because it surrounds the things that were are passionate about as artists. I love being surrounded by passionate, creative people who are all as dedicated to their art as I am! The most challenging aspect is having to take such important and personal experiences relating to the arts and putting it into words. There is a large reflective component in the course; we can all give high-quality performances but this course challenges us to think about the 'why'.”Aoife Haakenson,
Class of 2019

Results that Matter


Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams


of 3's, 4's, and 5's received in AP exams in 2018


Advanced Topics (AT) courses


of the Class of 2018 graduates were awarded cum laude commendations