Fueled by the grants awarded in 2017 by the Cashiers Foundation, the Cullasaja Women's Outreach, Mountain Finding and the Highlands Foundation and the seemingly endless enthusiasm of young people, the PAC youth Theater has enjoyed an event-filled 11th year.

Of course, the program is predicated upon ongoing training with the students invited to view and study the PAC's presentations of the current streamed productions of The National Theatre of London. Classes are also offered at different times of the year in acting, voice, and movement; general theater studies; text analysis; tech design, and production skills, stage combat; and front of house.

Those who study in the Youth Theater's Intern Program learn hands-on lessons of working with national touring groups. Members of the program begin by watching and listening to our Director’s instruction. As time goes on. with hard work and perseverance, they are taught to be able to serve as lighting technicians, sound engineers, prop masters, wardrobe assistants, and even backstage managers for community and professional productions at the PAC.​

The PAC youth Theater is free and open to all local students, regardless of their level of experience. Different programming has different age requirement. For information call 828.526.9047.Type your paragraph here.

Joi holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Bowling Green State University, and has taught elementary, middle, and high school music at different times in her teaching career in Florida and Ohio. She is now the music & drama teacher at Highlands School.

Along with being a performer herself, she has music directed many musical theatre productions for elementary schools and middle schools in Sarasota, Florida, as well as for a dance studio’s musical theatre encore program. She is also a co-founding member of Rise Above Performing Arts in Sarasota, where she returns once a year to continue to music direct.

Joi has also directed multiple award-winning Choir and Show Choirs.


The PAC Youth Theatre in collaboration with the Highlands Middle School presented the musical FAME Jr. on November 3, 2022. Twenty-two students were cast. They sang, they danced, they choreographed, they acted! They had fun! They learned what it was like to be on stage and project to the audience.

           Family, friends, and school supporters filled the new Highlands Performing Arts Center theater. Two hundred and thirteen enthusiastic theater goers were in attendance and gave the cast a standing ovation for a job well done.

           Joi Chapman, PAC Youth Theatre Artistic Director and Highlands School Music and Drama teacher directed FAME Jr. She looks forward to directing the lower school in a musical in the Spring of 2023.

           The PAC Youth Theatre program is sponsored by the Cullasaja Women’s Outreach and Mountain Findings. The program is free to all students and is entirely funded by grants. FAME Jr. was presented with permission from Musical Theatre International.

Copyright 2022. Highlands Performing Arts All Rights Reserved. 

Fame Jr

Joi Chapman, Director Youth Theatre