Do/Did all American High Schools have AV and drama clubs?

It seems a stock aspect of a lot of US shows set around teenagers that their school has an AV club and a drama club. Are these universal to US High Schools?

Growing up in Ireland and finishing our equivalent to High School in 1999, there were a few sports teams and there were the lads, like myself, who played music but there were not clubs/societies. I had to wait until I went to college to witness these organisations.

My high school had a drama club, which I was a member of. We didn’t have a seperate AV club, but if that was your thing, you could do lighting or sound for drama.

Short answer: No. Definitely not “universal.”

Longer answer: Most schools had/have a Drama Department, if the funding hasn’t evaporated over the years. “Visual + Performing Arts” are one of the A-F requirements for admission to a University of California campus.

Well back in the stone age, no one had heard of AV, but we did have a drama club.

No AV or Drama Club at my high school. Stage* productions were done by the Music Dept, which did bands, choirs, and show musicals. No dramatic acting at all. It was actually quite a lot of options for a 300-student high school in rural Ohio.

*No permanent stage in the school, just a false floor they could install over the basketball court.

No Drama or AV clubs when I was in high school circa 1983. There was a half-assed attempt at a school play every spring, usually directed by a drafted English teacher with predictably horrible results—yes I was in the damn thing every year.

AV was mostly film projectors and the film strip things. The school did own a video camera, and I was one of maybe three people that knew how to work it, so I got to skip lots of
class doing stuff with that.

There was a photo club, but that was black & white only.

My public high school was fortunate enough to have an annex of the local public access cable TV station on campus, so we could actually take classes in video production and editing, and we had a lot of equipment supplied by the local cable company.

Had both (late 80s), plus a separate “stage crew” for the theater, though this was in L.A. so a good number of students were aiming to jump into the movies (with an occasional success).

Wow, you were very lucky. Whenabouts was this?

Mid-late 90s.

ETA: The station is still there and operating.

This was exactly my experience, though mine was “a 300-student all-boys Catholic high school in Wisconsin.” (This was the late 1970s / early 1980s, by the way.)

We did have an actual auditorium with an actual stage, at least. We had a school band, which had no more than 30 or so maybe 40 musicians. We were closely allied with the Catholic girls high school a few miles away, and girls from that school participated in our “glee club” (a choir of about 10 boys and 10 girls, which did show tunes and popular songs), as well as the annual school musical.

No A/V club. The janitor brought the equipment into the classroom and the teacher ran it. No students were involved.

There was no “drama club” per se. There was supposed to be a club for students who competed in interscholastic events with debates, monologues, public speaking - the kind of stuff that used to be called forensics. I don’t recall the club doing anything other than going to the events and posing for yearbook photos.

No A/V club worth mentioning.

We had an elective course that may or may not have been called “DRAMA” or “STAGE” or some other such name. I forget exactly what it was called. It always ran for a single semester during the first half of the year. We usually had two smaller shows during the term and one full on production just before the end of the course. During the second semester of the year, that same teacher would run a course on speech/debate.

I was never involved with either course because the teacher in question was a tragic waste of oxygen.

No. They don’t all have football teams either.

Like Pleonast, I went to a “300-student high school in rural Ohio”. No such clubs. They couldn’t afford such clubs, even if there had been enough students who were interested in them. An Gadaí, you should realize that most American TV shows about high schools are as unrealistic as most American TV shows in general. To make the same complaint I’ve made several times on the SDMB, the program Glee (set in Lima, Ohio, about 25 miles from where I grew up) didn’t remotely resemble any high school in the area.

The high school I went to (in New York in the 80’s, ~2000 students) also had TV facilities, and a student-produced news program aired on the public access cable channel weekly…we also had drama, orchestra, band, marching band, chorus, wood/metal shops, home ec, photography labs, JROTC, foreign language clubs, a fairly large number of sports, and probably other things I don’t remember.

My understanding is that the funding situation has changed dramatically in the years since, and that many of those programs no longer exist.

No, they do not all have these.

The school at which I taught had a drama club (that’s more usual). We did not have an AV club, though we did have a group of people who produced an “announcements” broadcast at the start of the day.

I graduated three decades ago and my experience was that any school that was of reasonable size had both.

Our lower-middle class/upper-lower class suburban high school had about 1,200 students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grades (9th was junior high). We had a theater/auditorium for the drama club (and band and orchestra), which presented several performances a year.

We had a small television studio where the AV club ran all the equipment to produce crude programming for the community access channel. The AV club was also responsible for maintaining, storing, transporting, and operating any video or audio or film equipment that teachers might request for special class content.

I’d say this was pretty standard for large suburban school districts and probably for urban schools as well. I can’t think of a single public high school on our immediate region (there were about 16-20 of them) that didn’t have comparable facilities. The “rich” suburbs had even more than we did. Very small rural districts might not have all that.

Drama clubs are pretty normal at all mid and large sized high schools. They are not uncommon at smaller high schools, but they are not universal. If you go to a school that graduates at least 200 kids, it’s highly, highly likely they have a drama or theatre club.

AV clubs at one time were more common, but they are more relics of the past than anything else. They have been taken over by more generic ‘Technology’ clubs as well as more specific interest clubs like Broadcast journalism clubs or the like. No one is setting up projectors and sound systems anymore.

This says that 95% of American high schools have some extracurricular theatrical activity, but for a lot of American high schools that means that they put on one play per year: