Theta Alpha Phi
Theta Alpha Phi National Theatre Honors Fraternity (ΘΑΦ) is an American recognition honor society that accepts members who achieve excellence in the art of theatre. Membership is available to undergraduates and graduate students at member institutions.
The first chapter, referred to as "Oklahoma Alpha", was formed on December 22, 1919 at Oklahoma A&M College in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Since the dissolution of the National Collegiate Players/Pi Epsilon Delta (ΠΕΔ) National Theatre Honor Society, Theta Alpha Phi is the oldest honor society for theatre in the United States. Currently, the society has around 30 active chapters. Theta Alpha Phi can only be chartered at colleges & universities (four-year institutions).
The pronunciation of the society's name can be either "Thay-ta Al-fa Fye" or "Thay-ta Al-fa Fee". The latter is closer to the original Greek pronunciation.
The official colors of Theta Alpha Phi are Purple and White.
The motto of Theta Alpha Phi is "The purpose of playing is [...] to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature" (a reference to the "advice to the players" speech in Hamlet).
Members are referred to as "Thetas," "Thetans," "TAPs," or "Taffies."
National President - Michael Allen, Adrian College.
The History of Theta Alpha Phi
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Theta Alpha Phi National Theater Honors Fraternity is an honors society rather than a recognition association or activity club. It confers nationally recognized honor on graduate and undergraduate students who earn a specified high level of quality in theater study and production at over 36 selected, accredited colleges and universities in 22 states.
Theta Alpha Phi is the only honorary theater organization restricted entirely to that level of education where students can be expected to have a serious purpose in theater work and study. It charters only four-year-or-more, Class "A" colleges and universities, has no branches or subsidiaries, and admits to membership only students of sophomore standing or above.
Theta Alpha Phi is the only wholly independent theater honors organization with standards and functions established solely by its own constitution without regard to requirements of other organizations. It is not a member of any association whose member societies are concerned with areas other than theater, but which nevertheless control the standards and hence the functions of members.
Theta Alpha Phi is the only national organization which honors graduate and undergraduate students for quality as well as quantity of work and study in theater arts alone. Unlike some organizations which demand that students achieve a certain level in all studies, most of which are unrelated to theater, Theta Alpha Phi demands excellence only in theater. Recognizing individual differences as a fact of life, Theta Alpha Phi believes a student can be outstanding in theater and deserving of honor in theater without comparable achievement in all areas of study.
Theta Alpha Phi provides its members and member schools with greater prestige than any similar organization. Having been founded in 1919, it is the oldest, nation-wide, educational theater honors society in the world. Since its founding, it has consistently admitted only the finest colleges and universities with the highest academic standards and the highest theater standards in the nation. It is the only honorary which presents a national award. This Medallion of Honor is known as the highest national tribute made in educational theater.
Theta Alpha Phi's magazine, The Cue, is oriented distinctly and solely to students of theater in higher education. With articles, pictures and other features relevant to mature college students rather than to younger readers or faculty. The Cue stands alone in its field and provides a useful and important service not only to members, but to all students of theater.
Theta Alpha Phi is a completely democratic organization. There is no secrecy, no "blackball," and no chapter or member discrimination on the basis of race, color or creed. The constitution, initiation ceremony, financial statements, and other records are available for inspection to any responsible person or organization. Throughout its history, however, Theta Alpha Phi has retained a consistent and dynamic "fraternity" policy of mutual aid among members and member schools.
The first chapter was formed on December 22, 1919 at Oklahoma A & M College in Stillwater, Oklahoma.