Theta Alpha Phi National Theatre Honors Fraternity (ΘΑΦ) is an American honor society that accepts members who achieve excellence in the art of theatre. Membership is available to undergraduates and graduate students at member institutions.
|Theta Alpha Phi|
|Founded||December 22, 1919|
Oklahoma State University–Stillwater
|Emphasis||Theatre, 4-year schools|
|Motto||"The purpose of playing is [...] to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature"|
|Colors||Purple and White|
|Symbol||Comedy and Tragedy masks|
|Nickname||"Thetas," "Thetans," "TAPs," or "Taffies."|
|Headquarters||Theta Alpha Phi National|
c/o Kitty Laurich, Sec-Treas
500 E. Beechwold Blvd
Columbus, OH 43214
The History of Theta Alpha PhiEdit
The first chapter, referred to as Oklahoma Alpha, was formed on December 22, 1919 at Oklahoma A&M College, now Oklahoma State University 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. Other theater honor societies include Alpha Psi Omega (ΑΨΩ) and Delta Psi Omega (ΔΨΩ), the latter designated for 2-year schools.
Theta Alpha Phi National Theatre Honors Fraternity is an honors society rather than a recognition association or activity club. It confers nationally recognized honors on graduate and undergraduate students who earn a specified high level of quality in theatre study and production at over 30 selected, accredited colleges and universities.
Theta Alpha Phi is restricted to four-year or graduate colleges and universities on a highly selective basis. It has no junior college branches or subsidiaries, and admits to membership only students of sophomore standing or above. Students become eligible after having successfully met a prescribed minimum of experience in directing, writing, acting in, or managing plays.
Theta Alpha Phi is the only independent theatre 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 theatre, 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 theatre arts alone. Unlike some organizations which demand that students achieve a certain level in all studies, most of which are unrelated to theatre, Theta Alpha Phi demands excellence only in theatre. Hence, Theta Alpha Phi believes a student can be outstanding in theatre and deserving of honor in theatre without comparable achievement in all areas of study.
Theta Alpha Phi is democratic in 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, Theta Alpha Phi has retained a consistent and dynamic "fraternalist" policy of mutual aid among members and member schools.
Symbols and traditionsEdit
The fraternity explains that pronunciation of its 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 gold badge of the Fraternity displays prominently a form of "Sock and buskin", more commonly known as the Comedy and Tragedy masks, long associated with the theatrical arts. It is crowned with four rubies and bears the black enameled letters Θ, Α and Φ on the left eye, nose and right eye, respectively.
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."
Theta Alpha Phi presents a national award called the Medallion of Honor, which it purports is the highest national tribute made in educational theatre.
Theta Alpha Phi's magazine, The Cue, was established in 1922 and is oriented distinctly and solely to students of theatre in higher education. With articles, pictures and other features relevant to mature college students rather than to younger readers or faculty. The Cue provides a useful and important service not only to members, but to all students of theatre.
Approximately 50 dormant chapters are not listed, which may be re-activated with faculty sponsorship.
National President - Kathleen DeVault (Ohio Northern University) 2017-Current 
- Anson, Jack L.; Marchenasi, Robert F., eds. (1991) . Baird's Manual of American Fraternities (20th ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Baird's Manual Foundation, Inc. p. VII-57. ISBN 978-0963715906.
- From the National website, accessed 8 Aug 2021.
- This was the first chapter of Theta Alpha Phi.
- According to the school's Cayugan yearbook. The Cayugan. Ithaca College. 1948. p. 108.
- Theta Alpha Phi National Website
- Theta Alpha Phi Records; L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602;
- Theta Alpha Phi Records 1964-1976; L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602;