Alpha Psi Omega is a national theatre honor society that inducted its first members at Maryville College in 2003. In the past, APO has been noted for presenting some of the most well known plays on campus, including last year’s plays, “The Snipers Nest” and “Sylvia”.
APO is going through a series of positive changes, as the group has filed to renew their national charter and induct a new class of aspiring theatre honorees.
“The purpose of APO is to foster love and appreciation for the theatrical arts. This is definitely not limited to those involved in the theatre department,” Jarnagin said. “Our mission is to include anyone and everyone who wants to take part in what we do. We want to assist our fellow theatre studies majors by assisting in student-directed plays as well as senior thesis plays, but, we also want to reach out to our community by sponsoring theatre workshops and fundraisers. No one is excluded. We want everyone to love theatre as much as we do.”
In April, APO will induct five new members, marking its ten-year anniversary on campus. “The new members will be a great boost to our current chapter. We are a small group of seven, and with the new members we will almost double our size,” said Rachel Jarnagin, current vice president and president-elect of APO.
Jarnagin also expects that the new members will provide a strong skill set that will be invaluable to upcoming productions.“We will have more individuals with different areas of focus in the theatre department,” Jarnagin said. “This is also bringing in younger students with a different perspective than the upperclassmen do. A large group of active students are extremely valuable to a production. The more members we have, the better student shows will be.” The induction of the new members comes during a period of change for the chapter. Currently, the honor society is in the process of re-chartering. This includes steps such as creating a new constitution and electing new officers for the next school year. The addition of the inductees may influence the direction the group takes this coming school year with productions and theater activities.
The process of being chosen for induction requires students to meet national and chapter expectations before being invited to apply to join. Some of the requirements include involvement in theatre performance and theater production. Student must also meet a minimum GPA requirement. After being invited by APO, applicants must submit an application to be approved by the officers of the group.
“Being eligible for induction is a task in itself,” Jarnagin said. “Not only do you have to meet the criteria that are set by APO National, you also have to meet the criteria we have set for our chapter. All of the officers look over the applications of those who are interested and we decide who will make a truly great addition to our group.”
Members of APO recently decided to begin the process to become an officially chartered chapter. “The other officers and I have worked very hard on getting APO re-chartered,” Jarnagin said. “It’s quite a complicated process, as you are almost starting over from scratch. The re-charter will happen along with the new inductees as per APO National’s current standards for becoming re-chartered.”
The process of becoming re-chartered has been a valuable one for APO members involved and will allow them to have lasting impact on campus. “Working to get APO re-chartered is such an amazing experience,” Jarnagin said. Each of the current officers has a hand in personally writing the new by-laws and constitution for the organization. It’s something that I can come back to as an alumnus and think, ‘We wrote that.’”