The Tennessee Theatre Association was founded in 1968 with the aid of a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Two hundred and thirty-five people from every part of Tennessee met in Crossville on September 7 and 8 for the first conference, and the late Paul Crabtree was elected the first president.

Over the years the purpose of the organization has remained the same: the promotion of the highest standards of theatre throughout the State of Tennessee. To accomplish that purpose, the Association serves as a vehicle for communication through its website and through its annual convention.

It provides members with workshops, programs and seminars and with the opportunity to meet, work with and learn from each other as well as from invited theatre professionals from other states. TTA also serves as a liaison between Tennessee, regional, and national theatre organizations and acts as an advocate for theatre at the local, regional and national levels. 

The Tennessee Theatre Association is a marvelous organization that does so much to foster opportunities in theatre for young people across the state.
— Carol Mayo Jenkins, Actress on T.V. series FAME