Elizabeth A. Osborne is Associate Professor of Theatre Studies at Florida State University. Her research is driven by two connecting themes: the relationship between theatre and its surrounding society and the ways that theatre and performance influence the shaping and reshaping of history and cultural memory over time.
Her book, Staging the People: Community and Identity in the Federal Theatre Project (Palgrave, 2011), and many of her articles and conference presentations delve into the ways that theatre connects to, shapes, and is shaped by, its communities. Working in the Wings: New Perspectives on Theatre History and Labor (co-edited with Christine Woodworth; Southern Illinois University Press, 2015) seeks to recover the frequently unseen labors of hidden theatrical workers and to challenge the ways that scholars think about labor, theatre history, and performance. Her current research project integrates theatre history/historiography and performance studies, and explores how performance reshapes history in the popular imagination. She has presented case studies from this project at Performance Studies International, the American Society for Theatre Research, the Association of Theatre in Higher Education, the Mid-America Theatre Conference, and the International Federation of Theatre Research. She also earned the American Theatre and Drama Society’s Faculty Travel Award for this work and is the recipient of the Distinguished Research Award from the College of Visual Arts, Theatre, and Dance (2012).
She pioneered a hybrid version of Introduction to Theatre for Non-Majors at FSU and has recreated the course in a new, fully online version designed to serve up to 800 students a semester. She also teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in US Theatre, Theatre History & Historiography, Women in US Theatre, Contemporary US Theatre, Popular Culture and Entertainments, Theatre Pedagogy, Archives & Performance, and Dramaturgy.
Osborne has worked in dramaturgy and outreach on a number of professional and university productions, including the Chicago premiere of The Cripple of Inishmaan, Northlight Theatre’s Master Class, and the University of Maryland productions of Romeo and Juliet and Assassins. She also taught theatre and drama to children for Creative Kids/Interact Story and the Institute of Reading Development, and created study and outreach guides for New Repertory Theatre, Northlight Theatre, and Brandeis University.
Osborne has also served the profession in a range of different positions, including conference planner for the American Theatre and Drama Society (2009, 2010), Co-Chair of the Mid-America Theatre Conference Theatre History Symposium (2011, 2012), and Book Review Editor for the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism (2011-2015). She is currently serving her second term on the executive board for the American Theatre and Drama Society, a member of the editorial board for the Journal of American Drama and Theatre, and the Conference Planner for the Mid-America Theatre Conference.
B.A. Theatre, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois
M.F.A. Dramaturgy, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
Ph.D. Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
U.S. theatre history and historiography; the Federal Theatre Project; community, identity, and representation; performance, labor, and labor history; intersections of history, memory, time, and popular culture; intersections of theatre, math, and science; dramaturgy
Select Scholarly/Creative Works & Awards