Elizabeth A. Osborne is Associate Professor of Theatre Studies at Florida State University. Her research focuses on the relationship between theatre and community, the future of graduate education, and the performance of history and cultural memory.
Her first book, Staging the People: Community and Identity in the Federal Theatre Project(Palgrave, 2011), looks to decenter what we think we know about the Federal Theatre Project by focusing on case studies in the often-ignored regions outside of New York City. 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. She also co-authored the second edition of Pearson’s all-digital and highly interactive introductory textbook, Explore Theatre (2020).
Beth’s current research explores how performances of history have the ability to shape and manipulate cultural memory. She has presented her research 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).
Beth is actively involved in the field. She has served as conference planner for the American Theatre and Drama Society, Co-Chair of the Mid-America Theatre Conference Theatre History Symposium, and Book Review Editor for the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. She recently completed her second term on the executive board for the American Theatre and Drama Society, is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of American Drama and Theatre,and serves as the Immediate-Past President for the Mid-America Theatre Conference. She was one of the event planners for MATC’s 2021 Virtual Special Meeting, is guest editing a special section in Theatre/Practice, and has attended the international Theatre Summit, where organization presidents discuss and troubleshoot the issues that most impact the field.
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
US Theatre & Theatre History
Women in US Theatre
Contemporary US Theatre & the Anti-Canon
Select Scholarship: Book Chapters & Articles
“Beyond Writing: Susan Glaspell and the Federal Theatre Project.” In Susan Glaspell and her Contexts, edited by J. Ellen Gainor. Cambridge University Press, Literature in Context (in press).
“Money Matters: Dismantling the Narrative of the Rise of Regional Theatre.” In The Cambridge Companion to American Theatre: 1945-present, edited by Julia Listengarten and Stephen Di Benedetto. Cambridge University Press (in press).
“Recovering History and Supernatural Politics: Orson Welles’s Creative Collaborations in the Federal Theatre Project’s ‘Voodoo’ Macbeth.” Great North American Stage Directors, Vol. II: Harold Clurman, Orson Wells, Margo Jones, edited by Jonathan Chambers. New York: Bloomsbury Methuen, 2021. 110-135.
“An Object Lesson in Americanism: Performing Cultural Amnesia in Mosinee’s Communist Invasion.” Theatre Survey 60, no. 3 (September 2019), 434-460. DOI: 10.1017/S0040557419000280
“What Comes Next?: Graduate Education and Contingent Labor in Theatre and Performance Studies.” Theatre Topics 29, no. 2 (July 2019), 85-102. DOI: 10.1353/tt.2019.0016. Co-written with Jonathan Cambers, Eero Laine, Kat Leider, Diana Looser, Heather S. Nathans, Danielle Rosvally, and Kristen Wright.
“This is the Dawning of the Age of the Online Course: Reimagining Introduction to Theatre.” New Directions in Teaching Theatre Arts,edited by Anne Fliotsos and Gail S. Medford. New York: Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2018. 27-44. Co-written with Shelby Lunderman.
Explore Theatre (2nd edition). Pearson, Revel Digital Platform, 2020. https://www.pearson.com/us/higher-education/program/O-Hara-Revel-for-Explore-Theatre-A-Backstage-Pass-Access-Card-2nd-Edition/PGM2474243.html. Co-written with Michael O’ Hara and Judith Sebesta.
Working in the Wings: New Perspectives on Theatre History and Labor. Co-edited with Chris Woodworth. Theater in the Americas Series. Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press, 2015. Includes “Waiting in the Wings: Work,” co-authored with Chris Woodworth, and “Hidden in Plain Sight: Recovering the Federal Theatre Project’s Caravan Theatre.”
Staging the People: Community and Identity in the Federal Theatre Project. Studies in Theatre and Performance. New York: Palgrave, 2011.
My website: http://bethosborne.com