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Theatre Students Present at 2020 President’s Showcase of Undergraduate Research

Published November 19, 2020

On November 19, FSU celebrates outstanding undergraduate research in its 2020 President’s Showcase of Undergraduate Research. This year, two students are presenting on topics related to theatre – Elizabeth Slade and Rosalind Helsinger.

Sponsored by FSU’s Office of the President and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement (CRE), this event serves as the culmination of the IDEA Grant, Tech Fellows, and iGEM summer awards, but the work these students present tonight does not end here. Many of the award recipients will continue their intellectual pursuits through honors theses, independent study projects, graduate research, and entrepreneurial and creative work, both here on our campus and beyond.

November 19 – 6:45pm – 7:45pm
Room Two – Click here for Zoom Link

Rosalind Helsinger, Project Title: “False Flesh: Shakespeare and Adultery”
Major: BA Creative Writing, Faculty Mentor: Dr. Terri Bourus

November 19 – 6:45pm – 7:45pm
Room Three – Click here for Zoom Link

Elizabeth Slade, Project Title: “Theatre Congregation: Breaking Down the Bicameral Relationship Between Actor and Audience”
Major: BA Theatre, Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kris Salata



Supervising Professor: Dr. Terri Bourus
False Flesh: Shakespeare and Adultery

Rosalind is a Senior majoring in Creative Writing. She is currently applying to graduate schools both inside and outside the country to become a professor of Creative Writing. Her work has been published by YouthPlays and the Evening Street Review.

Abstract: My Honors Thesis explores the nuances of Shakespeare’s adulteresses, focusing on both the women who do commit adultery and the false adulteresses, who are innocent women accused of adultery by their husband or fiancé. The unifying thread of these plays showcases how the societal power of adultery, and the accusation of it, shaped the identity of Elizabethan women, with adultery being fused into their purity. My research argues that the trope of the adulteress, whether they are guilty or not, increases the dramatic stakes because chastity was considered the core identity for women. The Elizabethan era conflation of chastity and life for women meant that an accusation of adultery would cost a woman not only all her societal power and position, but also her voice and identity as a woman. This great potential loss serves as a theatrical device to elevate the stakes and as a lens to explore societal and gender power dynamics throughout the Shakespeare canon.


Supervising Professor: Dr. Kris Salata
Theatre Congregation: Breaking Down the Bicameral Relationship Between Actor and Audience

Beth Slade is a Senior pursuing a BA in Theatre and will be graduating with dual honors this spring. Beth has performed in many productions at FSU and looks forward to continuing to perform professionally. She would like to thank Dr. Kris Salata for always supporting her artistic endeavors.

Abstract: Based on the practitioner, Jerzy Grotowski, I wanted to make a space in which actors and audiences could congregate and engage with one another, what I deemed a “Theatre Congregation.” This is to be accomplished by utilizing the technique of Call and Response. My work began with researching the evolution and history of Call and Response and studying the structure. In my research, I found Dr. Cristal Truscott, who has a methodology entitled SoulWork, in which she describes a theatrical setting built entirely on Call and Response. This includes the performance and the making of the piece, creating a setting in rehearsal rooms where the artists Call and Respond with one another. Through studying the history and evolution of Call and Response along with Dr. Truscott’s work, I am able to begin devising a theatrical piece that engages both actor and audience.


For more information on Undergraduate Research at Florida State, visit

Read the full program HERE>>>