Beth Osnes
Professor • Director of Graduate Studies in Theatre & Performance Studies

Room C1B84, University Theatre Building
261 UCB, Boulder CO, 80309-0261

M.A. and Ph.D. University of Colorado, Theatre
B.A. Marquette University, Theology

Beth Osnes PhD, is a Professor of Theatre and Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado. She is a theatre and performance studies artist/scholar who is active in applied performance and creative climate communication. She engages in performance to co-author and actualize an equitable, survivable, and thrive-able future for all life and the ecosystems upon which life depends. Her most recent collaboration, Side by Side, is an art-science approach to youth engagement for climate communication in relationship with local birds. This project features award-winning films of large-scale bird puppets of numerous Colorado species. Side by Side was awarded major funding through the National Science Foundation Advancing Informal STEM Learning from 2023-2027. Her most recent creative work is The Butterfly Affect, a performance experience designed for participants to travel through a butterfly’s metamorphosis from egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, to butterfly as a way of receiving guidance for change from the natural world. With her collaborator Max Boykoff, she explores climate comedy through teaching and scholarship. Open Source Materials for a climate musical by Osnes, Shine, are available for engaging youth in authoring climate and energy solutions.  She co-developed Enacting Climate, an online open-source collection of climate-related tools and activities, for student learning and climate action. Her books include Theatre for Women’s Participation in Sustainable Development and Performance for Resilience: Engaging Youth on Energy and Climate through Music, Movement, and Theatre. She is co-director of Inside the Greenhouse for creative climate communication and co-founder of SPEAK for female and non-binary youth vocal empowerment. She is featured in the award-winning documentary Mother: Caring for 7 Billion. She serves as the faculty advisor for CU’s Arts & Sciences Support of Education Through Technology.



Single-Authored Books

Osnes, Beth. (2017). Performance for Resilience: Engaging Youth on Energy and

           Climate Through Music, Movement, and Theatre. London: Palgrave


---. (2014). Theatre for Women’s Participation in Sustainable Development. New York: Routledge.

           ---. (2011). The Shadow Puppet Theatre of Malaysia-A Study of the Wayang Kulit with

Performance Scripts and Puppet Designs. Jefferson, NC: McFarland &

Company, Inc.

---. (2001). Acting: An International Encyclopedia. Denver: ABC-Clio.

Refereed Journals

Osnes, Beth, Sarah Fahmy (2022) “Keeping the Fun in Staying with the Trouble: Green

Suits and Environmental Activist Pleasure,” Theatre Topics. 32 (2), 49-60.

Fahmy, Sarah, Beth Osnes (2022) “Little words BIG ISSUES: co-creating an

applied theatre workshop with young women,” Research in Drama

Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and

Performance, DOI: 10.1080/13569783.2022.2086039

Hackett, Chelsea, Ellory Boyd, Beth Osnes, Sarah Fahmy & NyaJoy Simmons (2022)

“Beyond rationality: the role of educator self-disclosure in sexual violence

prevention education” Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and

Learning. DOI: 10.1080/14681811.2022.2094355

Christie, Sheila, Beth Osnes, David Geary, Dennis D. Gupa, Ian Garrett, Jordan Hall,

Katie Welch, Kendra Fanconi, Kimberly Skye Richards, Scott Sharplin. (2022)

“Theatrical Calls to Climate Action: Excerpts of a Conversation” Theatre

Research in Canada/Recherches théâtrales au Canada. 43 (1), 125-136. DOI:


Boykoff, Max, Patrick Chandler, Presley Church, and Beth Osnes. (2021) "Examining

Climate Change and Sustainable/Fast Fashion in the 21st century: ‘Trash the

Runway’” Oxford Open Climate Change. 1 (1), 1-13. DOI:10.1093/oxfclm/kgab003.

Osnes, Beth, Chelsea Hackett, Jen Walentas Lewon, Norma Baján & Christine

Brennan. (2019) “Vocal Empowerment Curriculum for young Maya

Guatemalan women” Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 10 (3), 313-331. DOI: 10.1080/19443927.2019.1637371

Osnes, Beth, Max Bokoff, & Patrick Chandler. (2019). “Good natured comedy to enrich

climate communication.” Comedy Studies. 10(2), 224-236, DOI:


Boykoff, Max and Beth Osnes. (2019). “A Laughing Matter? Confronting climate change

through humor.” Political Geography. 68(1), 154-163. DOI:

Osnes, Beth. (2018). “Youth Shine in Performance for Resilience.” Theatre Topics. 2(3),

191-202. DOI:

---. (2018). “Youth Shine in Musical Theatre for Sustainability.” The Journal of

            Sustainability Education. March 2, 2018.

---. (2016). “Mothers empowering their voices for activism.” Voice and Speech

Review. 4(1), 1-15. DOI:

Hackett, Chelsea and Beth Osnes. (2016). “The Hammer and the Carpenter:

Lessons from the Field for Effective Professional Development by Teaching Artists.” Teaching Artist Journal. 14(1), 41–45, DOI: 10.1080/15411796.2016.1155909

Osnes, Beth, Adrian Manygoats & Lindsay Weitkamp. (2015). “A Framework for

Engaging Navajo Women in Clean Energy Development Through Applied

Theatre.” RIDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance. 20(2), 242-

257. DOI; 10.1080/13569783.2015.1019445

Anne U. Gold, David J. Oonk, Lesley Smith, Maxwell T. Boykoff, Beth Osnes & Susan

B. Sullivan (2015). “Lens on Climate Change: Making Climate Meaningful

Through Student-Produced Videos,” Journal of Geography, 114(6), 235-246.

DOI: 10.1080/00221341.2015.1013974

Osnes, Beth, and Angela Hunt. (2014). “Solar-Powered Shadow Puppetry in High School            Science Classroom ‘Illuminates’ a Navajo Student Energy Forum.”         Applied Theatre Research, 2(2), 165-181, DOI: 10.1386/atr.2.2.165_1

Osnes, Beth, and Mark Gammon. (2013). “Striking The Match: A Web-Based       Performance To Illuminate Issues of Sustainability and Ignite Positive Social

Change.” Sustainability: The Journal of Record. 6(3), 167-170. DOI:


Barbara C. Farhar, Beth Osnes, Priyadarshini Karve, Long Seng To, and Nicole Speer.

(2012). “Engaging Women in Clean Energy Solutions Workshop at the World

Renewable Energy Forum (WREF2012), 13 May 2012, Denver, Colorado, USA.”

Gender & Development, 20(3), 616-617. DOI: 10.1080/13552074.2012.731759

Osnes, Beth. (2012). “Voice Strengthening and Interactive Theatre for Women’s

Productive Income-Generating Activities in Sustainable Development.” Journal

of Sustainable Development. 5(6), 49-56. DOI: 10.5539/jsd.v5n6p49

---. (2010). “Empowering Women’s Voices for Energy Justice.” Colorado Journal of

            International Environmental Law and Policy, 21(1), 341-354.

---. (2008). “Remembering the Price and Worth of Freedom: The Story of Two Burmese

            Comedians.” South Asian Popular Culture. 8(1), 75-79.

---. (2004). “Mothers Acting Up: A Political Force to be Reckoned With!” Journal of the

            Association for Research on Mothering. 6(1), 109-111.

---.(1992). "The Evolving Shadow Puppet Theatre of Malaysia,” Asian Theatre Journal.

            9(1), 112-116. DOI: 10.2307/1124252

---. (1990). “Creating a Dramatic Script for Dynamic Classroom Learning," Education.

            (Spring), 283-288.

Contributions to Books for Peer-reviewed Presses

Osnes, Beth. Chelsea Hackett, Molly T. McDermott, and Rebecca Safran. (forthcoming).

            “Bird’s Eye View: Engaging Youth in Storying a Survivability Future through      Performance and Interspecies Friendship.” In Emily Coren and Hua Wang (Eds.)   Storytelling to Accelerate Climate Solutions. New York: Springer.


Osnes, Beth. Chelsea Hackett, Sarah Fahmy, and Lianna Nixon. (2022).

“Young Women’s Voices for Climate.” In Lisa S. Brenner, Chris Ceraso, and

Evelyn Diaz Cruz (Eds.), Applied Theatre and Youth: Education, Engagement, Activism (pp. 223-231). New York: Routledge.

Osnes, Beth. (2021). “The Anatomy of a Hot Flash.” In Heather Dillaway and Laura

               Wershler (Eds.), Musings on Perimenopause and Menopause: Identity,

               Experience, Transition. (pp. 23-26). Bradford, Ontario: Demeter Press.

Chandler, Patrick., Osnes, Beth, and Boykoff, Max. (2020). “Creative Climate

Communications: Teaching from the Heart Through the Arts” In J.

Henderson & A. Drewes (Eds.), Teaching Climate Change in the United

States (pp. 172 -185). London: Routledge.

Boykoff, Maxwell. Beth Osnes, Rebecca Safran. (2018). “Contando historias sobre la      

ciencia del cambio de climatico: Dentro del Invernadero.” In G. Gomez and B.

Leon (Eds.), La Communicación Audiovisual de la Ciencia. Madrid: Editorial


Osnes, Beth, Max Boykoff, and Rebecca Safran. (2017). “Student Content

Production of Climate Communication.” In Peter Berglez, Ulrika Olausson, and Mart Ots (Eds.), What is Sustainable Journalism? Integrating the Environmental, Social, and Economic Challenges of Journalism (pp. 93-112). New York: Peter Lang.

Osnes, Beth. (2015). “Kids Aren’t Cute.” In Nadya Burton (Ed.), Natal Signs: Cultural

Representations of Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting (pp. 317-320). Toronto:

Demeter Press.

Farhar, Barbara, Beth Osnes, and Elizabeth Lowry. (2014). “Energy and Gender.” In

Antoine Halff, Benjamin Sovacool and Jon Rozhon (Eds.), Energy Poverty:

Global Challenges and Local Solutions (pp. 152-179). New York: Oxford

University Press.

Osnes, Beth. (2014). “Mud Bath.” In Sheena Wilson and Diana Davidson. (Eds.), Telling

Truths: An Anthology on Mothering (pp.248-251) (Eds.). Toronto: Demeter Press.

Osnes, Beth, and Jason Bisping. (2014). “Theatre for Energy Justice.” In Lawrence Frey

and David Palmer (Eds.), Teaching Communication Activism: Communication

Education for Social Justice (461-484). New York: Hampton Press Inc. This book

awarded the 2015 Distinguished Edited Book Award from the Applied

Communication Division of the National Communication Association.

Osnes, Beth, and Juliana Forbes. (2011). “Mothers Acting Up.” In Andrea O’Reilly (Ed.),

The 21st Century Motherhood Movement (pp. 732-745). Toronto: Demeter Press.