Osburn takes seriously what he imparts to his students, colleagues, and readers, that an active and varied involvement in the arts benefits both life and work, opening a space in which skills, insights, and human relations are acquired, exercised, and renewed.
His artistic pursuits have fostered an expertise in the Spanish speaking cultures of Europe and the Americas. He acted in a Spanish language production of Los tiros and Los ambiciosos, by Carlos Arniches, as part of a course in the theater of Spain at Instituto Cervantes in 2007. In 2012, he translated Luz de mañana en un traje marrón (Dawn in a Brown Suit), by the Argentine playwright Daniel Veronese, into English language super-titles for the Void Theater Company production in the Performing Arts Marathon of the International Theater Arts Institute in New York. In 2014 the Gabriel Alegría Afro-Peruvian Sextet premiered an arrangement of “Contigo Perú” that he commissioned for 10, an album of U.S. and Peruvian standards. He is committed to the world of Argentine tango, both socially and as a field of expertise.
In the arts at large, he has participated in several projects involving drama, dance and film, appearing in Eve, a short film by Kevin Stocklin (Second Act Films 2011), as a ’40s partygoer in Sole Survivor (Somiant Productions, in production), a Wedding Guest in Tango Shalom (post-production), and an audience performer in Choreography for Audience – Take One, by Noemie Lafrance (Sens Productions 2012). The Shakespeare’s Birthday Sonnet Slam at the Central Park Bandshell, sponsored and filmed annually by Willful Pictures, has counted him as a regular since 2011 (watch: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2011).
In Denver, he was active in Colorado Dramatists, organizing readings and workshops for local writers. At the Denver Center Theatre Company, he fulfilled an internship in literary management, was a writer/editor for Stage/Space, the subscriber magazine, and production dramaturg for two plays in a Colorado history series. He went on to work in the outreach office, leading educational tours and school visits, teaching a course on Writing About the Theatre, and editing Prologue, a study guide to plays in the repertory.
In 1996, he directed the first English translation, by Susan Jonas, of Marivaux’s The Surprise of Love for World Stage Productions in Paonia, Colorado. He had previously staged shows for the Changing Scene, Hunger Artists, the Metropolitan Theater, and Fox Arts Center in Denver, collaborated on a dance-theater piece at the Community Dance Collective in Boulder, and played Drosselmeyer in Boulder Ballet Ensemble’s Nutcracker. He road managed a council-funded tour of Colorado by variety performer Janet Rayor and booked a regional tour of Quilters for the Denver Center Theatre Company.
In Salt Lake City, he was Co-Artistic Director of the New Shakespeare Players, active in university and other theater, and publicist for the city arts council.