ESU Colonial NC Branch

Welcome from the President

Welcome Photo

New Officers (from left): Susan Moffat-Thomas, Vice President, Barbara Dotterer, President, Ray Savage, Secretary, Malcolm Taylor, Treasurer

Welcome to the 2019-20 year of the Colonial NC Branch! We have a varied program for the year and we hope you will be able to join us. A tentative schedule is attached here. Note our exciting Shakespeare Initiative described below. And be sure to return to this space often for updates, details, and directions for all the programs. We are always eager to welcome new members. Contact us at any time at:

Barbara Dotterer, President

Read Full Message

News And Events

The History of Downtown New Bern’s Renaissance

October 24 Luncheon Program

The History of Downtown New Bern's Renaissance, presented by Susan Moffat-Thomas, is a luncheon program that will be held on Thursday, October 24 at the Chelsea Restaurant, 11:30 am. The cost for the luncheon is $18 for members, $22 non-members, with a menu choice of shrimp and grits, baked salmon or chicken bruschetta. To reserve a place, send a check made out to: ESU NC Colonial Branch along with menu choice to P.O. Box 645, New Bern, NC 28563.

Moffat-Thomas, retired Executive Director, Swiss Bear Downtown Development Corp., will provide an overview of the post WWII decline of downtown, the demolition of its waterfront and how the establishment in 1979 of Swiss Bear, Inc., (a private nonprofit), in partnership with local government, was the catalyst for downtown New Bern's rebirth as a vibrant center of civic and social activity and a broad-based renewal effort that is a positively impacting all of Craven County. The power point presentation includes numerous before and after photos that reinforce the dramatic changes that took place over the past 40 years.


Read Full Story


CANCELLED: Bio for September Speaker

Due to the Hurricane our venue, the NC History Center, is closed from Thurs thru Thursday per the State of NC.  

Author Louisa Treger, ESU featured Speaker September 9 at NC History Center

On September 9, 7 pm, Louisa Treger, English author of The Dragon Lady, is the featured speaker at the NC History Center in Cullman Hall. Treger discusses how she masterfully blends fact and fiction in The Dragon Lady to deliver a magnificent, deeply evocative historical novel that spans enormous cultural and social change. Her extraordinary story of Lady Virginia 'Ginie' Courtauld, so called for the exotic tattoo snaking up her leg, is a daring blend of romance, crime and history, and an intelligent exposé of the inherent injustice and consequences of all forms of oppression. Jointly sponsored by ESU and Tryon Palace, the program is open to the public with a suggested admission donation of five dollars.

Tregar, a London resident, earned a Ph.D. in English at University College London, is the recipient of the West Scholarship and Rosa Morison Scholarship, awarded "for distinguished work in the study of English Language and Literature". Her first novel, The Lodger, was published by Macmillan in 2014.


Read Full Story


Shakespeare is Back! Fourfold Initiative September 21, 2019

We were very sorry that the Florence turmoil of last September caused us to cancel our annual contest. But we are happy to announce that for the 2019-2020 program year, our contest will be turned into a multi-part initiative.

1. September 21 – Teacher Training with American Shakespeare Center, an all-day event at Craven Community College for high school English and Drama Teachers.

2. March 7, 2020 – A Double Day of Shakespeare: First, the High School Regional Shakespeare Contest with the winner earning a trip to the National Finals in New York. Then the Fifth Annual Shakespeare Dinner, our fundraiser with food and drink interspersed with scenes from The Bard.

3. Teachers who participate in the training and enter a student in the contest will be eligible to apply for the first ever Colonial NC Branch TLab Scholarship to study in the UK in Summer 2020.


Read Full Story


Teaching Shakespeare Workshop

Join members of the American Shakespeare Center's Education Department for a day of active training. CEUs are on offer. See the attached flyer.


Read Full Story


High School Shakespeare Contest March 7, 2020

As before, we will be sponsoring a regional contest for high school students with the winner advancing to the national finals in New York City.The date is March 7, 2020, on the stage of Orringer Auditorium at Craven Community College. More on that later.


Read Full Story


The English-Speaking Union

Colonial NC Branch

Colonial NC Branch Landmark Photo

Welcome to the ESU

The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.

To find out more about our programs click here.