The English-Speaking Union of the United States: Education. Scholarship. Understanding.
 
 

News And Events

Shakespeare as “Political Theater” Et tu, ESU?

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition and "Political Theater"
by Christopher Hodgkins

Now everybody wants into the act! Few people who follow the arts or just follow the news can have missed the controversy over the New York Public Theater's production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, which had its final performance in Central Park's Delacorte Theater on June 18. The performance is acted in contemporary costumes, and Caesar—wearing a flamboyant suit and an orange-blond coif much like President Donald Trump's—seems to be slain in the American and not the Roman Capitol, meeting an especially bloody end in Act 3 at the hands of very modern senatorial conspirators. In response, some of the President's supporters—and some who simply think that this interpretation disrespects the Presidency and incited a recent attempted massacre of Republican Congressmen—have spoken out against the show, interrupted the performance, or even stormed the stage. Perhaps the producers provoked more audience reaction than they bargained for! And some people think that Shakespeare is irrelevant or boring . . .

Read Full Story

ARNIC Graduation and ESU Founder's Award Ceremony

On June 1, the English-Speaking Union Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center celebrated the accomplishments of its members with a graduation ceremony hosted by the Open Society Foundations, financial supporters of the program, at their offices in New York City.

The Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC), named for the program's key visionary and supporter, Andrew Romay, helps recently arrived immigrants improve their English through free ESL classes and conversation sessions and acquire cultural fluency through field trips, workshops and networking opportunities. Launched in January 2013, the ARNIC Program has served more than 800 new Americans.

Read Full Story

Teenager from San Francisco wins 2017 English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition

The three winners of the 2017
English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition
on stage at Lincoln Center in New York City
(l to r) – Third place winner Trevon Wainwright, First place winner Ogechi Egonu, and Second place winner Brandon Burk.


With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare's Othello, Ogechi Egonu from San Francisco, CA, a student of Jennifer Grimes at San Domenico School in San Anselmo, won the 34th annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition. The Competition took place on May 1, 2017 on the Mitzi Newhouse Theater stage at Lincoln Center in New York City with 54 semi-finalists from as many ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Ogechi previously won the ESU San Francisco competition.

As the winner of the 34th English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, Ogechi received a full scholarship to the American Shakespeare Center Theater Camp in Staunton, VA, this summer. Second place winner, Brandon Burk, from the Kentucky Branch, won a cash prize of $1,000 from the English-Speaking Union, while the third place winner, Trevon Wainwright, representing the Kansas City Branch of the ESU, received an award of $500 provided by The Shakespeare Society.

The finalists were:

Chinyelu Mwaafrika - Indianapolis Branch - Shortridge High School
Mya Ison - Research Triangle Branch - Enloe High School
Lee Ann Bael - New York City Branch - Edward R. Murrow High School
Malenky Welsh - Greenwich Branch - ACES Education Center for the Arts
Judy Durkin - Los Angeles Branch - Santa Monica High School
Rutvik Ashtikar - Princeton Branch - JP Stevens High School
Padraig Bond - Albany Branch - Shenendehowa High School

Read Full Story

ARNIC Graduation Ceremony & Founder's Award Honors Dinner

RSVP Here

Read Full Story

ESU Branches to Send 40 Teacher-Scholars to the UK for Summer Study

 

The Teachers Learning Abroad - TLab program has long provided American high school teachers the opportunity to continue their education at prestigious centers of learning in the United Kingdom.  This summer, 20 English-Speaking Union Branches will send 40 teacher-scholars to summer programs at the University of Oxford, Shakespeare's Globe Theater in London, and the University of Edinburgh.

Summer 2017 represents a particularly exciting time for TLab teacher-scholars. Each teacher has selected and applied to a program of their choosing, and their ESU scholarship will cover all or portions of tuition, room and board and, in some cases, travel to the UK. Teacher-scholars will spend between two and three weeks in active study and will return home to begin a new school year invigorated and equipped to share their newly acquired teaching and learning strategies with colleagues and some 4,000 students.

Read Full Story