English in Action: The English-Speaking Union

News and Events

News and Events

Teenager from Hawaii wins 2016 English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition

The three winners of the 2016 English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition on stage at Lincoln Center in New York City. (l to r – Third place winner Cecilia Harchegani, First place winner Ari Dalbert, and Second place winner Zoë Oliver.

With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare on stage at Lincoln Center in New York City, ARI DALBERT  from Honolulu, HI, a student of Betty Burdick at Hawaii Homeschool Association in Honolulu, won the 33rd  annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition. The Competition took place on May 2, 2016 with 55 semi-finalists from as many ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Ari previously won the ESU Hawai'i Branch competition.

As the winner of the 33rd English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, Ari received a full scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art Young Actors Summer School in London, England, this summer. The second place winner, Zoë Oliver, representing the Greenwich Branch, won a scholarship to the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp in Staunton, VA, while third place winner, Cecilia Harchegani, from the San Diego Branch, received $500 from The Shakespeare Society. 

The finalists were:

Tristan Whitney - Nashville Branch
Madison Breske - Delaware Branch
Jordan Ford - San Francisco Branch  
Rachel Hartner - Research Triangle (NC) Branch
Devin Bean - Boston Branch
Jake Mulé - Desert (Palm Springs) Branch
Abel Garcia - New York Branch

Watch videos of the 2016 Competition Finalists. 

View photos from the competition. 

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Debate Team from the Hackley School wins 2016 English-Speaking Union Middle School Debate Championship Tournament

The Hackley School, Stephen Fitzpatrick, Kiri Fitzpatrick, Hannah Ostfield, Alex Goldman

   

The English-Speaking Union Middle School Debate Program capped off a successful fifth year with its annual Championship Tournament, which took place at Stone Bridge Middle School in Allentown, NJ, on April 16, 2016.  All six ESU Middle School Debate Program leagues participated bringing together 250 debaters from 29 schools from New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. 

The English-Speaking Union Middle School Debate Program teaches the fundamentals of argumentation and debate to students in grades 5-8. Established in 2011, the program now includes three ESU-sponsored leagues in New York, two in New Jersey and one in Washington, DC.  Some 50 public, private, parochial and charter schools participate in the program, engaging more than 1,000 teenagers annually in weekly after-school debate activities designed to develop and hone student's public speaking, critical thinking, listening and debating skills.

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33rd Annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition

On May 2, 2016, more than 50 high school students from throughout the United States will converge at New York City's Lincoln Center to compete in the 33rd annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition. With the competition, the ESU celebrates the legacy of William Shakespeare as part of Shakespeare400, theinternational yearlong celebration of Shakespeare's works in 2016. This year, the ESU National Shakespeare Competition marks the milestone of exceeding 300,000 student participants since its inception in 1983. Among the winners and finalists of the Competition who have gone on to national acclaim are actor and director Joe Sofranko, whose Hulu series Complete Works is, in fact, based on the National Shakespeare Competition; actors Emily Bergl (Desperate Housewives, Southland); Tyler Hilton (Walk the Line, One Tree Hill); Heather Lind (Boardwalk Empire, Turn: Washington's Spies); Bronwyn Reed (Law and Order: SVU); as well as Broadway's Matt Harrington (Twelfth Night, Matilda) and Adam Wesley Brown (Once the Musical).

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Win a complete set of Folger Editions from the Folger Shakespeare Library and Simon & Schuster!

 

To celebrate The 33rd ESU National Shakespeare Competition and Shakespeare400, we are giving our Facebook followers a chance to win a complete set of Folger Editions from the Folger Shakespeare Library and Simon & Schuster (http://snip.ly/9qrzt).

To Enter:
 
2. Like the Folger Shakespeare Library's Facebook page.
3. Like and Share our contest post here.

The contest closes at midnight on 05.02.2016. T&C's apply. 

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A Salute to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

The English-Speaking Union of the United States salutes 

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

Patron of The English-Speaking Union
of the Commonwealth
on this
her 90th Birthday.  

 For information, click here

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ESU Restructures for the Future

At its meeting on October 10, 2015, the National Board of Directors approved its Branch Services Committee's recommendation that ESUUS adopt and implement a new organizational and management structure. This legal reorganization, now in process, will provide immense benefits to the ESU at all levels.

The world has changed dramatically in the century since the ESU was founded in the US in 1920. The increased litigious and regulatory environment in which we find ourselves, together with the need for us to establish a unity of organization and purpose, make it incumbent on us to restructure both Branch operations and the organization as a whole.  Local organizational Branch structures, which may have worked well decades ago, pose far too many risks today. 

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Luard Morse Scholarship awarded to Serena Newberry and Leondre Ramsay

               Serena Newberry                             Leondre Ramsay

The ESU is proud to announce that Leondre Ramsay, a Political Science Major at Howard University, Washington, DC and Serena Newberry, an English Education and Pre-Law Major at Xavier University, New Orleans, LA have been selected as this year's recipients of the English-Speaking Union Luard Morse Scholarship. The scholarship provides $25,000 toward one semester of study at any university in the United Kingdom during the 2017-2018 academic year.

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ARNIC Thanksgiving

On Monday, November 23rd, over 75 new immigrants celebrated their first Thanksgiving at the English-Speaking Union in New York City.  These members of the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center were joined by the founder and primary sponsor, Dr. Romay, and program alumni in a feast of turkey and all the trimmings.  Members from Russia, Belarus, Colombia, China and Guinea shared their personal reflections on their first Thanksgiving and gratitude to the ESU for providing a welcoming community.

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My Magna Carta contestant from US wins Grand Prize

Jane Josefowicz (center), from the Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island, won the overall Junior Prize in the English-Speaking Union International My Magna Carta Creative Writing Competition.  She is shown here with her parents and the Chairman of The English-Speaking Union of the United States, Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill.  The final round of the competition, where finalists presented their essays orally, was held on October 15 in London at Dartmouth House, the headquarters of the English-Speaking Union of the Commonwealth.  Jane competed against students in the junior division from Australia, Chile, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius and the United Kingdom. 

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2015 National Patron Tour: Ardgowan Scotland

In September of 2015, fourteen National ESU Patrons gathered around a roaring fire at the home of Sir Ludovic Shaw-Stewart and the former Lady Shaw-Stewart (Cindy Chetwode) for an introduction to the next wonderful eight days touring Scottish countryside and stately homes. The grand 18th century William Adam home provided the quintessential Edwardian country house experience. The group gathered each morning for a full Scottish breakfast before visiting stunning country homes.  ESU patrons were received daily and  feted by owners of the homes including teas and luncheons. Every night the group gathered again for cocktails in the library before supper in the grand dining room surrounded by magnificent 18th and 19th century ancestral portraits.

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