English in Action: The English-Speaking Union

News and Events

News and Events

"What Should I Do?" ARNIC Theater

Members of the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC) once again demonstrated their extraordinary talents when they work and staged a premiere production of a new play at the English-Speaking Union. The play, "What Should I Do?" was written and directed by Gyunhyeong Kim and performed by Nataliia Omelchenko and Mamadou Diabate.

Reflecting their experiences as new immigrants, the play throws a spotlight on a moment when we stand at the crossroads of life: the stark choices which face us all and which, as one character put it, define "our short and irreversible lives." We watch as two people wrestle with this dilemma: Patricia (Nataliia), a talented painter who aspires to be an actress, and John (Mamadou), an acting coach, frustrated in his search for a talented acting pupil but discovering the gifted artist before him.  

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The 2016 English-Speaking Union Annual Conference

The 2016 English-Speaking Union Annual Conference, hosted by the Central Florida ESU Branch, drew members from all over the country to the Sheraton Orlando North Hotel in Maitland (Winter Park) for an enjoyable and productive weekend October 13 – 15, 2016.  Business sessions included a meeting of the National Board of Directors, a working conclave for the National Board and Branch Presidents, and meetings of the ESU Branches by Region.  The 96th Annual General Meeting of the English-Speaking Union took place on Saturday, October 15.

The primary function of the National Board meeting was adoption of the English-Speaking Union Strategic Plan for English in Action which the Board had developed during the prior year, and which will guide the ESU's organizational activities through the next five years.  Discussion of the Strategic Plan and final steps in the restructuring of the Branches into Limited Liability Companies formed agenda discussion items for the Board and Branch Presidents Conclave. 

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ESU Marks Shakespeare400 with Exclusive Summer Teacher Programs

The English-Speaking Union celebrates Shakespeare400 this summer with its BUSS scholarship program, sending 24 American middle and high school teachers to the UK to explore the Bard's legacy.  

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Third Annual ARNIC Graduation Reception

On May 18, the English-Speaking Union Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center celebrated its third year with a graduation ceremony attended by more than 100 graduates, their family and guests, and ESU teachers and volunteer tutors. The Open Society Foundations, a major supporter of the program, hosted the event at their offices in New York City.

The Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC), named for the program's key visionary and supporter, seeks to improve the lives of recent immigrants by providing resources and information to help them improve their English skills, assistance in exploring work and study opportunities, networking, and acquiring cultural fluency so that they may participate fully in American society. Launched

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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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