ESU Hawaii Branch

A Message from the Hawaii Branch President

The Hawaii Branch segment of the 2019 English-Speaking Union (ESU) National Shakespeare Competition will be held in Punahou School's Luke Auditorium in the Wo International Center beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, 2019. Teachers, family, friends, and other interested parties are welcome to attend. Although space in the auditorium has been adequate for the past several competitions, it is always a good idea to arrive a little early to secure parking and to claim a seat. All Branch Competition contestants will receive prizes, and the top three participants selected by our panel of judges will also receive monetary awards. The first place winner will be flown to New York City to compete in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition, tentatively scheduled to be held this year on April 29, 2019 at Lincoln Center.

Read Full Message

News And Events

Honolulu Area High School Student to Compete in the 35th English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center in New York

News Photo

Left to right: Ruby O’Malley (first place), Mark Lawhorn (ESU Hawaii President), Kylie E Shaieb (second place)

Ruby O'Malley, student of  Ann Ogilvie from Kaiser High School in Honolulu achieved first place at the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition Hawaii Branch tournament on March 3, 2018. The repeat win for Kaiser High School, whose Makana Richter won first place in 2017, is the first such back-to-back public school win since Mililani High School won in 1998 and 1999. Ms. O'Malley will travel to New York City along with more than 50 other contestants from around the country to participate in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center Theater in New York on April 23, 2018. 


Read Full Story



With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Makana Richter  from Honolulu, HI, a student of Ann Ogilvie at Kaiser High School in Honolulu, placed as a semi-finalist in the 34th  annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition in New York City. The Competition took place on May 1, 2017 on the stage of the Mitzi Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center with 54 semi-finalists from as many ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Makana previously won the ESU Hawaii Branch competition.

The winner of the 34th English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, Ogechi Egonu, representing the San Francisco Branch, received a full scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Center Theatre 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.

Click here to read full story

Click here to download the PDF version


Read Full Story


All The World's a Stage for Home Schooled Teen

Honolulu, February 20, 2016 – Ari Dalbert, a student of Eden Lee Murray, won the Hawaii segment of the 2016 English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition.  Erica Ito, a student of Paul Palmore at Punahou School, took second place. Chandler Bridgman, a student of Robert St. John at Le Jardin Academy, was awarded third place. Ari had already won the school level Shakespeare competition among home-schooled students coordinated by Eden Lee Murray in Honolulu.  The ESU Branch competition was held on February 20, 2016 at the Luke Auditorium in Punahou School's Wo International Center in Honolulu, and 20 school winners from the ESU Hawaii area participated, including one student from Maui, one from Kauai, and three from Hawaii Island. All participants were awarded single volume editions of the complete works of Shakespeare and complimentary tickets to upcoming performances in the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival season and the spring production of the Hawaii Theatre Young Actors Ensemble. In addition to monetary awards, the top three finishers each received six free tickets to Hawaii Shakespeare Festival's summer season and DVDs of Kenneth Branagh's Henry V. Ari impressed the judges and captivated the audience with his performance of Edmond from King Lear and his recitation of Sonnet 116.  He will go on to represent the ESU Hawaii area as a semi-finalist at the national competition to be held on Monday, May 2, 2016 at Lincoln Center in New York City. Ari also won the Hawaii competition in 2014 and placed among the top ten finalists at Lincoln Center that year.


Read Full Story


Kapi‘olani Community College to Host Shakespeare’s First Folio Exhibition in 2016

(Honolulu, HI)— Kapi'olani Community College has been selected as the host site for the state of Hawai'i for First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, a national traveling exhibition of the Shakespeare First Folio, one of the world's most treasured books. The Folger Shakespeare Library, in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is touring a First Folio of Shakespeare in 2016 to all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.


Read Full Story


The English-Speaking Union

Hawaii Branch

Hawaii 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.