ESU Kansas City Branch

Welcome to the Kansas City Branch of the ESU 

Join Us as We Celebrate 100 Years in Kansas City


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News And Events

ESU Festival Group Night a Free Production of The Tempest

The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival had to cancel their summer production of The Tempest at Southmoreland Park this year because of Covid concerns. But the good news is Heart of America Shakespeare Festival has teamed up with the Conservatory Division of UMKC Theatre and will produce The Tempest live, on-stage at the Spencer Theatre on UMKC's campus. And, best of all, admission will be FREE, with donations gratefully accepted at the door.

ESU members and friends are invited to attend The Tempest. We have selected Friday, September 24 at 7:30 pm to attend as an ESU Festival Group Night. However, we may not be able to sit together as a group due to social distancing.

Spencer Theatre Safety Requirements:

Audience seating will be socially distanced and audience members must be masked throughout the performance.

Tickets are free but registration is required so audience size can be managed.

To register for your ticket(s) click here then select September 24, then click on "Tickets" then "Register" with your name and email address. Your free ticket(s) will be emailed to you. After registering, please call or email Jeff Schnabel so we have a list of those attending and we can look for you when you arrive. (816) 878-1239, email: Read more.


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ESU KC Rep Group Night

Mary's Wedding

ESU's Outdoor Group Night events have been popular, and we have a very special ESU Group Night planned on Sunday, September 19 at 7:30 PM. You won't want to miss this production of Mary's Wedding produced by KC Rep Theatre. The play takes place during World War I in 1914, just four years before the ESU was founded.

On the night before her wedding, Mary dreams of a thunderstorm, during which she unexpectedly meets Charlie. With innocence and humor, the two discover a charming first love. But the year is 1914, and the world is collapsing into a brutal war. Together, they attempt to hide their love, galloping through the fields for a place and time where the battle can't find them. A play with a heart as big as the skies that serve as its stage, Mary's Wedding is an epic, unforgettable story of love, hope, and survival.

This outdoor production is on the south lawn near the entrance to the National World War I Museum and Memorial. This is a casual show. BYOC—Bring Your Own Chair (or blanket). 

Seating will begin 1 hour before the performance. The show runs approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.


When: Sunday, September 19, 7:30 pm

Where: South lawn of World War I Museum and Memorial

Bring: Your own chair or blanket, bring food, snacks, drink if you wish

Tickets: $30 non-reserved seating. Click here to purchase tickets.

Arrive: Please arrive about 60 minutes before play begins to get best seating. Look for Jeff or Ben and Roxanne. We'll try to save an area for our group if we can. Read More.


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ESU Happy Hour

Coming September 8, 2021
Queen Victoria and the Victorian Novel
Guest Speaker: Dr. Elliot Engel

Join us September 8, 2021, at 5:00 pm Central Time for a journey back to the 19th Century Victorian Era when Queen Victoria reigned over the United Kingdom for 63 years, seven months—longer than any previous British Monarch. Don't miss this special program and learn how fiction literature flourished during this Era. 

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This is a free Happy Hour, but registration is required.  

Not only did she reign during the only period when England was the most powerful nation on earth, but the novels published during Queen Victoria's rule were some of  the most beautiful fiction ever written. Dr. Elliot Engel first reveals the fascinating, highly unlikely circumstances which brought this 18-year-old princess to the throne, and then he illuminates the glory of the novels which blossomed forth throughout her near 64-year reign.

About Dr. Engel

Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, Dr. Elliot Engel now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he has taught at the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, and Duke University. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at UCLA. While at UCLA he won that university's Outstanding Teacher Award.

Dr. Engel has written ten books published in England, Japan, Turkey, and the United States. His mini-lecture series on Charles Dickens ran on PBS television stations around the country. His articles have appeared in numerous newspapers and national magazines including Newsweek. He has lectured throughout the United States and on all the continents including Antarctica. Four plays which he has written have been produced during the last ten years. In 2009, he was inducted into the Royal Society of Arts in England for his academic work and service in promoting Charles Dickens. Read more about Dr. Engel here.


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ESU Happy Hour

Our next ESU Happy Hour is Wednesday, August 18, 2021, at 3:00 pm Central Time. Don't miss this extraordinary storytelling adventure. This is a free program, but registration is required.

This presentation is about a little-known inspiring story of peace, brotherhood, and reconciliation. It is a story of the humanity, respect and brotherhood, Shiroishi villagers in northern Japan, extended to 34 American crewmen, who perished when three B-29 bombers crashed into Mt. Fubo on March 10, 1945, within minutes of each other, returning from the raid on Tokyo. Read more.

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ESU Happy Hour

Most of Frederic W. Schwartz, Jr.'s Seven Ages of membership in The English-Speaking Union,
with apologies to William Shakespeare

Join us for our next ESU Happy Hour on July 28, 2021 at 4:00 pm Central Time with Frederic W. Schwartz, Jr. This is a free program but registration is required. Click here to register.

Mr. Schwartz was invited in 1964 to join the Providence Branch of The English-Speaking Union after he returned from an idyllic summer at Balliol reading metaphysical poetry under the tutelage of a great-great-great cousin of William Wordsworth and drinking too much sherry. Read More


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The English-Speaking Union

Kansas City Branch

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