News And Events

News And Events

ESU Participates in International Relations Council’s 2nd Annual “Your Global Future” for High School Students and Teachers

The English-Speaking Union, Kansas City Branch was one of over 50 vendors who participated in the International Relations Council's second annual "Your Global Future" event at Bartle Hall Convention Center in Kansas City on October 29, 2019. Jeff Schnabel, ESU's Programming Chair had an information table and met with many students and teachers describing some of our educational programs that could have interest to students and  teachers.

IRC invited high school students from the Kansas City metro area to attend this special opportunity for them to meet local organizations, universities and businesses about international education and professional opportunities available to them.

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ESU Members and Guests Are Invited to Celebrate the 34th Annual British Faire

The British Are Coming!  All ESU members and guests are invited to the 34th Annual British Faire and Tea.  This fun event is sponsored by the Daughters of the British Empire in Kansas. This annual fundraising event benefits retirement communities and local charities. Some of the events and activities at the British Faire

  • Traditional British Afternoon Tea
  • Lots of home-baked goods    
  • The best local British vendors
  • Antiques
  • Crafts, Celtic jewelry
  • Books
  • Specialty food and cheeses
  • Christmas Crackers
  • Teas                     
  • Children's activity room

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Registration Begins for Kansas City Area
High Schools in 36th Annual
Shakespeare Competition

All Kansas City area high schools are invited our 36th annual Shakespeare Competition. The Competition is open to all high school students grades 9-12. Homeschool students are also welcome to enter. If you are a Theatre, English, Forensics or Debate teacher, we encourage you to enter your school in this exciting competition.

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The Questionable Identity
of William Shakespeare

The question may be met with chagrin by traditionalists, but to some, the identity of William Shakespeare is not positively decided. Dr. Felicia Hardison Londré, Ph.D, presents a thought-provoking analysis on the Shakespeare authorship question. This free lecture program, titled "The Questionable Identity of William Shakespeare," is at 3:30 pm on Monday, November 4, 2019, at Miller Nichols Library Learning Center, Room 451, UMKC Campus.

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ESU Cordially Invites You to an Exclusive Private Screening of
Downton Abbey: The Movie and a
Downton English Tea Party

 The excitement is building for the movie version of Downton Abbey. Now you can watch the movie version of the beloved Downton Abbey at an ESU exclusive private screening on Saturday, October 5, 2019. The movie will be preceded by an elegant, Downton English Tea Party. What could be more British than that?

The movie centers around a royal visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Downton in 1927, a storyline inspired by a trip they really took to Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire in 1912.

You'll not only see the return of all the main cast from the final television series, but the film also introduces some great British actors to the world of Downton, as we meet the royal family and their retinue.

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Stonehenge Exhibition & Lecture

Even though this is a short notice, we wanted to let you know about a special presentation as part of the Stonehenge Exhibition at Union Station.

Direct from the award-winning Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, England, renowned British archeologist David Dawson will make a rare North American appearance and deliver a fascinating morning lecture on August 16th only at Union Station Kansas City in conjunction with the current Stonehenge exhibition.

Guests will be invited to travel back in time more than 5,000 years and discover remarkable stories of the prehistoric people who lived, worked and were buried in the landscape around Stonehenge. As well, Dawson will present the latest science that's unraveled ancient mysteries of this enigmatic World Heritage Site.  

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An ESU Tea Party Fit for a Queen

All ESU Members and Friends of ESU are cordially invited to attend one of our biggest social gatherings of the year—our annual Queen's Tea. We will be celebrating HRH Queen Elizabeth II's 93rd birthday. This will be an ESU Tea Party Fit for a Queen!

Our tea party will include a variety of tea sandwiches, sweets, Brenda's signature scones, Mock Devonshire cream, fine fruit butter or fruit jams and premium tea.  Brenda Hedrick, the owner and proprietress of Anna Marie's Teas proudly proclaims, "This is not just any tea party--our tea experiences are delightfully extravagant!"  This is a special occasion not to be missed!

The English teas will be held in the Bohnet House in Liberty, Mo., which is a stately 3-story, 5,000 square foot home built in 1913. The house boasts Frank Lloyd Wright details--oak trim, 3 fireplaces and large open spaces. Its large wraparound porch and period American, French and English antique furnishings create the perfect setting for tea parties--served on a special collection of china and silver.

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LET'S HAVE A PARTY TO CELEBRATE OUR NEW MEMBERSHIP YEAR

ESU's new membership year begins July 1, 2019 and what better way to bring in the new membership year than with a party!

All ESU members and Friends of ESU are cordially invited to a Membership Renewal Party hosted by our Treasurer, Kevin Martin. We'll have Barbeque Brisket and Ribs, baked beans, potato salad, more sides including watermelon and other desserts! We'll also provide soft drinks, beer and wine.

We want to bring all ESU members together for a casual late afternoon party to make it easy and convenient to renew your membership. You can renew online on a secure laptop or with a paper form…either way it's easy, fast and you'll have a chance to meet other ESU members including our newest members! If you are renewing with a paper form (which we will supply) just bring a check to include with the renewal form and we'll mail it for you. You'll see our membership dues are still the same.

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ESU Festival Group Night June 19, 2019

Put June 19, 2019 on your calendar. This year, we are in for a special treat! The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival has selected the stage adaptation of the blockbuster movie, Shakespeare in Love at Southmoreland Park.

This is a play within a play, of sorts. The story goes like this—a young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays, Romeo and Juliet. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty. This comedy/drama will not disappoint. (The original movie version of this play didn't win 7 academy awards for nothing!) This is a must-see production directed once again by Sidonie Garrett.

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Matthew Grigoratos Performs in Semi-Finals
in 36th Annual National Shakespeare Competition
in New York City

April 29th may have been a normal Monday for most high school students, but for Matthew Grigoratos, a Junior at Blue Valley High School, it will be a day to remember forever. Matthew, a student of Maureen Davis, placed as a semifinalist at the 36th Annual National Shakespeare Competition.

Matthew competed against 52 students from around the US on stage at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center Theater. The event is the culmination of a year-long competition hosted by the English-Speaking Union (ESU).

To qualify for the National Shakespeare Competition semi-finals, Matthew won the regional ESU Kansas City Branch Shakespeare Competition earlier this year.

Veteran judge and acclaimed actor Dana Ivey commented on the student performances,

"I am always amazed by the delight and focus these students bring to their investigation of the text. They often bring surprises in interpretation that are entertaining and enlightening."

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