News And Events

News And Events

The Midwest Tea Festival & The English-Speaking Union Announce the Kansas City Tea & Literature Club

The Midwest Tea Festival and The English-Speaking Union are co-hosting a quarterly book club called the Kansas City Tea & Literature Club. The goal of the Club is to educate tea connoisseurs in learning about and developing an appreciation for world-class teas. Members of the Club will learn about tea varieties, tea etiquette and tea culture from around the world. "Just because the tea festival is only once a year doesn't mean we stop learning about tea," said Nicole Burriss, founder of the festival. "This club will give an opportunity to tea enthusiasts to broaden their tea education."

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ESU Chairman, Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill Appointed CBE by Queen Elizabeth II

ESU Chairman Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill has been appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This honorary appointment is given in recognition of Dr. Beresford-Hill's work on behalf of British American Educational and Cultural Exchange and for his professional contributions, over many decades, to international education.

Dr. Paul became Chairman of the English-Speaking Union of the United States in September of 2015, as well as Vice Chairman of the global English-Speaking Union International Council. In April of that year he accepted the English-Speaking Union Founder's Award for his role in creating the ESU National Shakespeare Competition in 1983.

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KC Branch Launches "Gift of Membership" for the Holidays

The Perfect Holiday Gift for Friends:
A Membership in the ESU

Dear ESU Kansas City Members

The holidays will soon be here and if you're looking for a unique gift for that special person who…

  • Loves reading or listening to Shakespeare's works, or 
  • Enjoys stimulating educational lectures by locally and internationally prominent guest speakers on a wide variety of topics, or 
  • Likes to attend plays, concerts and other performing arts programs, or 
  • Enjoys social gatherings such as celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's birthday, or 
  • Enjoys participating in volunteer experiences that make a difference in the lives of students and teachers, or 
  • Appreciates the importance of promoting the English language…

Then, what could be a better gift than a special introductory Gift of Membership in our own ESU Kansas City Branch?

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30th Annual British Faire                  Join Us for a Day in the U.K.

All ESU members and guests are invited to the 30th Annual British Faire. This year the Faire is at a new location—Shawnee Civic Center.  It is sponsored by the Daughters of the British Empire in Kansas.  This annual fundraising event benefits retirement communities and local charities.  

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Lecture Program: Dr. Felicia Londré The Questionable Identity of Shakespeare

Dr. Felicia Hardison Londré, B.A., M.A., Ph.D, presents her annual lecture program at UMKC campus on the Shakespeare authorship question.

The free lecture includes a slide presentation surveying the evidence relating to the authorship of the plays and sonnets of the author known as William Shake-speare. Was it William Shaksper of Stratford-upon-Avon or was it Edward De Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford?

When: Monday, November 9, 2015
Time: 3:30 to 4:45 pm
Where: Royall Hall, Room 111 (Stack Auditorium) on UMKC Campus, 800 E. 52nd St., KC. Mo.
Admission: Free, RSVP not necessary

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Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill Named New Chairman of The English-Speaking Union of the United States

Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill MBE was elected Chairman of The English-Speaking Union of the United States unanimously at a meeting of its Board of Directors on September 27, 2015.  His two-year term of office began immediately.  Dr. Beresford-Hill was selected to lead the English-Speaking Union of the United States for his global experience as a scholar, educator, administrator and author.

Paul Beresford-Hill is a distinguished educator who has worked at the secondary and tertiary educational systems of the US and the UK.  A graduate of both Oxford University and Columbia, he has been a Research Associate at the Oxford Department of Educational Studies, Senior Member of Wadham College, Oxford, and an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University Teacher's College.  He has worked in the USA, the UK and Asia, and was Chief Administrator for Global Learning at Dowling College in Long Island.  From 1999 to 2004 he was Director of Bangkok Patana School, the British International School in Thailand, one of the largest international schools in Asia. 

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Tea For Two: ESU Celebrates a Queen and a Princess

The ESU Kansas City Branch celebrated two Royal events on September 19, 2015—HRH Queen Elizabeth II's 89th birthday and also the newest member of the royal family—Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. The occasion was our annual Queen's Tea with this year's theme: "Tea for Two: ESU Celebrates a Queen and a Princess."

Our Queen's Teas are one of our biggest events of the year and this was the fourth year in a row that our Queen's Tea has sold out. Our "Tea for Two" celebration was held at Anna Marie's Teas in Liberty, Mo.  The afternoon tea included a variety of tea sandwiches, sweets, Brenda's signature scones, Mock Devonshire cream, fine fruit butter or fruit jams and premium tea. 

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ESU Celebrates 150 Years of Lewis       Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland         Don’t Be Late for a Very Important                              Date


After considerable thought, we decided it was best to postpone our special celebration of An Evening with Alice in Wonderland due to the understandably high interest in the Royals and their second year in a row in the World Series. Our Alice in Wonderland fundraiser was scheduled the same evening as the third game of the World Series. What an exciting time for the Royals and Kansas City! Of course, we will refund the full ticket price for those who purchased tickets for our Alice in Wonderland event. We are sorry for the inconvenience but please keep watching for other exciting ESU events coming in the near future.

Lewis Carroll's immortal classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was published in the summer of 1865 and remains a widely beloved presence in today's world. It is one of the most frequently quoted works of fiction in the English-speaking world, standing alongside only Shakespeare in frequency of citation. 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Alice's journey down the rabbit hole.

The English-Speaking Union, Kansas City Branch, cordially invites all members and friends to a special celebration honoring Alice and Lewis Carroll. An Evening with Alice in Wonderland is a special fundraising event to help support ESU Kansas City's educational programs.

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ESU Group Night: Shakespeare’s Classic Tragedy King Lear--A Night to Remember

The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival celebrated their 23rd summer season with a wonderful production of King Lear.The last time it was performed in Southmoreland Park by the Festival was 15 years ago. The production this year had an all-star cast including John Rensenhouse in the title role of King Lear. It was directed by Sidonie Garrett who did a remarkable job of bringing a huge cast together in one spectacular production.

This Shakespeare tragedy is widely regarded as one of his finest artistic achievements. King Lear continues to be one of the most memorable characters in the history of literature because of his characteristics as a tragic character and the play's probing observations on the nature of human suffering and kinship.

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Nine ESU Branches Gather For Annual Region VI Conference

ESU's Region VI branches joined forces for the annual Regional Meeting on May 29-30, 2015. Twenty-one branch members represented all nine Region VI branches for the conference in the historic river town of Madison, Indiana. Barbara Kiffmeyer, Region VI Chair, organized a Friday evening and full-day Saturday of events. Click here for a list of attendees

On Friday evening, Barbara arranged for ESU Regional members and guests to attend a fundraising event at the historic Shrewsbury-Windle House (left) for the renovation of the interior of the 1848 Greek Revival-style home. The home is a National U.S. Historic Landmark and on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Captain Charles L. Shrewsbury was the Mayor of Madison, a riverboat captain, flour manufacturer and port merchant. It was a wonderful opportunity for all branch representatives to gather and renew friendships, some meeting for the first time.

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