News And Events

News And Events

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. 

Read Full Story

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. 

Read Full Story

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.

Read Full Story

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.

Read Full Story

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.

Read Full Story

Added Membership Value for First-Time Members!

Even though our current membership year will end in three months, there is an opportunity in this fourth quarter for new members to take advantage of bonus months during their first year of membership. 

If a new member enrolls during the fourth quarter of the membership year, that is, during April, May or June, their membership will carry over into the new membership year.  That means the new member gets one, two or three extra months in their first-year membership depending on which month in the fourth quarter they enrolled.

Read Full Story

Acclaimed British Author, Diana Preston, Reveals a Chilling Story About WWI in New Book

Diana Preston, a noted British historian, writer and broadcaster, presented a lecture at the National World War I Museum, at Liberty Memorial, in Kansas City, Mo. on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.  Click here to see photos from lecture.

The lecture was hosted by the National World War I Museum and co-sponsored by the English-Speaking Union Kansas City Branch. Approximately 90 people attended the lecture. The lecture was taped by CSPAN and National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" for future broadcast.

Mrs. Preston presented another lecture program at the ESU Headquarters offices in New York City just the day before their visit to Kansas City. That lecture was on another of her books, "Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy."

Her lecture program in Kansas City dealt with her just-published book, A Higher Form of Killing, in which Preston describes three pivotal events that occurred in the spring and early summer of 1915, during the first year of the First World War that forever altered the way war would be fought.

Read Full Story

Pageantry on the Prairie: From England to Prairie Village, KS

Organ Dedication Concert

In March, 2015, the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Prairie Village, KS., acquired, through a generous donation, a state-of-the-art Rodgers 588 organ—a high tech instrument unique to the Kansas City area.  

On Sunday, May 17, 2015, the Church will officially introduce this remarkable Rodgers organ with an Organ Dedication Concert featuring eleven top area artists.

The free concert is open to the public and everyone is invited to hear this organ's superb sounds, rich in color and realism found nowhere else. ESU members and guests are invited to be part of the unveiling of this impressive musical instrument.

Read Full Story

Midwest Tea Fest

Attention all ESU Tea Lovers

The Midwest Tea Fest is holding its first annual celebration of tea and tea culture featuring tea tasting, education and vendors on June 6, 2015. 

All ESU Members and Friends of ESU are invited to attend this one-day Festival celebrating everything that tea culture has to offer. 

On display will be KC's & some of the Midwest's finest tea vendors, free tea tastings, a series of presentations, talks and Q&A sessions with tea experts, and the opportunity to browse top quality tea selections curated from around the world. Craft and accessory vendors will offer tea sets, cozies, and gifts.

Read Full Story

Taking Tea with Shakespeare and Friends

Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 1:30 pm
Great Tea & Delectable Treats with Entertainment by The Barn Players

The English-Speaking Union
Cordially Invites you and your Guests
to an Afternoon of
Taking Tea with Shakespeare and Friends 

There is nothing so quintessentially British as taking afternoon tea
while enjoying the literature of Shakespeare.
Tea and a vast array of delectable tea sandwiches, scones and sweets will be served by the Magna Carta & Royal Arms Chapters of the Daughters of the British Empire.
During the tea, the Barn Players will present a musical performance of Shakespeare's sonnets.

Read Full Story