ESU Los Angeles Branch

A Welcome from the Los Angeles Branch President

Dear Friends:

Everyone knows that Los Angeles is the entertainment capitol of the world. It is also a city where more people listen to the news in Spanish than English on the radio, and 87 distinct languages are spoken within the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Given the dynamic multi-cultural and multi-ethnic fabric of metropolitan Los Angeles, (which spreads geographically across nearly 3,400 square miles), the Los Angeles branch of the English Speaking Union faces both challenges and opportunities in extending its mission and outreach across LA's cultural, linguistic and geographic landscapes. To date, the LA Branch has had a great record of achievement:

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News And Events


With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Judy Durkin from Santa Monica, CA, a student of Chon Lee at Santa Monica High School in Santa Monica, won a place as one of the 10 finalists 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 with 54 semi-finalists from as many ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Judy previously won the ESU Los Angeles 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.

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Shakespeare at the Huntington: “All the World’s A Stage – Shakespeare, Awareness and Performance”

Now entering its twelfth summer, Shakespeare at the Huntington is a two-week institute designed primarily for secondary teachers of English and Drama. The Institute focuses on teaching Shakespeare through performance. The course features an international faculty and takes advantage of one of the world's great libraries and research centers. Topics covered includes: scene study, verse and text work, voice, movement, classroom pedagogy, theatre history and criticism. Outside reading and a final evaluation are also required. Participants in the course will become members of a collaborative ensemble designing and developing English/Drama lessons and document based writing tasks that integrate literacy and drama content standards. Strategies to make the content accessible for all learners and to engage students will be addressed as outline in the accompanying material. Use of the collections at the Huntington Library, Getty and Norton Simon museums will be incorporated, as will attendance at live productions of Shakespeare's plays. 


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B. Franklin Teaches Through Entertainment

On Nov. 22nd at 3pm, the ESU LA Branch is hosting Robert Lesko's critically acclaimed one-man show B. Franklin, directed by Björn Johnson, to New Road School's Moss Theatre.

Education, Scholarship and Understanding are cornerstones to the ESU, indeed, B. Franklin gives teachers and students the opportunity to learn and grow from one of America's favorite, founding fathers.

Visit this link for ticket info. Teachers, students and ESU Members are given a 50% discount!


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Evelyn Wrench Speaker

Sunday, April 19 at 2:00 pm

77 W. Walnut Street, Pasadena 91103
Free parking until 4:00 pm

Up Close & Personal!

In his talk, Up Close and Personal…with a Member of the British Parliament, Mr. Nicholas Bennett shares inside observations of US and British political and governmental systems…how they operate as well as innovations in Britain adopted from US practices.

 A former Member of Parliament, Nicholas Bennett will share entertaining anecdotes of interesting differences and similarities between the US Congress and the British Parliament.  Mr. Bennett travels regularly to the US and has been an in-demand speaker on  several Wrench tours. 


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Shakespeare Competition at NYFA

On Sunday, March 9, the LA campus of the New York Film Academy played host to the LA Branch of the English Speaking Union, for its 28th annual high school Shakespeare competition. Six finalists competed before a panel of distinguished film and theatre professionals  in the Academy's Riverside theatre before a cheering audience of family, friends, teachers and patrons, for a chance to perform at the ESU National finals at New York's Lincoln Center in April.


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The English-Speaking Union

Los Angeles Branch

Los Angeles 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.