ESU Syracuse Branch

A Message from the Syracuse Branch President

Established in 1948, The Syracuse Branch of the English-Speaking Union is a very active group. Our programs reflect our members who are spirited, thoughtful and concerned about intercultural and international communications. They share a genuine interest in people and community affairs. The Syracuse Branch meets the second Saturday of each month - September through May - at a private club.

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News And Events

CBA’s Olivia Moffa Will Celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday in Style!

At Saturday's ESU-Syracuse Branch's thirtieth Shakespeare Competition at Syracuse Stage's Archbold Theatre, winner Olivia Moffa, from Christian Brothers Academy, presented Shakespeare's Sonnet 19 and a monologue by Miranda from The Tempest.  Her talent won her a trip to NYC's Lincoln Center, April 23 (Shakespeare's birthday), to participate in the National English-Speaking Union's competition with nearly sixty other nationwide winners for a summer acting experience in London.


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With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Madeleine VanRiper  from Skaneateles, NY, a student of Aisha McConochy at Skaneateles High School in Skaneateles, placed as a semi-finalist 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 at Lincoln Center with 54 semi-finalists from as many ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Madeleine previously won the ESU Syracuse 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 Students Soar with SU Professor

The walls of Syracuse Stage resounded with Shakespeare as Syracuse University Drama professor Thom Miller inspired twenty-three high school students in a workshop and a warm-up on 3/7/2017 and 3/11/2017.  At the end of Saturday's 29th Competition held by the Syracuse Branch of the English-Speaking Union, several winners emerged.  Madeleine Van Riper from Skaneateles won first place as Helena from A Midsummer Night's Dream; Lydia Kelly of Manlius Pebble Hill School took second place as Julius Caesar's Portia; and Liverpool High School's Catie Kobland captured the third spot as Viola from Twelfth Night.  Honorable mention prizes were awarded to Emilie Pitts of Red Creek, Sofia Law of Jamesville-DeWitt, and Meghan McDowell of Fayetteville-Manlius.  All twenty-three students presented both a monologue and a Shakespearean sonnet.  Matthew Chiorini, David Lowenstein, and Joan Hart Willard judged.  The local event is made possible by the generous support of The Allyn Foundation and The Richard Mather Fund and by the members of ESU's Syracuse Branch.

Congratulations to our winners!

L to R: 
Meghan McDowell. Lydia Kelly, Catie Kobland, Emilie Pitts, Sofia Law, Madeleine VanRiper.


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The Mayflower Sailed from London

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Robert Hulse, Director
London's Brunel Museum
Evelyn Wrench Speaker 

Last year's Wrench Speaker returns for a special visit to explain how the legendary ship actually began its perilous voyage to an unknown land at  Rotherhithe, just down the Thames from his Museum, and finds parallels to Shakespeare's great fantasy, The Tempest. 


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Sydney Jones Wins With Shakespeare


On March 5, Sydney Jones of Altmar-Parish-Williamstown High School and eighteen other high school students joined the English-Speaking Union's worldwide celebration of Shakespeare's 400-year legacy.  At ESU-Syracuse Branch's twenty-eighth Shakespeare Competition at Syracuse Stage's Archbold Theatre, winner Sydney Jones presented Shakespeare's Sonnet 57 and a monologue by Isabella from Measure for Measure

Catie Kobland of Liverpool High School won second place and Daniel Kelly of Christian Brothers Academy, third.  Honorable mention was awarded to Elijah Harper from Cazenovia; Lydia Kelly, of Manlius Pebble Hill; and Connor Coleman, of Union Springs.


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The English-Speaking Union

Syracuse Branch

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.