News And Events

News And Events

2021 Shakespeare Competition

The next Atlanta ESU Branch Shakespeare Competition will be held on Sunday, February 21, 2021, at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse on Peachtree St.

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2020 National Shakespeare Competition

This year's competition was held as usual at the Shakespeare Playhouse on Peachtree St in downtown Atlanta.  There were 24 students from 14 schools. (We accept up to two students per school.)

Click here to view the gallery with more pictures. 

Click here to download Shakespeare Competition Newsletter

1st Place – Arden Adams of Mount Vernon School, teacher Clark Taylor.
2nd Place – Dayan Todd of Tri-Cities High School, teacher Jade Lambert-Smith.
3rd Place – Anne Marie Alsobrook of Westminster High School, teacher Kate Morgens.

Honorable Mention – Veronica Else of DeKalb School of the Arts, teacher Candace Lambert

This is the year of the COVID pandemic, so the national competition did not take place in NYC.  Instead, the wonderfully resilient staff at ESU HQ quickly arranged for students from 49 ESU Branches to submit video of their performances.  These may be seen on ESU's YouTube channel:  2020 Shakespeare Competition Performances  (The competitor from our Atlanta Branch is student #9.)

From these submissions, the judges picked ten finalists.  On April 27 these ten students live-streamed their performances, and the resulting hour-long program may be seen here:  2020 Shakespeare Competition Finalists. The winner was Ava Blum, student of Jim Mahady, at Georgetown Day School.

Preparations for the 2021 competition are already underway.  The Atlanta Shakespeare Playhouse has penciled us in on their calendar for February 21, 2021. Please put it on your calendars too!

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The Tower of London

The Speaker series is named for Evelyn Wrench, the founder of the English-Speaking Union. Speaker Elizabeth St. John spends her time between California, England, and the past. A best-selling author, historian and genealogist, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Lydiard Park, and Nottingham Castle to Richmond Palace and the Tower of London. Elizabeth will be signing books at the end of the event. To reserve a space, please include payment via check to ESU at address below or go to this link to pay online. 


RSVP: February 4, 2020
Guests Welcome
$35 per person/CashBar
Complimentary Valet Parking
Checks payable to ESU Atlanta Branch
Edna Berkshire - P.O. Box 1684, Cumming GA 30028
678-455-0694

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Atlanta National Shakespeare Competition

 

The Atlanta Branch Shakespeare Competition will take place on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020 at the Shakespeare Theatre at 490 Peachtree Street. Participants and mentors should arrive between noon and 12:30. Program starts at 1 PM sharp.

All interested students and mentors should contact Randy Brannen at brannenga@aol.com.  The field is limited to the first 30 qualifiers.

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Branch Annual Garden Party

Our Branch held its annual Garden Party at the home of the British Consul General, Andrew Staunton and his wife. Beautiful day with many gorgeous hats. The new Branch President, Pace Huff, was the master of ceremonies and gave the right touch to a wonderful afternoon.

The Branch Shakespeare Competition winner, Arden Adams performed the sonnet that she presented at the national competition in Lincoln Center last April.

After the appropriate toasts to The Queen and to the President, the Consul General provided interesting comments on the importance of the ESU and the tie that binds English speaking people.

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Atonement Lecture Recap

Pictured above: Program Chairman Carolyn Mitchell,our speaker Judy Pincus and Chairman of the Board, Wesley Devoto.

When ESU member Judy Pincus presented her lecture on Ian McEwan's  Atonement in February, it was indeed a high water mark for our regional programs.  The audience was transfixed as Ms. Pincus clearly presented themes, drama, characters, plot development and literary comparisons.  Seldom does one hear such a thorough analysis of an author's work, and our group knew it.  We all appreciated Ms. Pincus's excellent presentation and everyone wants to have her back .

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January 28 Brunch at the Ansley Club with Patrick Allit

Nearly 80 members and guests enjoyed a beautiful buffet luncheon on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at the Ansley Golf Club which was followed by an entertaining and interesting talk by Dr. Patrick Allitt.  Dr. Allitt was born, raised, educated in England and received his advanced degrees from U. of California Berkeley and Harvard University.  He is a professor of history at Emory University and the author of several books and a lecturer of seven Great Courses presentations.   Last summer Dr. Allitt went to England and spent several weeks researching interesting places to tour that are often overlooked by tour guides to England.  The material he presented will soon be found in a new Great Course presentation,  so ESU members and guests were treated to a preview of Dr. Allitt's "The Great Tours:  Britain."

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Branch Christmas Party December 16, 2017

Once again the Branch Members gathered at the beautifully decorated home of Elizabeth and Jim Munson for our annual Christmas Party. The last weekend before Christmas guaranteed heavy traffic, but our Members braved the delays and showed up ready to have a good time.  The buffet was nicely catered by the Jerry Dilts group augmented by Elizabeth's rich and tasty desserts.

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Presentation on Barnsley Gardens by Clent Coker at November Member Meeting

After listening to the presentation from Clent Coker (pictured left with Carolyn Mitchell, Program Chairman) on the history of North Georgia's Barnsley Gardens, it became obvious that we knew very little about the history of the property.  Four generations of his family lived near the Gardens granting him the opportunity to accumulate many artifacts and stories of the ups and downs of Barnsley.  It was out of love that Godfrey Barnsley bought some land and built the house for his beloved wife Julia to take advantage of the fresh air in the Georgia Mountains as she suffered from poor health.  Mr. Barnsley was originally from Darbyshire, England and was a respected entrepreneur although he never actually became an American citizen. He did very well in business and was able to acquire 8,000 acres of land that became the house and gardens.

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October Meeting - Private Lives: A Look at the Family and Personal Life of King George V and Queen Mary

Our speaker for this month's meeting (pictured left), Michael McDavid, a retired adjunct professor at the former Georgia Perimeter College, brought us an in depth presentation on one of his favorite royal couples, King George V and Queen Mary.  His talk started with the early lives of both monarchs who are both of German ancestry.  Interestingly, Queen Mary was actually engaged to George's brother Edward who sadly died just weeks after their engagement.  Queen Victoria, who was a match maker extraordinaire, went to work arranging for Mary to marry Prince George.  Fortunately, it worked and their marriage was a successful one. They both had a strong sense of duty.  The couple had five children:  David (who would become the Prince of Wales), a daughter Mary, Albert (known as Bertie), George, Henry and John.

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