News And Events

Veterans Day and War Writing

The ESU Veterans Day Program offered nostalgia, history, poetry analysis, and...sentence diagramming. It was a feat to fit these varied elements into 60 minutes of excellence; yet, this feat was flawlessly accomplished by Matthew Forsythe, Assistant Professor at Rollins College and recipient of the Walter E. Barden Distinguished Teacher Award. 

Matthew Forsythe

Forsythe opened and closed his lecture with a cherished photograph, a momento which displayed his own daughter surrounded by her Veteran grandfathers. After reeling in the audience with the sheer sentimentality of the scene, Forsythe went about carefully connecting the dots between a time when poetry and war writing idealized battles to the period of time when it served the purpose of enlightening readers and expanding our "collective memories." He offered that especially in matters of conflict, "the challenge of the artist is to close the gap" between the unblemished civilian and the demolished soldier who knows too much. He presented the truth that in war our soldiers live through the realities of a "private life that belongs to the public." 


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The Fall ESU Dinner

Combine ESU members with delicious appetizers, libations, and food courses; then provide the scene with an accompaniment of showtunes, and the product is guaranteed to be an evening full of delights. 

From Left: Elaine Laegeler, Ginger Bryant, Shirley Daiger, Carole Hinshaw, Elenita Brodie

From Left: Barbara Hughes and Brett Carrier


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Come Join Us for the October Program!

Click Here to Download Program Flyer


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2019 Central Florida ESU Opening Branch Meeting

Professor Maurice O'Sullivan

On September 16th, the ESU Central Florida branch held its opening meeting of the 2019-20 year. Professor Maurice O'Sullivan, Kenneth Curry Professor of English at Rollins College, proved that the fascination with Frankenstein is "still alive" as his lecture held a packed audience of ESU members, collegiate students, and academic teachers entranced. From his commentary on the rebellious nature of young Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, to her divine creation of Frankenstein, and its current evolution into a trope used primarily to delegitimize science, Frankenfears were uncovered.

By the end of the program, Shelley's profound impact on matters farther reaching than literature was realized, and there was even time for a special guest appearance!


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ESU & the Community: A Summer Steeped in Shakespeare


On the weekend of June 28, the Orlando Shakes staged Henry V, the third play of seven in its Fire and Reign history series being presented over three seasons. The play was performed by the troupe of this year's Young Company, 21 high schoolers in the annual summer camp supported by a grant from the Central Florida Branch of the English-Speaking Union. After only four weeks of learning and rehearsing, the 14-18 year-olds performed the first history play staged by a Young Company under Director Monica Long Tamborello. Aware that modern teens might not relate to a 15th century war between England and France, Director Tamborello gambled that this coming of age tale about a young king leaving his wilder days behind to embrace his destiny as ruler of a nation would indeed appeal to young actors. The enthusiasm and excellence they brought to the stage confirmed her theory!

Students in the Orlando Shakes summer camp, Shakespeare With Heart, presented A Comedy of Errors on July 19th. An ESU grant provides scholarships for disabled and non-disabled students to explore Shakespeare's world, acting together in a public performance at camp's end.


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The English-Speaking Union

Central Florida Branch

Central Florida 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.