News And Events

News And Events

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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2019 Scholars Introduced at The Scholars Reunion

From left: Janine Papin, Tara Whitman,  Jennifer Bennett, Jennifer Gautier and Sarah Porter enjoy food, drinks and conversation. 

The Central Florida Branch held its third annual Scholars Reunion at Marlowe's Tavern in Winter Park, March 27th from 5:00 to 7:00. Former scholars met the "newbies" and lots of conversation ensued with tips to guide the folks going to Oxford, the Globe and Edinburgh's new Theater and Performance program. Drinks, chicken quesadillas, kettle chips and cookies made a festive gathering for around 25 board members and teacher/scholars. This event brings friends together and supports the relationships formed while studying in the U.K. We now look forward to the next of our reunions which is scheduled for October.

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2019 ESU Shakespeare Competition Results

On February 25, seventeen students from the tri-county area arrived at The University Club to participate in The English-Speaking Union's annual Shakespeare competition. Vying for the opportunity to win $1,000.00 for First Place, along with an additional prize to cover the cost of travel and the chance to perform in New York City, this year's contenders made for difficult judging decisions. On the panel of judges this year were Anne Hering: Director of Education at The Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Dr. Maurice "Socky" O'Sullivan: Professor at Rollins College, and Brandon Yagel: Education Coordinator at The Orlando Shakespeare Theater.

Left to right: Second Place: Christopher Echevarria, First Place: Marcela Griebler, and Third Place: Joshua Lefkowitz

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Dr. Sandra Spanier, Professor of American literature at Penn. State University

Central Florida Branch had Dr. Sandra Spanier of Penn. State University to speak on The Hemingway Letters to a large crowd of members and guests at the Winter Park University Club. Professor Spanier has been named the editor of Ernest Hemingway's private correspondences, letters that he never expected to have published. Her talk explaining the adventure of gathering and editing thousands of personal letters to famous people of the 20th century, even Hemingway's notes passed in high school, was simply fascinating. The end result of travels from Idaho to Cuba will be 17 volumes that reveal the real-time life of one of America's most famous authors.

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Central Florida Branch Names Six TLAB Scholars

From left; Paul Dedge, Tara Whitman,J.Marie Bailey, Reta Jackson (Scholar Chair), Jeffery Cook, Jennifer Bennett, and Rick Rodriquez  

Former scholars: Joe Cummiskey and Greg Wedel at the Reception

Donna Miller, Vice President for the Drey Endowment,  and Julie Rankin, Board Director attending Scholars Reception. 

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2018 Drey Scholars Honored at Fall Dinner

From left to right are: Jennifer  Gautier,  Amanda Dickson,  Elaine Wiedemer,  Barbara Ihns,  and Joseph Cummiskey. 

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Central Florida Jazz Society at Fall Dinner Program

Click here to download the reservation form. 

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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.