News And Events

English Speaking Union’s Return to State College Welcomed at Foxdale Village

Hosted by Clovis and Marilyn Morrison, program directors at Foxdale Village, the English Speaking Union (ESU) Central Pennsylvania Branch returned from the Harrisburg area to State College, where it was founded in 1987.

An audience of 110 Foxdale residents and community members gathered for an evening of entertainment at 7:00 pm on Tuesday March 8, 2016. Karen Blair-Brand, Region III Chair, opened the event with a brief explanation of the English Speaking Union's programs. She announced the success of Branch's 26th annual Shakespeare competition, and detailed the upcoming bus trip to Shippensburg on April 7th for the ESU's Wrench Speaker event. Karen recognized the more than a dozen ESU Region III Founding members who were present for the occasion, and announced that plans for a "Founders' Hall of Fame" were being formed to honor them.


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Central PA ESU 25th regional Shakespeare competition

Event Recap Photo

Third Place: Clara Hanahan – State College Area High School – Jill Campbell, Coach First Place: Patrick Moran – Pottsville High School – Maria Malek, Coach Second Place: Jeremy Duarte – Harrisburg Academy – Peter B. Frengel, Coach

The winter wind may have been fierce on Saturday 13 February 2016, but the camaraderie was warm inside Pierce Auditorium on the Lock Haven University campus. The occasion was the Central PA Region of the English speaking Union's 25th Regional Shakespeare competition. Seven competitors, winners of their high school competitions, each presented their choice sonnet and 20 line monologue from the Shakespeare Canon.

The presentations by Christina Johns, Hannah Nori, Patrick Moran, Jeremy Duarte, Gilliian Letson, Clara Hanahan, and Mayce Van, were evaluated by Elizabeth Gruber, Ramona Broomer, and MG Gainor, LHU English and Dramatics faculty. The judges awarded first place to Patrick Moran (Pottsville Area HS), second place to Clara Hanahan (State College Area HS) and third place to Jeremy Duarte (Harrisburg Academy). The winner, Patrick Moran, receives an all expense trip to New York City to compete with approx. 60 other students at the National Shakespeare Competition to be held May 1-3, 2016.


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Free Henry V Performance for Teachers and Students

Yet another opportunity!
Let's Get Together and Gear up for Shakespeare


(the ESU National Shakespeare Competition that is!)

Why?  To gather, face to face, share a performance with each other and students for teachers AND students.

Free Shakespeare? 

Performance of "Henry V"

Who:   Touring company of the American Shakespeare Center  Staunton, Virginia

When:  Tuesday, November 3, 2015 – 7 PM
Preshow music begins at 6:30

Where:  The State Theatre
130 West College Avenue
State College, PA

Why Not?  It's Shakespeare AND it's FREE for teachers AND students

Need more info?  My email is and my phone is (814) 231-4114

Jill Campbell State College Area High School



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Brunel: The Man Who Changed the World

Robert Hulse, MA, is Director of London's Brunel Museum, housed in Brunel's original Thames Tunnel engine house and winner of The Queen's Award in 2010. In this lecture, Robert Hulse will examine Brunel as not only as visionary engineer, but also as showman and world changer. For more information on the lecture, please click here. 

The lecture will be held at Shippensburg University at the Old Main Chapel on Thursday, April 9th at 7 pm with light refreshments before the talk.  For more details please email Karen Blair at


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Central PA Branch Shakespeare Competition - UPDATE

Due to the popularity of the Shakespeare Competition in Central PA, we'll hold area competitions that precede our Branch competition.  These smaller events will make room for more high school students to compete, offer closer locations for you - and will allow our Branch to recognize more students. 

Area Competitions

Harrisburg Carlisle Area Competition
Monday, February 16th (President's Day)
Carlisle High School
623 W. Penn St. Carlisle, PA 17013

State College Area Competition
Monday, February 16th (President's Day)
State College Borough Building 
243 South Allen Street, State College, PA 16801

Pittsburgh Competition
Saturday, February 21st
 PSU New Kensington Campus
3550 Seventh Street Road, New Kensington, PA 15068-1765

All competitions will begin at 11 AM
Refreshments will be offered at the conclusion of these events

Overall Competition

Central PA Branch Competition for the winners of the above events
Friday, February 27, noon
Lock Haven University
401 N Fairview St, Lock Haven, PA 17745
This event will begin with a luncheon, free for participants, advisors, and families.

  • For more information, download the Central PA Shakespeare Competition information letter: Click Here
  • To register, please fill out the online form: Click Here
  • or download and mail in the paper form: Click Here

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The English-Speaking Union

Central Pennsylvania 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.