News And Events

News And Events

The Chicago Branch Shakespeare Competition 2023

February 11, 2023 at 11:00 AM

Willows Academy Auditorium

Deadline for area schools to register is February 1, 2023

Deadline for area schools to complete their competition and submit their school winner forms is February 4, 2023

Contact Dr. Ann Marie Klein at

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Chicago Area High School Students to Vie for Chance to Compete in the 35th English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center in New York

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ESU Branches to Send 40 Teacher-Scholars to the UK for Summer Study


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With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Ann Urbanski  from Wauwatosa, WI, a student of Wesley Schultz at Brookfield Academy in Wauwatosa, 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. Ann previously won the ESU Chicago 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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Ann Urbanski to Represent Chicago at the ESU National Shakespeare Competition

Feb 22, 2017,

A decidedly Springlike evening for Chicago this time of year,  seven finalists and their families and teachers attended the English-Speaking Union's Shakespeare Competition at the Newberry Library.

Tensions were high as seven talented and poised high school students prepared to perform their winning monologue and sonnet before the finalist judges for the chance to travel to NYC at the National Competition. Shakespeare co-chairs Peter Garino and Jackie Thompson welcomed guests and judges. Courtney Pitt, ESU Branch President and Katie Samples exchanged gratitude for a mutually benefiting program in beautiful Ruggles Hall. Special speakers Tim Kazurinsky and Dep Consul General to Great Britain, Martin hHalley,  added star power and global comradery for Shakespeare's timeless works.

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ESU Shakespeare Finals Round

Come cheer our Branch Finalists in their quest for the chance to represent Chicago at the National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center in NYC!

Edmund, Helena, Hal, Othello, Hermia, Friar Laurence and Richard III – Shakespeare's characters come to life on

Wednesday, February 22nd  at The Newberry Library, Ruggles Hall  

6pm(sharp) Performances 7:15pm Awards and Reception

Finalists L-R Morgan Taylor (York High School), Aidra Crawley (Wheeling High School), Kateri Halbleib (ChiArts), Ben Johnson (Huntley High School), Alexander Kuznetsov (Hinsdale Central), Ann Urbanski (Brookfield Academy) and Claire David (New Trier).

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Cecil Beaton at Home

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Polo & Pimms

Event Recap Photo

         Heather Jane Johston, Reute Butler and Kimberly Gleeson

August 21, 2016
A fantastic afternoon for polo and & Pimm's Cup was spent at the Oak Brook Polo Fields. Co-Chaired by Heather Jane Johnston and Kimberly Gleeson and Honoring, Reute Butler.

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Free Shakespeare Workshop with Chicago Shakespeare Project

Shakespeare Alive! A Workshop for Teens

Open only to high school students; free, registration required
Saturday, October 22, 2016
11 am to 2 pm
The Newberry Library
Ruggles Hall

Attention high school students! Come for an exciting, immersive three-hour workshop, and learn how to make Shakespeare come alive in your performances. Facilitated by actors from The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, you will learn tools and techniques for unlocking emotion and meaning in Shakespeare's texts.

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