ESU Cleveland Branch Photo Gallery

Seeing the new Cleveland

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Other Photo Albums

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SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE - ROLLICKING FUN!

In September, ESU attended "Shakespeare In Love" produced by The Cleveland Playhouse. The stage show followed the script of the movie of the same name. It was a fabulous show and we met some actors.  English Teacher Rebecca Papaconstantinou took advantage of a cutout to mimic the humor of the show.  

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Rodeo: Getting Out of Our Comfort Zone!

Walking around the Buckin' Ohio ranch in September and meeting real cowboys and cowgirls gave an exciting new perspective to anyone comfortable with urban living. The working ranch was as around-the-clock as the city, open to clear science and rollicking good times, energetic kids and beautiful young adults, animals who are loved and crops that are appreciated, rolling acres and big sky.  An afternoon of real life helps one feel emotions and appreciate literature and language. 

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AWE-SUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM!

Shakespeare's romp through the gardens played out at The Cleveland Garden Center, where young Shakespeareans built enthusiasm for the 2018 Shakespeare Competition. 

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EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL YEAR REVIEWED AT ANNUAL MEETING
At the Westwood Country Club, ESU officers extolled the accomplishments of our high motivated membership. The details are on the Home Page of this website. One of our winners from the Shakespeare Competition presented his monologue. Currently he is interning with the Great Lakes Theater. 
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PUTTING LIFE INTO SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS!

Professional actors from Great Lakes Theater visit many schools a year, teaching Shakespeare to about 15,000 students. Some visits are sponsored by ESU, like this one to Westlake High School. Students love it! 

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OH YES, MUCH ADO!

The Shakespeare Club at Westlake High School self-directed (very Shakespearean) their play Much Ado About Nothing. Between scenes two characters, Tragedy and Comedy, came out to coach the audience on what to expect in the upcoming scene.  Oh woe, this is Tragedy (who was very funny.) 

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PROFESSIONAL DAY FOR STUDENTS

Professional Shakespearean actors from Great Lakes Theater ran a workshop for student actors at Westlake High School. 

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SHAKESPEARE COMPETITION WAS AN ENTHUSIASTIC SUCCESS!

In February, the best students from 25 high schools competed for the opportunity to go to New York City for the National Finals. Competitors in classrooms and on the main stage at Westlake High School poured out their souls to 17 judges during the day. Emily Schordock of Westlake High was the winner. Her sponsor, Westlake's English teacher Ann Hasenohrl, has been trained at Shakespeare's Globe Theater in London. We're wishing Emily the very best in New York on May 2. And a big Thank You to all ESU members and friends who made this Competition possible!!! 

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BEEFEATERS’ BALL A GRAND SUCCESS!

Over one hundred glamorous guests came to the Shaker Heights Country Club to help support ESU's Shakespeare Competition.  They were entertained by a classic string quartet as well as a video anticipating the 2017 Competition. Several posters and handouts supplemented the Shakespearean atmosphere.  Recognition of outstanding service was given to Phyllis Donnelly-Ingold and John Ingold. After dinner, high school students performed monologs from the 2016 Competition. A dance band rounded out the evening, leaving everyone in good spirits. A huge thank you to event chairs Virginia McCormac and Liz O'Neill and their committee!  

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FALL FUN - THE CLEVELAND CLAMBAKE!

Why is Cleveland a clambake capital? Maybe it's our New England heritage, or because it's just plain fun with friends! Stone Mad Pub provided delicious chowder and the whole traditional meal. Boisterous fun plus the Indians were sweeping through the Play-Offs. 

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FUN WITH WORDS in ‘MY FAIR LADY”

In September, it was a thrilling opening night at the Hanna Theater. Henry Higgins humorously bemoaned so many wretched pronunciations of the King's English. His student, Eliza,  learned elocution so well that she eventually impressed the Queen. Throughout the show, the colors of Eliza's clothing changed with her mood from drab, to fiery red, pure white, and finally a peaceful green. And as she was learning, it became clear that she was the one teaching. Ah, the marvels of the theater. It communicates in so many ways! 

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SATURDAY NIGHT RODEO!

Our ESU posse mixed with cowboys, cowgirls, farm kids, rodeo clowns  and country singers at the Buckin' Ohio Rodeo. It felt good to breathe country air on the ranch and gave us a hint of country celebrations going way back into history. 

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ANNUAL MEETING: SUCCESS AFTER SUCCESS!

Members showed team spirit to deliver win after win, collaborating with affinity groups.  When Shakespeare's First Folio was displayed in Cleveland, it triggered a series of celebratory seminars, displays, plays, concerts and more! The Shakespeare Competition, held in a new venue, was outstanding and was supported by the magnificent Beefeaters' Ball at the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club. Monthly member meetings ranged from an auspicious wine and cheese event downtown to international speakers, including our own BUSS scholar. 

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May: Page Scholar opens minds

Lisa Neail, a high school technology teacher from England, explained how today's students are using 3D printing and computer-control industrial tools to prepare for good jobs. She visited several schools in NE Ohio, including the Mayfield Innovation Center, where students used 3D printing to make a working prosthetic hand for a youngster and it was featured in a tech exhibit for President Obama. Lisa is traveling to ESU Branches around the US as the recipient of the Walter Hines Page Scholarship for British teachers, sponsored by the ESU of the Commonwealth. The Mayfield Innovation Center offers 18 technical career programs to students from nine school districts. 

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Shakespeare seminars drew a crowd
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FEBRUARY: THE COMPETITION

The Cleveland Shakespeare Competition is the second largest in the country, following New York City. Students came from 30 high schools, where some participated in Shakespeare Clubs. During the day, 17 judges rated the competitors. The finalist, Grace Neiswander from Laurel School, became a Semi-Finalist at the National Competition in New York. This year Cleveland's Competition upgraded from the historic Playhouse Square theaters to the large media complex at Cuyahoga Community College. 

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THINKING SPRING DESPITE SNOW OUTSIDE

The January gathering at the Irish Stone Mad Pub lifted our spirits and renewed our resolve to succeed with our Year of Spectacular Shakespeare! 

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BEEFEATERS’ BALL SETS RECORD IN FUN AND FUNDRAISING

It was a gala December night at the prestigious Chagrin Valley Hunt Club! The extravagant holiday atmosphere began outdoors (without a blizzard this year) and continued indoors with an excellent piper and marvelous table settings!  Our Master of Ceremonies was the popular Michael Heaton, aka the Minister of Culture for The Plain Dealer. He told us about the just-released movie, "Macbeth". Earlier in 2015, Michael had been a Finalist Judge at our Shakespeare Competition. To support the 2016 Competition, we raised nearly $8,000 through pledges and a 50/50 raffle. The evening included dinner, dancing, photo ops with Shakespeare placards, plus slide shows about the Competition and highlights of our past year. Cheers to everyone who organized and supported the Beefeaters' Ball! 

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QUIRE’S CLASSICAL CONCERT

There was a wealth of fine art during Shakespeare's lifetime, the Elizabethan Era. In November, ESU members sampled the musical art presented by Quire's free concert. ESU plans to offer opportunities to engage with local organizations that share our interest in Shakespeare and his times. We call them Friends of ESU. If you have suggestions, please speak up. 

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SHAKESPEARE’S KING LEAR OFFERS ADVICE

ESU met King Lear and his family at the Hanna Theatre in October. We were treated like royalty, enjoying refreshments and drinks in our reserved seating section. On stage, the King retold an old folktale, using Shakespeare's way with words. His lesson: when you're the king and rich and benevolent, everyone loves you. When you're old and poor, you'll find out who your friends really are. But don't wait that long. Applause! Applause! 

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ASK THE SOMMELIER

The gorgeously refurbished Cleveland Trust building just opened as the new downtown Heinen's grocery. ESU enjoyed wine selections in the balcony with assistance of the sommelier. She told us about several select wines and how they pair with various snacks and meals. Very entertaining and educational. "Cheers! Any port in a storm. Or any other wine for that matter." 

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AUGUST ’15: SUMMER SOCIAL ON THE BACK PORCH

On the back porch of The Harp Irish Pub, our large group of chatty members and friends gathered on a beautiful summer afternoon. So many summer stories to catch up on. And we brainstormed a bit, anticipating the coming Shakespeare Competition. Someone suggested that going online to discover what character  your personality matches in Shakespeare's plays.  Revealing.  Fun to try. The change a few traits. And what traits do you seek in your romantic love interest in the plays? Search for:  What Shakespeare Character Are You? 

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JUNE’15: ANNUAL MEETING, WESTWOOD COUNTRY CLUB

Jerry Grdina, President for seven years, turned the gavel over to John Rampe, the incoming President. Jerry was justifiably proud that the Cleveland Branch has remained one of the strongest branches in the country. A slide show of highlights over the past year ran during the social hour. 

New officers, board members and top committee chairs were introduced. All have substantial experience and high expectations. Also the ESU group included our five esteemed BUSS scholars, Ann Hasenohrl, Cassie Neumann, Lucille Van Alstine, Teresa Jenkins Fowler and Rebecca Papakonstantinou. Sabrina Downey, Laurel School, was the runner-up in our Shakespeare Competition and performed her program from the Competition. In the Fall, she'll attend Trinity College in Ireland. 

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MAY ’15: ON STAGE AT THE GLOBE THEATRE

Cassie Neumann was awarded ESU's scholarship to the British Universities Summer Session to study Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre in London.  Cassie took us there through her slides, showing us stage portions called "heaven" and "hell", told how she observed plays as a "groundling" and then was elevated to an on-stage role in "Julius Caesar". She demonstrated body language used to train actors to understand the roles of four keys types of characters: royalty, courtesans, knights, and peasants. Cassie, an actress and the drama teacher at Brunswick High School, was so inspired that she came home and recreated the Globe stage at the high school and produced Shakespeare's controversial "Taming of the Shrew" to great acclaim. 

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APRIL’15: THE BLUE CANYON TRAIL

The Spring winds were brisk but we followed the trail to the Blue Canyon in Twinsburg. Our unexpectedly good turnout gathered around the big fireplace. Happily there were some new members too, who enlivened the social gathering.

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Fire Fuels the Desire to Inspire!

Nial Pickering told our March meeting that he quit his hard-won teaching job in the English school system because students were graded strictly by test scores. Nial said, "As a science teacher, I wanted to inspire students to ask 'Why?' things happen in science and not just memorize for a test. I held fire in my hand to excite the minds of poor test-takers and misfits. It worked. Some of my 'misfits' have become a pilot, a nurse, and a teacher." He praised Gilmour, The Lyceum, Chagrin, Hudson and Hathaway Brown high schools for using creative teaching methods that instill life-long curiosity and confidence. Nial's next assignment will be at the International School in Shanghai, China. "The students are my boss and they want results," he said. Nial spoke to us as the ESU's international Page Scholar. 

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Words in Action at Hanna Theater

Glamorous Playhouse Square - Cleveland's Broadway - drew ESU to witness "Dial M for Murder", a classic produced by Great Lakes Theater. (Great Lakes is our partner in the Shakespeare Competition.) We had our own seating section, hors d'oeuvres and enjoyed watching the script  reveal clues as professional actors put emotion into the words. 

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17 Judges at Shakespeare Competition

Vying ultimately for a three-week scholarship to study Shakespeare in London, students from 28 Northern Ohio high schools competed by individually giving dramatic performances of well-known Shakespeare monologues and sonnets. The competition was sponsored by ESU in partnership with Great Lakes Theater and held at Playhouse Square, Cleveland. Judges were professionals in the theater and media. The winner was Roan Martin-Hayden of the Toledo School for the Arts (photo 4). He won an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City for the National Competition in April. Nationally about 15,000 students are engaged at the local level each year. 

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Fun Around the Fire

Celebrating January, hearty ESU friends socialized around the big fireplace and competed on the bocce ball court at Stone Mad Pub. We compared experiences in judging for the upcoming Shakespeare Competition. Our celebrity guest was Carolyn Leick from the Columbus Branch.

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Beefeater's Ball Exceeds Expectations

Our annual formal dinner dance exceeded expectations in raising funds for the regional Shakespeare Competition, allowing us to expand the Competition. Socially, the glitter blended with the snowflakes for a perfect winter night! 

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A Good Script

Great Lakes Theater looks for  "a good script" - high drama, luscious language and wonderful music. They gave us "Les Miserables" …and wine and hors d'oeuvres in our select seating area!  The repertory cast concurrently shows Shakespeare's "Merry Wives of Windsor" to excellent reviews. We're thrilled that Great Lakes Theater is a participant with us in the annual high school Shakespeare Competition. 

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Rodeo: Fun, Feeling Classic History

We wore cowboy hats and boots to Buckin'Ohio Rodeo to experience mutton busting, bull riding, barrel racing and the fearless cowboys and cowgirls. It was  thrilling today and had faint echoes of the Roman arenas and charges of war horses over the centuries. We shook the dust, then headed for our own horsepower in the parking lot. 

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Seeing the new Cleveland

Shooters on the River felt like being in a cruise ship lounge as we watched the hustle on Cuyahoga River, from racing shells to nimble freighters. And the vibes of new urban energy was felt where new buildings are rising along the river and across the heart of Cleveland. The 21st Century is arriving! 

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Annual Meeting, Good News

President Jerry Grdina presided at the lovely Shaker Country Club, with adjoining outdoor pool and golf course. Very well attended, as always. On a large-screen, members saw a video of exciting events of the past year. Executives reported on current and ambitious future events. Lia Yoo, regional winner of the Shakespeare Competition, performed the selection she used at the Lincoln Center, NYC. Three ESU BUSS scholars attended. A membership directory was distributed to help everyone collaborate in the year ahead. 

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The Pub, Where We Know Your Name

We enjoyed a warm winter social at The Pub in Beachwood. Quaffed a Guinness while studying the London Tube routes. Good friends, good food, good times. 

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School has International Outlook

"Our students see the world as their home, not just London," said Caroline Picking, ESU's Page Scholar and teacher at St. Cedd's Independent School. "Languages, science, art, sports and social studies are taught as global skills. That's the future. We conduct a model United Nations with our partner schools in India and Japan."    

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Shakespeare Competition February 2014

In robust auditions, students from 32 schools competed for a place in the national competition. Everyone raised the appreciation for Shakespeare in the schools. Lia Yoo, Lake Ridge Academy, was the winner.

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New Year Kick-Off

Let it snow! We re-energized our spirits at the Stone Mad Pub for the busy year ahead and welcomed new members and guests. 

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Winter Ball Funds our Shakespeare Competition

Elegant ladies, gentlemen in tuxedos, a sumptuous feast, huge silent auction, dancing  around the sparkling lights of a sky high Christmas tree…. It was the annual Beefeaters' Ball at the spacious Mayfield Sand Ridge Country Club. 

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Citizen of the World Offers Poetry

Martin Bell OBE, the visiting Wrench speaker, has reported from 100 countries for the BBC. From that experience, he was elected to the British Parliament, and later appointed an Ambassador for UNICEF. He shared his memoirs, cleverly written as poems. The November meeting was in the new Market Garden brewery.

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Theater with Halloween Theme

In October, after pre-show appetizers, we settled in for "Sweeney Todd", a gory musical at the Hanna Theater. The reparatory actors are also performing Shakespeare's "Richard III". 

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Visual Arts luncheon

In September we shifted from language arts to visual arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Museum is a must see with its major expansion and new technology.

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SUMMER'S SWINGING SOCIAL

Just plain fun. Socializing at the bar and buffet, and dancing to favorite music at the Shaker Country Club. 

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ESU Region VI Meeting

ESU Region VI Meeting features National President, Alice Boyne and Author, Lady Julia Boyd.  The event was held at the Cleveland Skating Club where we mixed work and pleasure with stimulating guests from far and near. 

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BUSS Scholar Reports on The Globe Theater, London

Cleveland's BUSS scholar, Rebecca Papakonstantinou, spent two weeks at The Globe Theater where she dis-membered then re-membered Shakespeare, giving her a whole new outlook on the genius. At our May meeting in Judson Manor, the Berea High School teacher taught us how to read between the lines of some dialogue.  

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St. Patricks Day Social

Our happy hour gathering at the Claddagh Irish Pub anticipated the annual festivities.

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April: Movable Feast

We met for dinner at jazz club, Night Town, then proceeded to the spacious penthouse of architect, Richard Fleishman.

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2013 Shakespeare Competition
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Our Student In Shakespeare's Theater

Berea High School's English teacher Rebecca Papakonstantinou received a BUSS Grant to study inside Shakespeare's Globe Theater in London last summer.

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Lakeside Yacht Club Dinner Dance
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August Social

August social at the Stone Mad Pub included bocce ball games. 

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Beefeater's Ball

Highlights of the fabulous Beefeater's Ball in 2011!

  

The English-Speaking Union

Cleveland Branch

Cleveland 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.