News And Events

News And Events

Raising a Glass to the Queen

On a lovely afternoon, Sunday, June 12, members of the Denver Branch of the English-Speaking Union and their guests gathered to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.  The celebration was held at The House of Commons, an English Tea Room located in lower downtown Denver.  Members and their guests were treated to individual pots of tea, selected from an extensive tea menu, as well as sandwiches, miniature scones, Scottish shortbread and homemade petit fours.  Champagne glasses were filled and as ESU Denver Program Co-Chair, Josie Papazis offered toasts, first to U.S. President Barack Obama and then to Queen Elizabeth, members raised their glasses in tribute to the Heads of State.  

Guests make their selections from the tea menuGuests make their selections from the tea menu

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Denver Branch Hosts a Successful Region XIII Conference

The weekend of May 20-22 was a busy one as the ESU Denver Branch hosted the Region XIII Conference. Denver Branch members welcomed representatives from five branches in addition to ESUUS Executive Director Christopher Broadwell and Deputy Executive Director Edward Mohylowski for an action-packed affair.  The weekend started off with a Friday evening reception at the Denver Athletic Club.  Saturday morning, the Denver Branch Board meeting was followed by a presentation of National programs by Christopher Broadwell.  Many guests proceeded to lunch and a Denver Art Museum tour led by our own Mary McLean.   Saturday evening at the Denver Country Club,  members and guests enjoyed dinner and a lecture by Evelyn Wrench Speaker, Paul Edmondson.  The weekend concluded Sunday morning with the Region XIII meeting.  

Seattle Branch members Patricia Haggerty and Clarke O'Reilly at the Friday night reception

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Sensational Shakespeare Competition on Super Bowl Sunday

2016 Shakespeare Competition Winners

The 2016 Denver Branch Shakespeare Competition was held on Sunday, February 7 at the University Theatre on the University of Colorado, Boulder Campus.  ESU Denver was fortunate to partner with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and the CU Department of Theatre and Dance for this year's competition.  Each student advanced to the competition by preparing a Shakespearean monologue and sonnet and winning their individual school competitions.  The day before the event, Amanda Giguere, Literary Manager of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, coordinated a half-day workshop with a teaching artist to help participating students prepare for the competition.

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BUSS Recognition Dinner

Karen Kellogg-Fain, Polly Cox, Sue Stokley, Aimee Arens (BUSS scholarship recipient) and Michael Lopez

The annual British Universities Summer School (BUSS) Dinner is an anticipated event that never disappoints and this year's event was no exception. The evening, held on November 5 at Denver's University Club, began with a cocktail reception, providing a perfect time for members to mingle while chatting with the 2015 BUSS scholarship recipients and their guests. Following dinner, Chairperson of the BUSS Committee, Michael Thornton, introduced the honorees by reading excerpts from their scholarship applications. It was then time for the teachers to speak and their presentations were captivating.

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Holiday Celebration Friends, Refreshments and Scholars

Winning Writing Competition Students with Ruth Beckley
Holiday spirit was alive and well at the ESU Denver Holiday Tea and Award Presentation on Saturday, December 12. As the streets filled with snow, members gathered inside the Denver Women's Press Club, to share holiday cheer and honor the winning writers from the sixth annual Dr. Howard F. Beckley Writing Competition. These students read their entries based on this year's topic "What is Genius," for those in attendance. The 2015 winning students, all from Denver East High School were: First Place, Eric Dellavalle; Second Place, Nicholas Chavez; Third Place, Charlotte Thayer; Honorable Mention, Brendan Douglas; Honorable Mention, Zak Jacobs. These students' entries were evaluated by a panel of judges including high school and college educators; and outstanding members of the ESU community.

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Summer Study in the UK

Oxford, the Globe Theatre, the University of Edinburgh
FREE to local public high school English, Drama, and History Teachers 

Since 1957, 132 Denver-area teachers have studied in England. You may know some of the teachers who have received fellowships: Carol Hendry from Chaparral attended the University of Edinburgh, and Susan Stokley went to Oxford; Lisa Cillessen from Standley Lake High School and Brian Kurz from Grandview were in London at the Globe; DPS principal Nick Dawkins studied at Oxford as did Alan Martin and Mary Connelly.  Mary Davenport from Bruce Randolph attended the Globe, and Josie Papazis from South High School studied at Exeter College in Oxford.  Cindy Poinsett from Cherokee Trail High School and Timothy Reyes from Overland High School attended the Globe.  In 2015, Aimee Arens and Todd Madison of East attended Oxford.  Their experiences were memorable, and all agree that they are better teachers as a result. 

Best of all, the fellowships are FREE. 

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Packed House for A Genteel Captivity— A Centennial Remembrance

On Thursday, September 24 in St. John's Cathedral,  Christiane Citron enthralled Denver Branch members and their guests with stories from the unpublished memoir of Sir Clive Morrison-Bell.  This 22-year member of Parliament, Personal Private Secretary to Winston Churchill, and internationally acclaimed author was also a World War I Prisoner of War.  Christiane shared stories of Clive-Bell's hard-to-believe experience over four years as a German POW in five different German POW camps, followed by a surprising internment in Switzerland.  Prior to the presentation, attendees socialized while enjoying wine, beverages and light appetizers.  Christiane lingered after she was finished speaking, answering questions and swapping stories with those in attendence. 

Christiane  Citron

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Celebrating the Queen

Doris Payne, Jean Riddle, Pat LaMoe, Beverly Cotten and Ruth Beckley

On Sunday, June 7, members of the Denver Branch of the English-Speaking Union and their guests gathered to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.  The celebration was held at Beacons Community Space, a unique venue in the heart of the Cherry Creek North Shopping District.  Members and their guests had time to socialize prior to sitting down for the formal tea, catered by English café and tearoom, The House of Commons.  Tea sandwiches, miniature scones, Scottish shortbread and homemade petit fours were accompanied by pots of tea.  Guests were then served glasses of champagne as ESU Denver President, Bruce Haefner offered toasts, first to U.S. President Barack Obama and then to Queen Elizabeth. Glasses were raised and socializing continued.

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2015 Annual Meeting

Sue Stokley, Ruth Beckley and Basil Carpenter

The Lakewood Country Club was host to the Annual Meeting of the Denver Branch of the English Speaking Union on Sunday, July 26.  It was a lovely day for a brunch overlooking the golf course and a perfect time for members to reconnect, share good food and drink and celebrate the previous year's Branch accomplishments. 

Following a brief reception, Kennedy Walters, winner of the 2014 Dr. Howard F. Beckley Writing Competition, treated members to reading of an original work.  Following brunch, the meeting was called to order by president, Bruce Haefner.  In addition to a President's report by Bruce, reports were given by Treasurer, Chuck Thompson and Committee Chairs, Michael Thornton, Susan Stokley and Cindy Poinsett.  Polly Cox, on behalf of the Nominating Committee, presented the nominees for the vacant Board positions.  Nominees included Aimee Arens, Everett Engstrom, Bruce Haefner, Karen Kellogg-Fain, Mary McLean, Bonnie Pritchett and Tim Reyes.  All nominees were approved by the membership. 

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Sara Doerner : Semi-Finalist at ESU National Shakespeare Competition

New York City, April 27th, 2015 – With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Sarah Doerner from Denver, CO, a student of Shawn Hann at Denver School of the Arts in Denver, placed as a semi-finalist in the 32nd annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition. The Competition was held on April 27th at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City for 57 winners of ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Sarah had previously won the ESU Denver Branch regional competition.

This year's winner of the English-Speaking Union Hawaii Branch competition, Sarah Spalding, won first prize in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition, winning a full Scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art's Young Actors Summer School in London, England. Second place winner, Evelyn Johnson, representing the Philadelphia Branch, won a scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp. Third place winner, Elizabeth Mears, representing the Boston Branch of the ESU, won $500 from The Shakespeare Society.

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