English in Action: The English-Speaking Union

News and Events

News and Events

33rd Annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition

On May 2, 2016, more than 50 high school students from throughout the United States will converge at New York City's Lincoln Center to compete in the 33rd annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition. With the competition, the ESU celebrates the legacy of William Shakespeare as part of Shakespeare400, theinternational yearlong celebration of Shakespeare's works in 2016. This year, the ESU National Shakespeare Competition marks the milestone of exceeding 300,000 student participants since its inception in 1983. Among the winners and finalists of the Competition who have gone on to national acclaim are actor and director Joe Sofranko, whose Hulu series Complete Works is, in fact, based on the National Shakespeare Competition; actors Emily Bergl (Desperate Housewives, Southland); Tyler Hilton (Walk the Line, One Tree Hill); Heather Lind (Boardwalk Empire, Turn: Washington's Spies); Bronwyn Reed (Law and Order: SVU); as well as Broadway's Matt Harrington (Twelfth Night, Matilda) and Adam Wesley Brown (Once the Musical).

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Win a complete set of Folger Editions from the Folger Shakespeare Library and Simon & Schuster!


To celebrate The 33rd ESU National Shakespeare Competition and Shakespeare400, we are giving our Facebook followers a chance to win a complete set of Folger Editions from the Folger Shakespeare Library and Simon & Schuster (http://snip.ly/9qrzt).

To Enter:
2. Like the Folger Shakespeare Library's Facebook page.
3. Like and Share our contest post here.

The contest closes at midnight on 05.02.2016. T&C's apply. 

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A Salute to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

The English-Speaking Union of the United States salutes 

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

Patron of The English-Speaking Union
of the Commonwealth
on this
her 90th Birthday.  

 For information, click here

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ESU Restructures for the Future

At its meeting on October 10, 2015, the National Board of Directors approved its Branch Services Committee's recommendation that ESUUS adopt and implement a new organizational and management structure. This legal reorganization, now in process, will provide immense benefits to the ESU at all levels.

The world has changed dramatically in the century since the ESU was founded in the US in 1920. The increased litigious and regulatory environment in which we find ourselves, together with the need for us to establish a unity of organization and purpose, make it incumbent on us to restructure both Branch operations and the organization as a whole.  Local organizational Branch structures, which may have worked well decades ago, pose far too many risks today. 

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Luard Morse Scholarship awarded to Serena Newberry and Leondre Ramsay

               Serena Newberry                             Leondre Ramsay

The ESU is proud to announce that Leondre Ramsay, a Political Science Major at Howard University, Washington, DC and Serena Newberry, an English Education and Pre-Law Major at Xavier University, New Orleans, LA have been selected as this year's recipients of the English-Speaking Union Luard Morse Scholarship. The scholarship provides $25,000 toward one semester of study at any university in the United Kingdom during the 2017-2018 academic year.

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ARNIC Thanksgiving

On Monday, November 23rd, over 75 new immigrants celebrated their first Thanksgiving at the English-Speaking Union in New York City.  These members of the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center were joined by the founder and primary sponsor, Dr. Romay, and program alumni in a feast of turkey and all the trimmings.  Members from Russia, Belarus, Colombia, China and Guinea shared their personal reflections on their first Thanksgiving and gratitude to the ESU for providing a welcoming community.

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My Magna Carta contestant from US wins Grand Prize

Jane Josefowicz (center), from the Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island, won the overall Junior Prize in the English-Speaking Union International My Magna Carta Creative Writing Competition.  She is shown here with her parents and the Chairman of The English-Speaking Union of the United States, Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill.  The final round of the competition, where finalists presented their essays orally, was held on October 15 in London at Dartmouth House, the headquarters of the English-Speaking Union of the Commonwealth.  Jane competed against students in the junior division from Australia, Chile, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius and the United Kingdom. 

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2015 National Patron Tour: Ardgowan Scotland

In September of 2015, fourteen National ESU Patrons gathered around a roaring fire at the home of Sir Ludovic Shaw-Stewart and the former Lady Shaw-Stewart (Cindy Chetwode) for an introduction to the next wonderful eight days touring Scottish countryside and stately homes. The grand 18th century William Adam home provided the quintessential Edwardian country house experience. The group gathered each morning for a full Scottish breakfast before visiting stunning country homes.  ESU patrons were received daily and  feted by owners of the homes including teas and luncheons. Every night the group gathered again for cocktails in the library before supper in the grand dining room surrounded by magnificent 18th and 19th century ancestral portraits.

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The ESU 2015 Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting

The 2015 ESU Annual Conference, with the theme "General Washington Takes New York," took place October 10 - 12 at the Hilton Doubletree Metropolitan Hotel in midtown Manhattan.  Branch Presidents were specifically invited to a day-long Conclave with National Board Members that took place all day Saturday just prior to the formal opening for the Conference, and the Board of Directors met that day as well.

Organized by National Headquarters staff, the ESU National Conference and Annual General Meeting comprised a series of meetings, lunches, dinners, receptions and tours over the Columbus Day weekend.  Members assembled on Saturday evening, after the morning Board meeting and afternoon Presidents Conclave, for a reception and opening dinner in the hotel's Chrysler Room, which boasted a dramatic cityspace view with the the Art Deco style Chrysler Building towering overhead.  . Prominent historical biographer, Flora Fraser, delivered the keynote address after dinner about her new biography The Washingtons, George and Martha: Join'd by Friendship, Crown'd by Love being published by Knopf later this year.

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ESU Celebrates Shakespeare 400

On April 23, 1616, William Shakespeare died in Stratford-upon-Avon in England, and his extraordinary legacy began.  Around the globe next year, theaters, universities, museums and schools will celebrate his plays and sonnets and their impact from Renaissance England to the entire world today.  The English-Speaking Union will be taking part in this year-long celebration of the Bard's legacy. Learn more about ESU Shakespeare400

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