ESU Kansas City Branch

                         Welcome to                          the Kansas City Branch of the ESU

Dear ESU Members and Friends,

In this first year as president of the ESU Kansas City Branch, I'm honored to have the support of a strong board of directors with many years of combined service in the ESU as well as strength in many professional career disciplines. As the structure of the board begins to evolve with distinct committees in place, we are well-positioned to address at the Kansas City Branch level the goals set by the ESU's National Strategic Plan which are based on two foundational statements:

  • The Mission--The English-Speaking Union employs English as a catalyst to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.
  • Strategic Goals—
    • English as a Catalyst—Develop educational opportunities for employing English as a shared language to inspire common bonds and empowerment of students, teachers, immigrants and members.
    • International Exchange—Build global understanding through a broad system of international exchange supporting teachers and students.
    • Board Leadership—Build a next-generation board passionately committed to building leadership by the ESU through fundraising for and service to the organization's educational programs.

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News And Events

ESU Festival Group Night June 19, 2019

Put June 19, 2019 on your calendar. This year, we are in for a special treat! The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival has selected the stage adaptation of the blockbuster movie, Shakespeare in Love at Southmoreland Park.

This is a play within a play, of sorts. The story goes like this—a young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays, Romeo and Juliet. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty. This comedy/drama will not disappoint. (The original movie version of this play didn't win 7 academy awards for nothing!) This is a must-see production directed once again by Sidonie Garrett.

 

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Matthew Grigoratos Performs in Semi-Finals
in 36th Annual National Shakespeare Competition
in New York City

April 29th may have been a normal Monday for most high school students, but for Matthew Grigoratos, a Junior at Blue Valley High School, it will be a day to remember forever. Matthew, a student of Maureen Davis, placed as a semifinalist at the 36th Annual National Shakespeare Competition.

Matthew competed against 52 students from around the US on stage at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center Theater. The event is the culmination of a year-long competition hosted by the English-Speaking Union (ESU).

To qualify for the National Shakespeare Competition semi-finals, Matthew won the regional ESU Kansas City Branch Shakespeare Competition earlier this year.

Veteran judge and acclaimed actor Dana Ivey commented on the student performances,

"I am always amazed by the delight and focus these students bring to their investigation of the text. They often bring surprises in interpretation that are entertaining and enlightening."

 

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ESU Celebrates 2019 British Gala

Brits International, a Kansas City-based non-profit organization, is hosting their 8th Annual British Gala KC. All ESU members and Friends of ESU are welcome to attend this one-day festival of all-things-British!

The ESU Kansas City Branch will have an information table at the British Gala so be sure to stop by and say hello to our ESU volunteers!  Bring your family and friends as there is something for all ages!

 

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Romeo and Juliet 
Script in Hand

William Shakespeare's seminal play? It's difficult if not impossible to choose among the Bard's many masterpieces, but Romeo and Juliet makes just about every short list of contenders. It's one of his two most-performed pieces (with A Midsummer Night's Dream), especially popular in the U.S.

When you are passionately in love, nothing else matters – as seen in Shakespeare's well known tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. These teen lovers are irresistibly drawn to each other despite an ancient feud between their two families. Defying the hatred and distrust surrounding them, they dare to face all odds to be together.

 

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Added Membership Value for First-Time Members

Even though our new membership year doesn't begin for three months on July 1, there is an opportunity in this fourth quarter (April, May, June) for new members to take advantage of bonus months during their first year of membership. 

If a new member enrolls during the fourth quarter of the membership year, that is, during April, May or June, their membership will carry over into the new membership year.  That means the new member gets one, two or three extra months in their first-year membership depending on which month in the fourth quarter they enrolled.

 

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The English-Speaking Union

Kansas City Branch

Kansas City Branch Landmark Photo