News And Events

ESU Welcomes Paseo Academy’s 2015 Spring Arts Festival

The Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts will hold its second annual "Arts on the Hill: Spring Arts Festival" on Friday, May 1, 2015.  The Festival is a celebration of the arts, featuring Paseo's talented artist-scholars, alumni, and honoring Paseo's arts/business partnerships of Kansas City. 

The ESU Kansas City Branch will be one of the business partners with Paseo in its Spring Arts Festival with an information table providing handouts and membership details on the ESU to students, teachers, alumni and other business partners attending the event.  The ESU Kansas City Branch has been a long-time partner with Paseo Academy.  For many years, Paseo has supported and participated in the ESU's Annual Shakespeare Competition.


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The Merchant of Venice

Produced by
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival Directed by Sidonie Garrett

On Sunday March 29, 2015, Kansas City ESU members and guests attended the last performance of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.  This production by The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and directed by Sidonie Garrett, was the first play produced indoors by the Festival.  This was also be the first professional production of The Merchant of Venice in Kansas City in 65 years.

This final production of The Merchant of Venice was a Sunday matinee performance at the Johnson County Community College Polsky Theatre.  It was a complete sellout and enthusiastic crowd.  At the end of the performance, Sidonie Garrett held a "Talk Back" Q&A session with the audience and the entire cast.  At least 75-100 audience members stayed for the Talk Back and many interesting questions were presented to Sidonie and the cast.

ESU welcomed three guests to our group, Mary Spangler and Nicole Burriss.  After the play, nine ESU members met at a local restaurant, Ricco's Italian, for a casual dinner to discuss the play and relax.  It was a great afternoon.


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Homeschool Teen, Olivia Sloan, Wins First Place Kansas City Shakespeare Competition Next: Lincoln Center, New York City!

Olivia Sloan, a senior homeschool student in Kansas City, Missouri, won First Place in the English-Speaking Union's, Shakespeare Competition.  Her sponsoring teacher was Matt Rapport, Director of Education, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.  This was the 31st anniversary of the Shakespeare Competition for the ESU Kansas City Branch. 


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Ben Martin Awarded Missouri State Thespians 2015 Hall of Fame

Ben Martin, a member of the ESU Kansas City Branch for 16 years and a past ESU board member and treasurer, was recently inducted into the Missouri State Thespians Hall of Fame at their annual State Conference held at the Marriott Hotel in Kansas City January 8-10, 2015. 

Ben retiredfrom teaching high school theatre after 34 years, 18 of which were in the Lee's Summit school district.  Ben was an ESU Kansas City recipient of the British University Summer Scholarship program and is currently the Executive Director of the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education which is a non-profit representing arts education organizations, private citizens and companies that support arts education in Missouri schools.  Ben is also the president of the Summit Theatre Group, a local community theater group in Lee's Summit.


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Holiday Brunch

It's time for our Annual Holiday Brunch! Be sure to mark your calendar for this special occasion.  This is a festive gathering where we reflect on a great year of ESU activities, feast on award-winning food and even celebrate with traditional British Crackers.

When: Sunday, January 11, 2015
Time: 12 Noon
Where: Grand Street Café, 4740 Grand Avenue,
Kansas City, Mo.
Price: $27.00 per person,
all inclusive including gratuity

This Sunday Brunch has been acclaimed by food critics as one of the best in Kansas City.  It includes your choice of five entrees from a special Brunch menu, a selection of appetizers, salads, pastries/desserts and your choice of coffee or tea (a cash bar is optional).

We hope to see you on January 11, 2015!  Please call Jeff Schnabel at (816) 442-7007 if you have any questions. The entire ESU Board wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


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The English-Speaking Union

Kansas City Branch

Kansas City Branch Landmark Photo