News And Events

News And Events

 

ESU Cordially Invites You to an Exclusive Private Screening of
Downton Abbey: The Movie and a
Downton English Tea Party

 The excitement is building for the movie version of Downton Abbey. Now you can watch the movie version of the beloved Downton Abbey at an ESU exclusive private screening on Saturday, October 5, 2019. The movie will be preceded by an elegant, Downton English Tea Party. What could be more British than that?

The movie centers around a royal visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Downton in 1927, a storyline inspired by a trip they really took to Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire in 1912.

You'll not only see the return of all the main cast from the final television series, but the film also introduces some great British actors to the world of Downton, as we meet the royal family and their retinue.

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Stonehenge Exhibition & Lecture

Even though this is a short notice, we wanted to let you know about a special presentation as part of the Stonehenge Exhibition at Union Station.

Direct from the award-winning Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, England, renowned British archeologist David Dawson will make a rare North American appearance and deliver a fascinating morning lecture on August 16th only at Union Station Kansas City in conjunction with the current Stonehenge exhibition.

Guests will be invited to travel back in time more than 5,000 years and discover remarkable stories of the prehistoric people who lived, worked and were buried in the landscape around Stonehenge. As well, Dawson will present the latest science that's unraveled ancient mysteries of this enigmatic World Heritage Site.  

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An ESU Tea Party Fit for a Queen

All ESU Members and Friends of ESU are cordially invited to attend one of our biggest social gatherings of the year—our annual Queen's Tea. We will be celebrating HRH Queen Elizabeth II's 93rd birthday. This will be an ESU Tea Party Fit for a Queen!

Our tea party will include a variety of tea sandwiches, sweets, Brenda's signature scones, Mock Devonshire cream, fine fruit butter or fruit jams and premium tea.  Brenda Hedrick, the owner and proprietress of Anna Marie's Teas proudly proclaims, "This is not just any tea party--our tea experiences are delightfully extravagant!"  This is a special occasion not to be missed!

The English teas will be held in the Bohnet House in Liberty, Mo., which is a stately 3-story, 5,000 square foot home built in 1913. The house boasts Frank Lloyd Wright details--oak trim, 3 fireplaces and large open spaces. Its large wraparound porch and period American, French and English antique furnishings create the perfect setting for tea parties--served on a special collection of china and silver.

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LET'S HAVE A PARTY TO CELEBRATE OUR NEW MEMBERSHIP YEAR

ESU's new membership year begins July 1, 2019 and what better way to bring in the new membership year than with a party!

All ESU members and Friends of ESU are cordially invited to a Membership Renewal Party hosted by our Treasurer, Kevin Martin. We'll have Barbeque Brisket and Ribs, baked beans, potato salad, more sides including watermelon and other desserts! We'll also provide soft drinks, beer and wine.

We want to bring all ESU members together for a casual late afternoon party to make it easy and convenient to renew your membership. You can renew online on a secure laptop or with a paper form…either way it's easy, fast and you'll have a chance to meet other ESU members including our newest members! If you are renewing with a paper form (which we will supply) just bring a check to include with the renewal form and we'll mail it for you. You'll see our membership dues are still the same.

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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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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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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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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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Let's Go to the Movies with the
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival

 

Every year, ESU members gather together for an ESU Festival Group Night at the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival's production at Southmoreland Park. This year's HASF's production is Shakespeare in Love. This is the theatrical adaptation of the movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Ben Affleck, Colin Firth and Judy Dench. This delightfully romantic comedy won seven Academy Awards in 1998 including Best Picture, Best Actress, Gwyneth Paltrow; Best Supporting Actress, July Dench and Best Costume Design.

The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival has teamed up with the Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theatre in downtown Kansas City to show this outstanding movie before the Festival's own stage production opens this summer.

On Monday, April 15 the Alamo Drafthouse (for this event, referred to as Alamo House of Draft) and the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival will host a special showing of the movie Shakespeare in Love AND before the feature, the Festival's talented actors will perform an awesome scene from Romeo and Juliet complete with swords, daggers and opulent costumes! Do thyself a favor and grace us with thy presence!

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