News And Events

News And Events

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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Blue Valley High Junior Wins First Place in ESU Kansas City’s 35th Annual Shakespeare Competition

Matthew Grigoratos, a junior at Blue Valley High School in Overland Park, Kansas, won First Place in the Regional Finals of the English-Speaking Union's Shakespeare Competition in Kansas City, MO. His sponsoring teacher was Maureen Davis. This was the 35th anniversary of the Shakespeare Competition for the ESU Kansas City Branch.

Approximately 165 students participated in preliminary competitions in Kansas City area high schools. The ESU Kansas City Branch Competition was held on February 24, 2019, at the Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Kansas City, MO. 

Ten school winners from the Kansas City area schools participated. Matthew impressed the judges and captivated the audience with his performance of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice and his recitation of Sonnet 102. He will go on to represent ESU's Kansas Branch as a semi-finalist at the National Shakespeare Competition held at Lincoln Center in New York City on April 29, 2019.

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Join Our Holiday Brunch and Annual Meeting
 Historic KC Presents:
ESU in Kansas City 100 Years Ago

Our Annual Holiday Brunch is just around the corner. Join ESU members and Friends of ESU for this special occasion on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 12 noon. The public is invited. What did Kansas City look like 100 years ago when the ESU Kansas City Branch was formed? The architecture, street scenes, neighborhoods, fashion and local government have drastically changed during those 100 years.

Our program will feature two experts on Kansas City history, Annette Thomas and Nancy Powell, both are volunteers with the nonprofit organization, Historic Kansas City. Founded in 1974, Historic KC is the only organization in KC dedicated to the preservation of the area's architectural heritage, neighborhoods and historic built environment.

Nancy has prepared a visually stunning selection of photos from Kansas City's past and Annette will describe how Kansas City looked around 1920 when the ESU was a new, nonprofit organization. Kansas City's architectural and cultural heritage is legendary, and they will show us through historic photos how life in Kansas City was vastly different than today.

This is a wonderful opportunity for ESU members and friends to step back in time and watch the rich history of Kansas City pass before your eyes. Don't miss this special lecture presentation by two Kansas City historians.

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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 92nd 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!

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ESU Members and Guests--
Celebrate the 33rd Annual British Faire

The British Are Coming!  All ESU members and guests are invited to the 33rd Annual British Faire and Tea in Shawnee, KS.  This fun event is sponsored by the Daughters of the British Empire in Kansas. This annual fundraising event benefits retirement communities and local charities. Some of the events and activities at the British Faire

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ESU Annual Conference
Setting English in Action for a New Century
New Orleans, Louisiana

November 17-19, 2018 

The English-Speaking Union welcomes all members to New Orleans, Louisiana, November 17-19 for the 2018 Annual Conference. This year's conference will continue to develop and define English in Action as the banner under which the ESU employs English in its second century as a catalyst for peace and understanding in a shrinking, turbulent world.

 It will include the ESU 2018 Annual General Meeting, workshops, lectures, social events, updates and camaraderie to advance our nationwide efforts to conduct our programs supporting teachers, students and recent immigrants. The conference cost is $475 with an optional plantation tour for $130. Information on an optional concert with Dr. Quinn Peeper, ESU President, at the piano with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, including discount code for conferees, will be forthcoming. Register here 

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'A Winter's Tale in Words and Song'

Performed by Bach Aria Soloists & 
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival

The English-Speaking Union is about bringing English in Action. All ESU members and guests are invited to a wonderful program that does just that—brings English in Action.

On December 7, 2018, the Bach Aria Soloists and the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival come together to present a special seasonal collaboration, A Winter's Tale in Words and Song. This extraordinary program combines scenes from Shakespeare's greatest plays with music composed by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and Cecilia McDowall and more.

The talented musicians of the Bach Aria Soloists, led by Elizabeth Suh Lane, artistic director and violin, include Elisa Williams Bickers, harpsichord, Sarah Tannehill Anderson, soprano, and Hannah Collins, cello.

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Midwest Tea Festival Returns to
Kansas City
The Midwest's Original Tea Celebration

Attention All ESU Tea Lovers 

The Midwest Tea Festival returns to Kansas City for its fourth annual celebration of tea and tea culture featuring tea tasting, education and vendors September 8-9, 2018.

All ESU Members and Friends of ESU are invited to attend this two-day Festival.   What is a tea festival? Well, in short, it is a day all about tea. Learning about tea, tea preparation, tea culture and history and of course, tons of tea tastings! It's celebrating everything that tea has to offer!

The Midwest Tea Festival will feature a tea market with local, regional and national tea vendors and tea related arts and other merchandise, educational presentations throughout the day on various tea related topics, focused tasting café sessions with tea merchant experts, and tea tastings all day long. 

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