News And Events

News And Events

MONMOUTH COUNTY NJ TEEN COMPETES IN 34th ANNUAL ENGLISH-SPEAKING UNION NATIONAL SHAKESPEARE COMPETITON IN NEW YORK CITY

With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Samantha Siriani  from Port Monmouth, NJ, a student of Mary King at Red Bank Catholic School in Red Bank, placed as a semi-finalist in the 34th  annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition in New York City. The Competition took place on May 1, 2017 on the stage of the Mitzi Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center with 54 semi-finalists from as many ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Samantha previously won the ESU Monmouth County NJ Branch competition.

The winner of the 34th English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, Ogechi Egonu, representing the San Francisco Branch, received a full scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp in Staunton, VA, this summer.  Second place winner, Brandon Burk, from the Kentucky Branch, won a cash prize of $1,000 from The English-Speaking Union, while the third place winner, Trevon Wainwright, representing the Kansas City Branch of the ESU, received an award of $500 provided by The Shakespeare Society.

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Annual Shakespeare Competition for High School Students

On March 4th, students from thirteen New Jersey high schools assembled on the stage at Brookdale Community College's elegant Performing Arts Center for a competition that challenged their intellects and acting skills, the 27th annual Shakespeare Competition for high school students sponsored by the Monmouth County Branch of the English-Speaking Union.  The winner will go on to a national competition at Lincoln Center in New York (scheduled for April 29 - May 2, 2017), where the top prize will include an all-expenses paid scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Center's Theater Camp in Staunton, VA, Summer 2017.

Each teen performed a sonnet and a speech from one of Shakespeare's plays, without costumes or props.  Their audience included teachers, parents, and members of the ESU, as well as four theater professionals who served as expert judges.

Third place went to Michael Aron from Neptune High School for his nuanced representation of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice.  Second place was taken by Justice Benjamin from Bloomfield Tech. for his dignified and outraged Coriolanus, from the play of the same name

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Annual Shakespeare Competition for High School Students

The entire assemblage of competitors

On March 5th, students from thirteen New Jersey high schools assembled on the stage at Brookdale Community College's elegant theater for a competition that challenged their intellects and acting skills, the 26th annual Shakespeare Competition for high school students sponsored by the Monmouth County Branch of the English-Speaking Union.  The winner will go on to a national competition at Lincoln Center in New York on April 26 - 28, where the top prize will include an all-expenses paid trip to study acting in England.

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Teaching Shakespeare Workshop Recap

On Tuesday, March 1, forty teachers from five New Jersey counties assembled at Two River Theater in Red Bank, for a full-day Teaching Shakespeare Workshop sponsored by the Washington, DC-based Folger Shakespeare Library.

The workshop was underwritten jointly by the Princeton and Monmouth County Branches of The English-Speaking Union, with generous support from Two River Theater's Kate Cordaro, Director of Education, and John Dias, Artistic Director.  It was one of many educational programs being offered in 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

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The King Under the Car Park



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February Lunch and Talk

Members and guests of the Monmouth County Branch of the ESU gathered on February 21st in the Fireside Room at the Nauvoo Grill Club for lunch and an informative talk by Dr. Jack Lynch of Rutgers, on the subject, "The Universe in Alphabetical Order: What Can We Learn From Dictionaries?"  On his blog, "You Could Look It Up," Jack Lynch describes himself as the "author of a pile of books, both scholarly and popular."  He is currently working on a biography of Shakespeare forger William Henry Ireland.

Pictured: Ralph Wyndrum, President, and Janet Smuga, Secretary of the Monmouth County Branch of the ESU, and speaker, Dr. Jack Lynch of Rutgers, Newark.

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Teaching Shakespeare Workshop

Thirty-five high school English and drama teachers from Monmouth, Ocean, Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset counties will congregate at Two River Theater in Red Bank on March 1, 2016, for a full-day (9-5) workshop in teaching Shakespeare.

The "Teaching Shakespeare Workshop," a partnership between The English-Speaking Union and the world-renowned Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, gives teachers the tools they need to bring Shakespeare to life in their classrooms. The workshop will be led by an expert from the Folger National Teacher Corps and will focus on the Folger Four (scholarship, performance, curriculum, and assessment).

Read more here and register here. 

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Christmas Party

Father Christmas (aka Ron Brown) ladled punch, and harpist Marjorie Mollenaur  played while members and guests of the Monmouth Country ESU gathered for their annual Christmas Party at the Rumson Country Club. 

Branch President Ralph Wyndrum welcomed the attendees and presented a signed and framed photo of last year's Board to past president Richard Biernacki.  Mr. Wyndrum also announced that the Branch had met a challenge grant to raise $1,000 in donations; these funds will enable the Branch to fund education activities, including the  Folger Teaching Shakespeare Workshop for High School Teachers to be held at the Two River Theater on March 1st of 2016.

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An English Pub Night

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Downton Abbey Themed Tea, Period Fashion Show, and Shakespeare Recitations Presented by the Monmouth County English-Speaking Union

Mrs. Patmore may have approved of the variety of finger sandwiches; Mrs. Hughes certainly would have enjoyed the flavored teas, Lady Cora would have worn a stylish hat and greeted everyone warmly, Mr. Carson might have frowned at the lack of footmen, but he would have been moved by the Shakespearean recitations;  The Dowager Countess surely would have bristled at the use of the words "high tea" and Lady Mary would have rolled her eyes at it all…….Still the 50 or so guests who assembled at Bingham Hall in Rumson on Sunday, April 12, for a Downton Abbey themed tea were, to all appearances, quite delightfully entertained by The Monmouth County English-Speaking Union's annual event which this year featured a Victorian/1920's fashion show and tea tasting, provided courtesy of  Suzanne Ryan of Serya Tea.  (seryatea@gmail.com)

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The English-Speaking Union

Monmouth County NJ Branch

Monmouth County NJ Branch Landmark Photo

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The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.

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