ESU Research Triangle NC Branch

Welcome Message from the Research Triangle Branch President

Dear Members and Friends:

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Research Triangle Branch of the English Speaking Union, I am pleased to welcome you to another wonderful season of fellowship, fun and learning. The Board has a full and exciting schedule planned for the coming months, and we invite you to join or renew your membership for another year. Your membership dues and donations are tax deductible and go toward support of our programs, and allow us to provide support for area high-school students participation in the popular Shakespeare Competition. Take a look at our News and Events page for the schedule of activities planned for the coming year.

Kindest regards,
Robert E. Leak
Research Triangle Branch ESUUS

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News And Events


With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Mya Ison from Cary, NC, a student of Phoebe Dillard at Enloe High School in Raleigh, won a place as one of the 10 finalists 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 with 54 semi-finalists from as many ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Mya previously won the ESU Research Triangle 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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Region IV Annual Meeting

Event Photo

Alice Irby, Ralph and Francine Roberson at Carolina Country Club

Research Triangle Branch was pleased to host the ESU Region IV 2017 Annual Meeting in Raleigh, March 24-26. We met old friends and made new ones from the various branches in Virginia and North Carolina, and heard presentations by Christopher Broadwell, ESU Executive Director, and Dr. Julia C. Van de Water, Regional Chair.
Weekend events included: Welcome Dinner Friday night at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course Clubhouse on the Centennial Campus; Annual Meeting and Lunch Saturday morning at the Hampton Inn Crabtree; Gala Dinner Saturday evening at the Carolina Country Club featuring the always-entertaining Dr. Elliott Engel speaking on Winston Churchill; Farewell Brunch Sunday morning at the North Carolina State University Club.


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John White and the First Pictures of the New World

News Photo

Jenny Skinner presenting talk on artist John White

On February 5, 2017, at a well-attended brunch at the NCSU University Club in Raleigh, Jenny Skinner presented an entertaining and informative lecture on the travels and work of John White, an accomplished artist and governor of the Roanoke Island settlement that became the Lost Colony in North Carolina. His watercolors were the first pictures of the New World.


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Fellowship and BBQ at Milburnie Fishing Club

On November 13 at the Milburnie Fishing Club in Raleigh, members and guests enjoyed a scrumptious buffet of barbeque, oyster casserole, roast chicken, hush puppies, and loads of sides. The Milburnie Fishing Club sits on land granted around 1730 by King George to the Hinton family. The club was founded in 1913, when A. H. Byrum, E. P. Maynard, R. P. Dickson, T. C. Powell, and J. P. Timberlake each contributed $500 to buy the 65 acres neighboring Midway Plantation from Charles Lewis Hinton. It remains today the rustic retreat of Raleigh's old guard.


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Following the Scotts: A History and Mystery Exhibition and Presentation by Perry Hurt, NC Museum of Ar

On September 25, participants enjoyed a delightful English tea, a lecture, and a special tour of the early British Renaissance portraits exhibit at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh.

As Perry Hurt, Associate Paintings Conservator, explained, seven of the NCMA's portraits descend from the Scott family of Kent, UK, and include the probable portrait of Sir John Scott (1564-1616), family patriarch, Knight, Member of Parliament and a very well-connected man of his day. After nearly six years of study they know much more about Scott, his extended family, the paintings, and their place in history along with Elizabeth I, James I, the Spanish Armada, colonization of North America, and more. September 25 marks the 400th anniversary of Sir John Scott's death, an appropriate day to remember an interesting man who lived in interesting times.


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The English-Speaking Union

Research Triangle NC Branch