News And Events

News And Events

Queen Elizabeth's Birthday and Honoring Ruth A. Bryant

The Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II
and the occasion to honor
Ruth A. Bryant
President Emerita
ESU-St. Louis 

Ruth A Bryant stepped down as ESU president after 43 years of dedicated service to the branch.  Her leadership enabled the St. Louis Branch to flourish in so many ways:  engaging speakers, spearheading the British University Summer School program and our Shakespeare Competition, inviting Evelyn Wrench speakers and Page Scholars, and organizing successful social functions.

 The Board of the ESU-STL decided to honor Ruth Bryant's exemplary service and dedication by creating the Ruth A. Bryant Education Fund.  The fund will support our varied educational programs.  It embodies Ruth's commitment to educating our members in all aspects of English language, culture and history.

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Shakespeare Competition Announcement

Mark your calendars!   

This year's Shakespeare competition for high school students will be held February 4, 2017 at Fontbonne University! 

In addition the Actors From The London Stage have completed casting for the Fall 2016 Richard III tour. 

The actors' biographies may be found HERE. Veteran actress Liz Crowther  has been chosen to play Richard.  

The public performances will be at 8:00 pm in the Lee Theater of the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the evenings of Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29. 

Tickets are anticipated go on sale beginning in August at the general admission cost of $20 

Do join us!

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Queen's Birthday and Honoring of Ruth Bryant

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Fine Arts Education Day in Jefferson City, MO and Performance from Hannah Ryan On Shakespeare's Birthday

The Missouri Alliance for Arts Education has sponsored a Fine Arts Education Day at the Missouri State Capitol since 2004.  This year, on Thursday, March 31, Hannah Ryan (First Place), Tom Horton (Second Place) and Rhiannon Skye Creighton (Third Place) represented the St. Louis Branch on the program.   The purpose of Fine Arts Education Day is to highlight the importance of fine arts education in Missouri schools.  The performance venue was the First Floor Capitol Rotunda. 

(L-R)  Rhiannon Skye Creighton (Third Place) Hannah Ryan (First Place), Tom Horton (Second Place) 

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Recognition of Ruth A. Bryant’s Service to The English-Speaking Union / St. Louis Branch

As most of you know, Ruth Bryant stepped down as ESU president after years of dedicated service to the branch. Her leadership has enabled our branch to flourish in so many ways: engaging speakers, spearheading the British University Summer School program and our Shakespeare competition, inviting Evelyn Wrench speakers and Page scholars, and organizing successful social functions.

Ruth joined the St. Louis Branch in 1973, and was elected to the board in 1989 when Nick Franchot was president. She served as vice president from 1992 to 1996 and was elected president in 1997. Ruth generously shared her knowledge with National, serving on the executive committee of the ESUUS from 1998 to 2002, and served for two years as National Vice President responsible for development. She continues to be our inspiration.

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Isambard Kingdom Brunel: A Victorian Frank Lloyd Wright

ESU 2016 Evelyn Wrench Speaker

"Isambard Kingdom Brunel:  A Victorian Frank Lloyd Wright"

Sunday, May 1, 2016
Cocktails  - 12:30     Lunch - 1:00
Program & speaker to follow

$35 per member - $40 per guest
Cash Bar    Guests welcome

Robert Hulse, MA, is Director of London's Brunel Museum, housed in Brunel's original Thames Tunnel engine house, and winner of The Queen's Award in 2010. National ESU Evelyn Wrench Speaker selected to tour Region VI, he is co-author of The Brunels' Tunnel, with a foreword by Michael Palin. Mr. Hulse has worked in education and museums for 20 years. He has taught at London University and City University; lectured at Chiba University, Tokyo, the Royal Institution of Great Britain and Tel Aviv University. He worked with the Greater London Authority to organize the first public walks through the Thames Tunnel in 145 years. He is now working with Brunel Museum Trustees to build a visitor center in Brunel's Grand Entrance Hall. The museum was recently awarded the Freedom of the Ancient Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey, thus bestowing on Mr. Hulse twin rare privileges: he is now permitted access to any of the river-steps of the Thames… and may drive sheep across London Bridge.

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What Are Garter and Lyon Up to Now?

Brian Abel Ragen, PhD

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Cocktails ~ 12:30   Lunch ~ 1:00
Program & speaker to follow

$35 per member ~ $40 per guest
Cash Bar  Guests welcome

Brian Abel Ragen is Emeritus Professor of English at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where he taught for two decades. He is a graduate of Pomona College in Claremont, California, and holds a Ph.D from Princeton University. He was editor of the scholarly journal Paper on Language on Literature and is the author of bonks on Flannery O'Connor and Tom Wolfe, as well as articles on subjects that range from biblical allusions in Chaucer to the revision of traditional hymns in modern hymnals. His interests in heraldry and chivalry are both scholarly and professional. The journal Semiotics published a major article on heraldry by Ragen, and he won the American Heraldry's Society's award for the best heraldic design of 2009. He is a Knight of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of St.John and has been granted arms by the College of Arms.

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                   Peter Horton, M.D.

Private Education in England: Facts, fiction, myths and legends 

(or my experience of life at Repton School)

Sunday, February 28, 2016
Cocktails ~ 12:30   Lunch ~ 1:00
$35 members  ~  $40 guests
Cash Bar  ~  Guests welcome 

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St. Louis Shakespeare Contest 2016

The St. Louis ESU Branch's Annual Shakespeare competition took place Saturday, January 30, 2016 at Fontbonne University in St. Louis. The winning students are

  • First place: Hannah Ryan from Clayton High School
  • Second place: Thomas Horton from Thomas Jefferson School
  • Third place: Rhiannon Skye Creighton from Mehlville High School

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"From Upstart to Icon: Shakespeare at 400"

University of Missouri St. Louis    


 "From Upstart to Icon: Shakespeare at 400"
Sunday, January 31, 2016

 Cocktails ~ 12:30   Lunch ~ 1:00
$35 members  ~  $40 guests
Cash Bar  ~  Guests welcome

Kurt Schreyer, Associate Professor at the University of Missouri St. Louis, teaches courses on Shakespeare and early English drama. He received his MA at the University of Notre Dame and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. His interests extend to a wide variety of genres and texts — across the traditional medieval/Renaissance disciplinary divide, from Chaucer to Milton, and from epic and romance to devotional lyric.  In his teaching, he stimulates student curiosity by underscoring the historical, cultural, and linguistic differences between pre-modern England and our own society. His recently published book, Shakespeare's Medieval Craft: Remnants of the Mysteries on the London Stage (Cornell University Press), demonstrates the central importance of various theatrical practices from pre-Reformation religious drama to Shakespeare's stagecraft.

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The English-Speaking Union

St. Louis Branch

St. Louis Branch Landmark Photo

Welcome to the ESU

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.

To find out more about our programs click here.