News And Events

Join Us for a Special ESU Centennial Event
An Original Radio Play
Mystery Comedy
Hosted by Region VI Branches:
Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Kentucky, St. Louis

Mark your calendar for Monday, November 9, 2020 at 7:30 pm EST as ESU's Centennial celebrations continue with a very special event—An Original ESU Centennial Radio Play Mystery Comedy. This is an old-fashioned radio play in the genre of the 1930's and 1940's Sam Spade Detective Radio Plays but with a modern-day twist. This will be a live production with professional actors performing a mystery comedy titled, "The Case of the Missing Parents." Listeners will hear the actors perform, just like the old radio plays.

The story goes like this: Daughter Myra Bradley's parents have been missing for four days. She receives a cryptic postcard in the mail from her parents which says, "We are attending a most glorious celebration. How perfectly marvelous it is to be able to mark this 100th anniversary. We are so looking forward to seeing our friends from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Kentucky and St. Louis. Signed Momsy & Popsy." Myra is frantic. This is not like her parents to leave without letting her know. Myra hires a private detective to find her missing parents. The search begins. It is a fun mystery comedy with many twists and turns.

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29 Competed for National stage!

The Northern Ohio Regional Competition winner was Claire Kapitan from St. Joseph Academy. She strove for three years to make it to the top! She earned a free trip to the National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center in New York City. There she will compete with about 50 students for a summer scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England. Congratulations Claire. And to her teachers Anne Ising and Becky McNulty.

Here are some photos of the very competitive Competition. Students are learning deeper literacy by lifting words from the page onto the stage. Over the last three years, the First Place winners each had competed for three years in a row, honing their skills.


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Stagecraft has vastly improved since Shakespeare's plays, 400 years ago. What tools might he and his students use today? 

A handout at the Shakespeare Competition, authored by Paul Rampe, offered many options including:

  • Actors who might appear as animals, avatars, holograms, cyborgs and more
  • Scripts co-written by artificial intelligence
  • Stage lighting, lasers and projections 
  • Surround sound from electronic instruments 
  • Drones as performers and cameras
  • 3-D printed props 
  • Cameras with many lenses 
  • Electronic costumes, not fabric 
  • Special effects of many types 
  • Facial recognition data from live audiences 
  • Streaming to widespread audiences 
  • 360 degree views  

Imagine stagecraft 400 years from now! Interplanetary and so much more. Shakespeare and his friends would love it! 


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A poster honoring Maria Schreiner at our Regional Competition. 

Last year showing remarkable determination, Maria Schreiner, Hawken School, won the Shakespeare Competition within her school, Region and then nationally! It was her third year in the Competition. 

Since then, Maria said she had wonderful experiences at the Shaw Festival in Canada and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England. Currently she is finishing her freshman year at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and has performed among the leading roles in several plays.


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Maria Guardino Schreiner at Lincoln Center, New York. 

April 30: Maria Schreiner, Hawken Upper School, was honored today as the Winner of the 2019 Shakespeare Competition of the English-Speaking Union of the United States.

"I couldn't be happier," said Bill Kennedy, President of ESU's Cleveland Branch. "She has so much talent and determination and now the New York judges have recognized her talent just as we had." 

To qualify, Maria won the Competition within Hawken in January and then won the Northern Ohio Competition run by the Cleveland Branch of  ESU in partnership with Great Lakes Theater. 


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The English-Speaking Union

Cleveland Branch

Cleveland 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.

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