The English-Speaking Union

News And Events

Happy Birthday to Her Majesty Queen

Your Majesty,

With gratitude and admiration, The English-Speaking Union of the United States sends you warm greetings on the occasion of your 96th birthday.

We thank you for all the years of service you've given to the people of the United Kingdom and the entire world.


May God continue to bless you!

With our good wishes and prayers,

Dr. E. Quinn Peeper


The National Board of Directors of The English-Speaking Union of the United States

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ESU Happy Hour Series

Wednesday, April 27 at 5:00 PM (EDT)
African-Americans Play The Bard
Professor Charles Dumas

A discussion of those notable African-Americans who have played the Bard including Ira Aldridge, Paul Robeson, James Earl Jones, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Frances Foster, Audra McDonald, & Fran Dorn.

Charles Dumas is a professor emeritus from Penn State University.  He is an Emmy Award winning professional actor, director, and writer. He has performed or directed in 10 Shakespeare plays including Othello three times.


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ESU Happy Hour Series

Wednesday, April 6th at 5:00 PM (EST)

Dining Out: A Happy Hour Romp through the history of the Restaurant 

Elliot Shore

When did people start to eat out? When did the restaurant as we know it today actually come into being? Join us by whetting your appetite with an April Cocktail – The Lion's Tail -- from the first true restaurant in London, the Café Royal, published in its book of cocktails in 1937. Our hour together will be an illustrated talk with emphasis on the US and England with ample time for discussion. Elliott Shore is an historian, librarian, and chief information officer. He has published books and articles in the history of advertising, the history of publishing, of radicalism, of German-America and of restaurants. He presented a similar evening at the English-Speaking Union in Pinehurst in February.


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Chairman's March Newsletter

Dear friends,

Just two weeks ago, as I was thinking about my next letter to you, I was excited about the approaching spring and the magic of new beginnings that it brings. But this feeling of optimism and hope for sunny skies and new experiences has been overshadowed by the disturbing events in Ukraine, a country that hosts one of our sister English-Speaking Unions. 

We deplore the destruction of Ukraine and we stand in solidarity with our colleagues at ESU Ukraine and with the entire nation of Ukraine. We disavow the tactics of war and call for the protection of lives during this conflict. We strongly support the Ukrainian people's fight to protect democracy and are hopeful that a peaceful resolution will be reached before long. 

As an organization created out of the ashes of WWI and committed to fostering peace and global understanding through the use of the English language, the ESU of the United States is providing direct aid to ESU Ukraine and symbolically dedicating our programs this spring to an independent, peaceful and democratic Ukraine.

The ESU National Shakespeare Competition has been underway in ESU Branches across the country to select the semi-finalists who will vie for the top prize on April 25, 2022. Even a global deadly pandemic has been unable to stop the power and influence of the Bard on young adults. The Competition endures despite the challenges, thanks to the ESU Branches, teachers, students, judges, and staff embracing technology to carry the program through in a way that is safe and effective, until we can all meet in person.

I know you'll agree with me that the ESU National Shakespeare Competition is so beloved because it faithfully reflects everything the ESU stands for and aspires to. The Competition educates and inspires, it brings young people together and challenges them to understand and embrace one of the world's greatest bodies of literature – the works of William Shakespeare. And it allows us, the ESU members, to be part of these young people's journeys and to nurture and cheer their progress.

The appeal of the program shows in the rising numbers of Branches coming back after skipping the 2020-2021 season. I'm delighted to announce that this year we are just five ESU Branches shy of our pre-pandemic number of participating Branches. After missing the 2021 Competition, five ESU Branches came back with the encouragement and support of Program Director Betty Trevino-Roth and the rest of the staff who have guided the Branches in mounting their virtual local rounds.

Read the full newsletter on the next page, or download the newsletter here.

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ESU Evelyn Wrench Speaker Program

Former British Ambassador to China
Wednesday, March 16 at 6 PM EDT

We are thrilled to welcome Sir Christopher Hum, KCMG and former British Ambassador to China, to the ESU Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan for this delightful evening. A prolific and widely-admired lecturer, Sir Christopher will share with us his insider's look at China's geopolitical future with his lecture, Will China Rule the World?

On his first visit to China, during the tumult of the Cultural Revolution, Christopher Hum watched Chairman Mao receive the adoration of his Red Guards. He lived there in all for ten years, as a diplomat and as British Ambassador between 2002 and 2005, and had a ringside seat as China turned into the superpower it is today. What role does China aspire to play in the international community? Threat or opportunity? Will China rule the world?

Register Here!

Admission pricing:

$20 for ESU members
$25 for non-ESU members

Note: This will be an in-person event at the English-Speaking Union, located at 144 E 39th Street, New York, NY 10016. The event will be held at 6 pm EDT.


Seats are limited for this event. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for entry. Masks will be required at all times during the event.

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