ESU Memphis Branch

Welcome to the Memphis Branch of The English-Speaking Union

We are a non-profit, non-political membership organization whose mission is to promote scholarship and the advancement of knowledge through the effective use of English in an expanding global community. We sponsor and organize educational and cultural programs for students and teachers as well as provide lectures, social events, and travel opportunities for our members. The Memphis Branch is one of 68 located throughout the United States and is part of a global network of ESUs promoting educational opportunities in over 50 countries around the world. We invite you to explore our website to learn more about who we are and what we do.

News And Events

The ESU National Shakespeare Competition Starts Now!

News Photo

We are pleased to announce the kick-off of the ESU's National Shakespeare Competition! Schools in our region may enter now, giving students the opportunity to compete in The Memphis Branch Competition.  The winner of the branch competition will travel to NYC to compete in the national finals at Lincoln Center!  


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ESU Happy Hour Series

Welcome to ESU Happy Hour! The ESU has planned a series of programs to connect and reach out to our members through programs that are engaging, fun, and informative on a wide variety of topics. Happy Hour programs bring to you guest speakers live and free of charge.  Speakers may also suggest a unique cocktail for you to create and enjoy at home. These programs are designed so ESU members and guests can learn and interact with our outstanding speakers. Many speakers will provide exciting participation opportunities with fun give away books and products at the end of each program.

Read the full story for a complete listing of the first six speakers in the program!


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With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Lauren Ledger  from Memphis, TN, a student of Jenny Madden at St. Mary's School in Memphis, 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. Lauren previously won the ESU Memphis 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.

Click here to read full story

Click here to download the PDF version


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Great Conversations

The Memphis Branch of the English-Speaking Union participated on April 18, 2013, in the Great Conversations, sponsored by the University of Memphis College of Arts & Sciences.  We could select from 15 topics, each led by a faculty member or a distinguished alumnus of the University.  The meeting was held at the Memphis Botanic Garden.  There was a hospitality reception so that the members and other attendees could meet and interact with the conversation leaders.  Then, we enjoyed a delicious dinner and each table began the great conversation on the topic of choice by the members and other attendees at the table.

The subjects were varied giving our members an excellent choice of an impressive array of topics

Click Here to read the subjects and conversation leaders

Do not miss the program on June 8th featuring Beatrice Chauvin, a principal speaker at the Delta Seminar, which will be both informative and interesting.


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ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE for a teen from Arlington High School.

Captivating audiences with a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Matthew Nelson, winner of the 21st Annual Russel and Joy Wiener Shakespeare Competition, placed as a semi-finalist at the 30th season of the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition.  Matthew, a student of John Maness & Sarah Lyn Archibald at Arlington High School in Arlington, TN, achieved the recognition at the competition held on April 22nd at Lincoln Center Theater in New York.  The Memphis Branch congratulates Matthew and acknowledges with appreciation the efforts of the Tennessee Shakespeare Company, Dan McCleary, its director, Carla and Keith Loveless and Wilma Rutland for serving as judges and coordinators, respectively, of the Memphis Branch regional competition.

The next meeting of the Memphis Branch will be held on June 8th.  The program will feature one of the principal speakers from this year's Delta Seminar. The multi-talented Beatrice Chauvin will present a program that will both inform and delight us.  Notices will be mailed shortly.


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The English-Speaking Union

Memphis Branch

Memphis 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.