ESU Portland Branch

A Message from the Portland Branch President

Dear ESU Member or Prospective Member,

The Portland Branch of the English-Speaking Union is dedicated to making sure members receive benefit for their membership both in terms of social interaction as well as learning.  Our branch participates every year in the Books As Envoys Program, the Walter Hines Page Scholar Program, and the Shakespeare Competition.  In 2000, our Shakespeare Competition finalist was the national winner. In 2012, our winner, Cyler Winnie from South Salem High School, placed second in the ESU's National Shakespeare Competition."

Additionally, Portland was the second branch to begin an English In Action Program, a program that has continued here on a weekly basis for almost thirty years.  In the fall, an Evelyn Wrench (Evelyn Wrench was the founder of ESU) speaker comes to the West Coast and speaks to all the branches in Region VIII.

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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 Portland 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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2020 Shakespeare Competition

2020 Shakespeare Competition Portland Branch

The ESU National Shakespeare Competition: Portland Branch was held on Saturday, February 13 at the Fir Acres Theatre, Lewis and Clark College, Portland. We were proud to host 8 extraordinary student thespians, from various high schools across the state. First prize was awarded to Evan Ewing, of McMinnville High School, McMinnville, Oregon.  


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2019 Shakespeare Competition

Portland student performs at the
36th Annual National Shakespeare Competition in
New York City


April 30, 2019 — New York City: April 29th may have been a normal Monday for most high school students, but for Elizabeth Hennessey from Seton Catholic College Prep it will be a day to remember forever. Elizabeth, student of Linda Scheurman, placed as a semifinalist at the 36th Annual National Shakespeare Competition celebrating William Shakespeare's birthday while competing against 50 students from around the US on stage at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center Theater. The event is the culmination of a year-long competition hosted by the English-Speaking Union (ESU).


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2018 Shakespeare Competition

 Portland 2018 Shakespeare Competition Winner

Student Broen McCloskey pictured winning Portland's 2018 Shakespeare competition


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2016 Shakespeare Competition


With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Michael Martinoff  from McMinnville, OR, a student of Bethany Mason at McMinnville High School in McMinnville, 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. Michael previously won the ESU Portland Branch competition.

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The English-Speaking Union

Portland Branch

Portland 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.