ESU Research Triangle NC Branch

Welcome Message from the Research Triangle Branch President

Dear Members and Friends:

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Research Triangle Branch of the English Speaking Union, I am pleased to welcome you to another wonderful season of fellowship, fun and learning. The Board has a full and exciting schedule planned for the coming months, and we invite you to join or renew your membership for another year. Your membership dues and donations are tax deductible and go toward support of our programs, and allow us to provide support for area high-school students participation in the popular Shakespeare Competition. Take a look at our News and Events page for the schedule of activities planned for the coming year.

Kindest regards,
Betsy K. Moye
Research Triangle Branch ESUUS

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News And Events

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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2020 National Shakespeare Competition

On February 27, 2020, the audience enjoyed watching high school students from the area perform in the annual ESU Student Shakespeare Competition, held at William Peace University, Raleigh. Thirteen students competed with excerpts from Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. This year's winners were: first place, Soraiah Williams, from Panther Creek High School, who performed as Cleopatra in "Antony and Cleopatra" and Sonnet 91; second place, Rebekah Walker, from Garner Area Homeschoolers, who performed as Isabella in "Measure for Measure" and Sonnet 91; and third place, Safie Anderson, from Wake Forest High School, who performed as Constance in "King John" and Sonnet 6. Bob Leak, past president of the Research Triangle Chapter, presented Ms. Williams with a beautiful crystal award, generously sponsored by long-time ESU supporter Alice Irby. Laura Levine, Theater Arts Director at Apex High School, helped coordinate the event.

Click here to view more pictures


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2019 Shakespeare Competition

On February 21, 2019, we were treated to an enjoyable evening with high school students from around the area competing in the annual ESU Student Shakespeare Competition, held at William Peace University, Raleigh. Fourteen students competed and gave remarkable performances of excerpts from Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. This years winners were: first place, Xiao-Ming Porter; second place, Morgan Swales; third place, Riley Simutami. Research Triangle Chapter President Bob Leak presented Miss Porter with a beautiful crystal award, generously sponsored by long-time ESU supporter Alice Irby.

Click here to view more pictures from the event. 


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Cary student performs at the 35th Annual National Shakespeare Competition in New York City

Morgan Swales performing at Lincoln Center in New York City

April 26, 2018 — New York City: April 23 may have been a normal Monday for most high school students, but for Morgan Swales from Apex High School it will be a day to remember forever. Morgan, student of Laura Levine, placed as a semifinalist at the 35th Annual National Shakespeare Competition on William Shakespeare's birthday while competing against 55 students from around the US on stage at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater in Lincoln Center as the culmination of a year-long competition hosted by the English-Speaking Union (ESU).

Prior to arriving in New York City for the competition, Morgan wrote:
Shakespeare has a lasting impact on the arts. So many popular titles are based off his work. It's amazing to think how one artist can change so much. It feels surreal to be representing and performing famous work at a national competition. I'm honored to be attending. I am most excited about the hustle and bustle of the city, the food and to see other students' performances.


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Region IV Annual Meeting

Event Photo

Alice Irby, Ralph and Francine Roberson at Carolina Country Club

Research Triangle Branch was pleased to host the ESU Region IV 2017 Annual Meeting in Raleigh, March 24-26. We met old friends and made new ones from the various branches in Virginia and North Carolina, and heard presentations by Christopher Broadwell, ESU Executive Director, and Dr. Julia C. Van de Water, Regional Chair.
Weekend events included: Welcome Dinner Friday night at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course Clubhouse on the Centennial Campus; Annual Meeting and Lunch Saturday morning at the Hampton Inn Crabtree; Gala Dinner Saturday evening at the Carolina Country Club featuring the always-entertaining Dr. Elliott Engel speaking on Winston Churchill; Farewell Brunch Sunday morning at the North Carolina State University Club.


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The English-Speaking Union

Research Triangle NC Branch