ESU Rochester Branch

Welcome to the ESU Rochester Branch Website


The 2021 ESU National Shakespeare Competition: Rochester Branch has been cancelled due to COVID. Please join us via our E-Branch Competition

Contact Roger Janezic at

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 Rochester 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.

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News And Events

2020 Shakespeare Competition

STUDENT PERFORMERS with their mugs and commemorative tee shirts



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Rochester participants to travel to Stratford

News Photo

New this year, all participants of the 31st Rochester Shakespeare Competition will be awarded a trip to the renowned Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada to see a production of "Hamlet". The trip is available, at no cost, to all participants and is scheduled for Thursday April 23, 2020 to reward them for their hard work in preparing for the competition. This trip is being made possible from funds from the Rochester Chapter of the English Speaking Union as well as from a generous transportation subsidy from the Stratford Festival.


February 29th 2020 Rochester Shakespeare Competition

The 31st annual Rochester Shakespeare Competition for high school students will occur on Saturday February 29th 2020 at 1:00 pm at the Larry and Cindy Bloch Alumni Center at the University of Rochester. Contact Roger Janezic at or call 585-465-9191 for details. More details about the event will appear soon on this website.


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Results of Roc the Sonnet competition

A sonnet writing competition was paired with this years Rochester Shakespeare Competition, open the public. The event was held in conjunction with Rochester's Writers & Books organization. Participants composed a sonnet based on the rules reflecting the hallmarks of a Shakespearean sonnet. Winners were awarded cash prizes and presented their work following the students' monologues and sonnets.

Congratulations to Phill Huffy winner of the adult section of "Roc the Sonnet" with his sonnet "Promissory Notes". His sonnet is listed in the program.

Congratulations to Jessica Opett, from Bishop Kearney High School, who won the student section of "Roc the Sonnet" with "Volition". Ms. Opett's sonnet may be found in the program. Mr. Huffy and Ms. Opett performed for the audience while judges were deliberating.


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Results from the 2 March 2019 Rochester Shakespeare Competition

Event Recap Photo

Photo of winners, Reese is on the far right

Congratulations to Reese Stojanovski from Penfield High School, winner of this year's Rochester Branch competition of the National Shakespeare Competition. This was the 30th anniversary of the Rochester Chapters' event. Reese competed against eight other Rochester area schools on March 4th at the University of Rochester. Her winning monologue was from Paulina's role in "The Winters Tale" (3.2.194-212). Her sonnet (#90) was "Then hate me when thou wilt, if ever, now...". Reese went on to compete in the National Shakespeare Competition. Photos from the event may be found on our "Photo Gallery" page. A PDF of the program may be found here.


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The English-Speaking Union

Rochester Branch

Rochester 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.