ESU St. Louis Branch

A Message from the St. Louis Board

The English-Speaking Union of the United States is a non-profit, non-political educational organization founded in 1920, two years after an English-Speaking Union was launched in England.

Its mission initially was "to draw together in the bonds of comradeship the English-speaking peoples of the world."

The world has changed dramatically since then, but as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh wrote recently, the English-Speaking Union has managed to adapt to these changes so that the ESU has made "the transition from a union of friendship among speakers of English into a dynamic body devoted to the promotion of the use of English as a medium of international communication."

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News And Events

ESU 2024 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 St. Louis 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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Join Us for a Special ESU Centennial Event
An Original Radio Play
Mystery Comedy
Hosted by Region VI Branches:
Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Kentucky, St. Louis

Mark your calendar for Monday, November 9, 2020 at 7:30 pm EST as ESU's Centennial celebrations continue with a very special event—An Original ESU Centennial Radio Play Mystery Comedy. This is an old-fashioned radio play in the genre of the 1930's and 1940's Sam Spade Detective Radio Plays but with a modern-day twist. This will be a live production with professional actors performing a mystery comedy titled, "The Case of the Missing Parents." Listeners will hear the actors perform, just like the old radio plays.

The story goes like this: Daughter Myra Bradley's parents have been missing for four days. She receives a cryptic postcard in the mail from her parents which says, "We are attending a most glorious celebration. How perfectly marvelous it is to be able to mark this 100th anniversary. We are so looking forward to seeing our friends from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Kentucky and St. Louis. Signed Momsy & Popsy." Myra is frantic. This is not like her parents to leave without letting her know. Myra hires a private detective to find her missing parents. The search begins. It is a fun mystery comedy with many twists and turns.

Register Online Here

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St. Louis Branch of 


"Post Brexit negations:
Does the UK veer from the orbit of the EU into the shoals of relations with the US?"

Sunday, MAY 17, 2020

Main Dining Room
1777 Des Peres Road, 63131
(1 mile south from Clayton Road on outer road of 270)

Cocktails 12:30  ~ Lunch 1:00   
Members $40  ~  Guests  $45

With more than thirty years of living and working overseas, Michael Costello offers a unique perspective and understanding of world affairs. He teaches law and international management in the nationally ranked international business program in the College of Business Administration at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. He leads students on international study courses to Benelux, Israel, United Arab Emirates and Oxford, UK, and he has taught in China, Kuwait and Oman. He was the chief legal officer of Agribrands, Inc, as well as serving as International Counsel for Monsanto and Ralston Purina. Costello practiced EU law for three years in Brussels, Belgium, and served as an intern with the Commission of the EU. He has a JD from St. Louis University and an LLM in International & Comparative Law from the Vrije Universeit Brussels, Belgium. He is married, with two children in business careers. And he is also an enthusiastic Branch member.


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St. Louis National Shakespeare Competition

Students read, analyze, perform and recite Shakespearean monologues and sonnets in three qualifying stages: at the school, regional, and national levels. Approximately 2,500 teachers and 20,000 students in nearly 60 ESU Branch communities participate each year.



  • Oct. 19, 2019 (9-11am)—FREE Teacher Workshop: how to help students prepare for the competition
  • Jan. 15, 2020—Deadline to register your school and hold your school competition
  • Jan. 25, 2020 (8am-1pm)—FREE student workshop conducted by previous judges toprepare for the regional competition
  • Feb. 29, 2020 (9am)—Regional Competition 
    • 1st place winner receives an all-expense-paid trip to New York City for national competition in late April, 2020
    • 2nd & 3rd place winners receive cash prizes


2019-2020 ESU National shakespeare competition: St. Louis branch

The 37th Annual ESU National Shakespeare Competition: St. Louis Branch will take place on February 29th, 2020 at 9:00 AM at Fontbonne University. The deadline for area schools to register is January 15th, 2020. The deadline for area schools to hold their competition is January 15th, 2020. Contact Dr. Janet Baldwin at 


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Annual Holiday Luncehon


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The English-Speaking Union

St. Louis Branch

St. Louis 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.