News And Events

Emilee Edick Tops Syracuse High School
Students Bowing to Shakespeare This Year

This year's English-Speaking Union-Syracuse Branch's 32nd Annual Shakespeare Competition exchanged Syracuse Stage's Archbold Theatre for a home video, triumphing over the corona virus and scoring another victory for William Shakespeare in the process. Winner Emilee Edick from Christian Brothers Academy presented Shakespeare's Sonnet 11 and a monologue by Phoebe from As You Like It.  Her talent won her video a trip to New York City to participate in the National English-Speaking Union's 38th competition with forty-eight other nationwide winners. 

Emma Winkler from Manlius Pebble Hill School won second place and Tyler Piper from Jordan-Elbridge, third.  Honorable mention was awarded to Joseph Norris of Skaneateles, Cael Sullivan  from Camden, and Kimberly Rivera-Cotto from C.W.Baker in Baldwinsville.

Syracuse's event is made possible by the generous support of The Richard Mather Fund and the members of ESU's Syracuse branch.  Syracuse Branch Shakespeare Committee members include Susan Jarosz and Wendy Davenport, Co-chairs, Dot Booher, Sarah Conley, Shirley Cruickshank, Norma Ferguson, Anne Kuehn, Ann Padget, JoAnn Wallace, and Barbara Weller.

Competition judges were Frank Fiumano, Robert Hupp, and Sharee Pierce.  Matthew Phillips, an English teacher from Jamesville-DeWitt, made the competition possible by volunteering to handle the video details.  Joe Pierce, Sharee's husband, came forward with Zoom enabling the judges to confer.


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January Meeting

ESU Member Dorothy Booher and Presenter Juliet Giglio

Juliet Aires Giglio, professor of screenwriting at SUNY Oswego, presented her documentary Only 982 which tells the story of 982 refugees sheltered in Oswego, NY, in 1944-1945.  These were the only European Holocaust refugees who were allowed entry into the United States during WWII. 

ESU members enjoying conversation before the January presentation

Among the 982 were members of Ms. Giglio's husband's family.  Using archival footage and interviews, Only 982 tells the story of cousins Rikica, David, and Ella Levi, who made their way from Yugoslavia to Italy where they joined 3,000 other refugees vying for a spot on the ship Henry Gibbons headed for safety at Fort Ontario in Oswego.  The film documents their journey and the 18 months they spent at Fort Ontario.

Ms. Giglio invites us to view the documentary:

ESU members enjoying conversation before the January presentation

ESU members enjoying conversation before the January presentation


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December Luncheon

Our December ESU luncheon was a celebration of the holidays. We shared wassail and enjoyed delicious Beef Wellington before member Alice Borning introduced the Fayetteville-Manlius High School  singing group, "Swing Sixteen."  Accompanied by a small jazz combo, these talented students performed
 swing standards in arrangements that showcased their harmony skills. A highlight was their rendition of the seasonal favorite "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."  Shawn Hebert, the group's director, was a member of Swing when he was an F-M student. The performance ended with a standing ovation from the appreciative audience. 


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November Meeting

ESU member Dottie Booher and Rescue Mission speaker Carolyn Hendrickson

ESU's November luncheon meeting featured Carolyn Hendrickson, the Senior Philanthropy Officer for the Rescue Mssion Alliance.  Ms. Hendrickson spoke about the history, mission, and programs of the Rescue Mission, a local organization serving local citizens in need.  It provides meals (over 700 people a day are served);  housing (both temporary and permanent shelter); and educational programs.  Its Thrifty Shopper stores provided 100,000 articles of clothing to families in need last year, while also generating  60% of the Rescue Mission's annual budget from sales to the public and serving as the #1 recycler in Onondaga County.


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Opening Luncehon Programs


ESU member Barbara Weller and Syracuse Stage Artistic Director Robert Hupp.

ESU Syracuse has begun its 2019-2020 year with two interesting luncheon programs.  

     The September program featured Robert Hupp, Artistic Director of Syracuse Stage, in a talk entitled "Behind the Curtain," a look at this year's Syracuse Stage season.  He also provided some insight into the collaborative relationship between Syracuse Stage and the Syracuse University Drama Department.

     The October luncheon featured Daryl Files, a Community Engagement Specialist from the Interfaith Works Center of New Americans in Syracuse, who spoke of the Refugee Resettlement Program in Syracuse.  Syracuse is the second largest resettlement city in NY State and provides crucial services for refugees fleeing from war and from political and religious persecution. Over 2000 refugees have settled in the Syracuse area.  Also featured was Justine, a refugee who spoke of her journey from the Congo to Syracuse.  

Daryl Files, Justine, and ESU member Shirley Cruikshank.


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The English-Speaking Union

Syracuse Branch

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.