News And Events

2019 Hawaii Branch National Shakespeare Competition Finalist

Left to right: Maggie Odom (third), Mariko Jurcsak (first), Skylar Dysarz (second) Top three winners in the Hawaii segment of the 2019 ESU National Shakespeare Competition.

April 29,  2019 may have been a normal Monday for most high school students, but for Mariko Jurcsak from 'Iolani School it will be a day to remember forever. Mariko, student of Robert Duval, placed as a finalist 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 in New York City.

This year the ESU Hawaii branch awarded a TLab Scholarship for summer study at Shakespeare's Globe in London to Jackie Seaquist of Hilo High School. Upon her return to Hawaii in August, Jackie wrote to say this:

 . . . I recently returned from the TLab course at the Globe!  Being at the Globe has changed the way I look at and teach Shakespeare.  . . . .  The course was an amazing immersive experience, and I'm grateful to ESU Hawaii for sponsoring me so I could participate!

ESU Hawaii, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is operated entirely by volunteers and relies on charitable contributions (tax deductible!) to continue the mission of ESU founder Sir Evelyn Wrench "to bring together in the bonds of friendship the English- speaking peoples of the world." The Hawaii Branch of the English-Speaking Union has had more national winners than any other branch in the history of the ESU National Shakespeare Competition: Connor Lawhorn (2011), Sarah Spalding (2015), and Ari Dalbert (2016). If you would like to support our efforts to continue bringing Hawaii's students together to celebrate the language of Shakespeare, please consider becoming a member via the link on our site or making a contribution (or both!).

An Appealing Sonnet

To fund the ESU Hawaii Branch
Is what this humble sonnet asks of you
So that deposits, which we long to bank,
Increase enough to let us follow through
In nurturing young minds we cherish dearly.
If Bard of Avon's your fond proclivity,
Help underwrite our competition yearly
And more Shakespearean activity.
To "ESU Hawaii" make out your check
In an amount best matching with your means,
And a noble difference you will make
In lives of brave, performing island teens.
The truth of this is ineluctable:
Your gift is fully tax deductible!

Checks made out to ESU Hawaii may be mailed to Mark Lawhorn, 2121 Ala Wai Blvd., Apt. 2705, Honolulu, HI 96815.

Thank you for visiting the ESU Hawaii web site. The ESU president and other executive committee members may be contacted at


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