News And Events

A Message from the Hawaii Branch President

President's Update October 2021

The Hawaii segment of the ESU National Shakespeare Competition, during which Hawaii's school competition winners competed for a chance to represent Hawaii in the national competition was held virtually in 2021 and will be similarly done in 2022. Winners of their school-level competitions will post performances on YouTube for the Hawaii Branch Competition judges to review. School Participation  Forms should be completed by November 15, 2021. Here is the link for the form:

School Winner Forms (coming) must be submitted by February 19 (preferably sooner as the Branch competition will be judged by February 26 in 2022). The school winner's video performance must be uploaded to YouTube by February 19, 2022, as well. 

Here is a link to General Shakespeare Page on the ESU Website: 

Hybrid National Shakespeare Competition Format in 2022 

ESUUS embarks on the 2022 ESU National Shakespeare Competition with the intention to provide students with the safest, most exciting experience possible while providing branches with the best possible service and value. To that end, the 2022 competition format will be a hybrid. The semi-finals, as in 2020 and 2021 will remain virtual via a recorded performance from our branch champions (collected on the Winner Packet which National will send directly to students.).  

Should conditions appear favorable in early 2022, our intention is to hold the national finals during a live competition in New York City on the weekend of April 23-26, 2022. Only the top 10 finalists will travel to New York City for an exclusive and fun-filled weekend.  

Tyler Logan Caro, a student of Alex Fox from Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu earned first place in the  2021 English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition Hawaii Branch competition. Karys  Imai of Iolani School garnered second place, and Madison Duren of Hawaii Baptist Academy was awarded third place in the Hawaii Branch competition. Each student performed a Shakespearean monologue of their choice and recited a sonnet. Competitors were judged on their understanding of their selected texts and on their ability to communicate their interpretation to the audience. Judges for the 2021  Branch Competition included Betty Burdick, Taurie Kinoshita, and Nicolas Logue. 

Since 1982, the English-Speaking Union (ESU) National Shakespeare Competition has partnered with teachers to make Shakespeare's work come alive. This unique, performance-based education program provides students with multiple points of entry to engage with rigorous material and practice essential skills such as critical thinking and close reading. High school students from across the country read,  

analyze, perform and recite Shakespearean monologues and sonnets. In the history of the competition, the  ESU has helped educators empower nearly 350,000 students to create and convey their own unique perspectives to a live audience. 

The competition progresses through three qualifying stages. 

Ninth through twelfth graders are eligible to participate in a school-wide competition (provided they have not been paid for performing during the current school year). Schools have the option of requiring that students perform both a sonnet and monologue at the school level competition.

The school winner then advances to a competition arranged by the local ESU Branch.  Provided that conditions permit, Branch winners who advance to the national finals round in  2022 will travel, all expenses paid, to New York City. 

Mid-Pacific Institute's Tyler Caro (above) advanced to the finals stage (top ten) of the 2021 national competition! Congratulations, Tyler! 

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). To see the complete list of past Hawaii Branch Competition winners, click on this link: 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 the 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 the 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 website. The ESU president and other executive committee  members may be contacted at


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