ESU Houston Branch

Welcome to the Houston Branch of The English-Speaking Union

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 Houston 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.

News And Events

November Luncheon and Lecture Recap

Houston Branch members gathered at Ouisie's Table for a luncheon and lecture November 7, 2019.  Guest speaker, Joan Eidman, principal harpist with the Houston Symphony and Ballet, gave a talk on Sir Isaac Newton and the Optics of Light.  She concluded with a very early recording of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" followed by a lovely rendition of the same piece by high school senior Clara Haymon.


Read Full Story


Holiday Party

Houston members will gather together for a Holiday Party at Maggaino's Little Italy at 3:00 pm Sunday, December 8 for an afternoon of merriment, feasting, songs, poems, and a talk by last year's Shakespeare scholar, Michelle Britton.   Call Mary Koenig for last minute reservations ;  713.447.3038.  You may also email Amanda Thorin at


Read Full Story



With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Canaan Bracey  from Houston, TX, a student of Matt Hune at The High School for the Performing & Visual Arts in Houston, placed as a semi-finalist in the 34th  annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition in New York City. The Competition took place on May 1, 2017 on the stage of the Mitzi Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center with 54 semi-finalists from as many ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Canaan previously won the ESU Houston Branch competition.

The winner of the 34th English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, Ogechi Egonu, representing the San Francisco Branch, received a full scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp in Staunton, VA, this summer.  Second place winner, Brandon Burk, from the Kentucky Branch, won a cash prize of $1,000 from The English-Speaking Union, while the third place winner, Trevon Wainwright, representing the Kansas City Branch of the ESU, received an award of $500 provided by The Shakespeare Society.

Click here to read full story

Click here to download the PDF version


Read Full Story


Restructuring Philadelphia: New Approaches to America's Founding Process.

The Houston Branch of ESU will join the Houston Oxford Society on Wednesday, April 6 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Black Labrador at  4100 Montrose Boulevard, Houston, TX 77006 - for a dinner and lecture. Dr. Nicholas Cole,   Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, will deliver this year's Pembroke lecture:  "Restructuring Philadelphia:  New Approaches to America's Founding Process."   Tickets (including the meal but exclusive of drinks) are priced at $33. Please RSVP by April 4.

To purchase tickets, please use this link.


Read Full Story


Winner of 2016 Houston Shakespeare Competition

The Houston Branch of the English-Speaking Union held its 29th Annual Shakespeare Competition at Duchesne Academy on Saturday morning, March 5, 2016. Claire will be sent to compete in New York City at the National ESU Competition in May. The winner of this year's contest was Claire Metusalem, a student at The High School for the Visual and Performing Arts (HSPVA). Claire demonstrated self-confidence, poise and whimsical caprice as she performed the role of Helena in a monologue from A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Her teacher is Cynthia Ogden, assisted by Matthew Hune.  At HSPVA "Educational theatre is a creative, democratic activity. Students learn the principles of democracy and civic responsibility through working in close harmony."


Read Full Story


The English-Speaking Union

Houston Branch

Houston 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.