News And Events

Happy Hour: Royal Collection Trust Victoria & Albert

Join Our Next ESU Happy Hour

Wednesday, October 19, 2022, 3:00 PM Central Time

Join our next Happy Hour to hear Carly Collier, curator and independent art historian, as she explores Victoria and Albert's shared love for the arts. Using examples drawn from the Royal Collection, she will provide a broad overview of their collecting across a variety of disciplines – from works on paper to paintings, architecture and sculpture, decorative arts, and the new and exciting technology of photography. ESU Happy Hours are free online programs for members and guests. Please register. Read more.

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Victoria and Albert were also talented amateur artists themselves, and Carly will demonstrate how their taste and knowledge of the arts was underpinned by practical experimentation. Above all, Carly's talk will illuminate the very personal nature of the royal couple's enjoyment of the arts and reveal how – in the presents they regularly made to one another of works of art of all different types – they expressed their mutual love and devotion.


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Happy Hour: England before the Norman Conquest with Robert Hanning


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The English Pantomime with James Stebbings

Our Next ESU Happy Hour
A British Christmas Tradition:
The English Pantomime

 Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at 4:00 pm Central Time

For many people across the United Kingdom, a visit to the Pantomime or Panto is as essential a part of the Christmas season as Christmas Pudding, the Christmas Tree, or the kiss under the mistletoe! Delighting both children and adults alike, productions of this traditional form of seasonal theatrical entertainment can be found across the land from small amateur productions in village halls, to professional theatres in all major towns and cities, as well as in London's West End.  For many professional venues the guaranteed packed houses over several weeks provide a welcome and vital financial boost.

So, what is this popular and traditional entertainment where the Principal Boy is openly played by an attractive female and the Dame is openly played by a man?  How, where and when did Pantomime and the traditional stories they feature originate?  What are the vital elements, and who were the innovators who left their mark and created the roles we expect to find today?

In a presentation aided by a number of interesting and colorful slides, Jim Stebbings will answer these questions in what promises to be an informative and entertaining lecture. ESU Happy Hours are free online programs for members and guests. 

Save the Date
Registration page for this Happy Hour coming soon.

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39th Annual Shakespeare Competition

ESU Invites all Kansas City Area High Schools to enter our 39th annual Shakespeare Competition

39th Annual Shakespeare Competition, Plaza Library

Registration Now Open

Deadline to Register School: 
January 27, 2023

Register Here!

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2023 Annual Meeting & Lecture with Maryfrances Wagner

Save the date: Sunday, January 22, 2023

We are pleased to announce Missouri's Poet Laureate, Maryfrances Wagner, as the keynote speaker at our ESU Kansas City Annual Meeting on January 22, 2023. Maryfrances is Missouri's sixth poet laureate appointed by Governor Parson in 2021. 

Maryfrances is a poet, teacher, and community leader from Independence, Missouri. She has published nine books of poetry and had her work published in dozens of magazines and anthologies. She has taught creative and academic writing, taught workshops at all levels, and served as President of The Writers Place and Secretary for KC Creates. She taught at Raytown High School and the University of Missouri-Kansas City for 30 years.

She will talk about her path as an aspiring writer, the challenges she faced, and intersperses the talk with poems she has written along the way.  Her talk is alternately moving, funny, informative, and ultimately heart-warming as we meet this talented and passionate writer.

More details about time and place for our Kansas City Annual Meeting will be forthcoming. Please mark your calendar for Sunday, January 22, 2023 for this memorable program and be sure to tell your friends. This is a program for all ages.


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The English-Speaking Union

Kansas City Branch

Kansas City Branch Landmark Photo