ESU Atlanta Branch

President's Corner

March 10, 2024

Members – Atlanta Branch ESU

Re:  Report on Upcoming Events

2024 is turning out to be an eventful year for the Atlanta Branch of the ESU.  On January 14th, we held a Member Meeting and Luncheon at The Ansley Golf Club with one of our favorite speakers, Dr. Patrick Allitt, Professor at Emory University.  

On February 25th, Randy and Diane Brannen hosted the Annual Shakespeare Competition at The Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern during which sixteen students competed.    Amelia G of St Pius X Catholic High School won first place and is going to New York for the National ESU Shakespeare Competition in April.  

Our upcoming events include our General Membership Meeting on Tuesday, March 12th, at 4:00 featuring guest speaker, Tony Brown, prominent Shakespearean actor, who will share Reminiscences of the Shakespeare Tavern.  This event will be held in the Gould Room of Cathedral of St. Philips.  We will have light refreshments and a champagne toast.  Guests are welcome.  

Please mark your calendars for Saturday, May 18th, for our festive Annual Garden Party.  Details forthcoming including RSVP instructions for members and guests.  

Finally, please consider going to our next Annual Meeting which will be held in Cleveland, Ohio on October 18-21st, 2024.  This will be partnered with the International ESU Council Meeting, so this will be an opportunity not only to meet members in other branches domestically, but also to meet your counterparts in the ESU in other countries.   

I look forward to seeing you at these many events!


Susan Phillips

President, Atlanta Branch ESU

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News And Events

2024 Annual Garden Party


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2024 ESU Atlanta Shakespeare Competition

Sixteen high school students competed in the annual ESU Atlanta Shakespeare Competition at the Shakespeare Tavern on Feb 25, 2024. Here are the top performers:

1st Place – Amelia G., St Pius X Catholic High School (Chamblee, Dekalb). Teacher Jami Warren. 

2nd Place – Mars W., Westminster School (Buckhead, Fulton). Teacher Kate Morgens. This is Miss Wilkiemeyer's second appearance on our stage. 

3rd Place – Charlotte C., Mount Vernon School (Sandy Springs, Fulton) Teacher Tyler Dale. 

Amelia G. will represent ESU Atlanta in New York City as a participant in ESU's 41st National Competition on April 15th at Lincoln Center. The 1ST PLACE winner of the National Competition will receive a fully funded summer study abroad at the BRITISH AMERICAN DRAMA ACADEMY MID-SUMMER CONSERVATORY PROGRAM at Oxford University.

1st Place Winner Amelia G. with ESU President Susan Phillips

Our ESU Atlanta Shakespeare Competition benefits from the many hours that students and teachers dedicate to preparing for this event. This is the second year in a row that St. Pius X has taken first place, albeit with a different teacher. Their last theater teacher was Tracey Buot, and Jami Warren is the current teacher. Westminster has participated since the early 1990's. Kate Morgens has been the teacher for many years, and her students regularly do well. Ms Morgens was inducted into Westminster's Hall of Fame for alumni who excel in the arts. She graduated from the school in 1991, and she is in good company – actors Brian Baumgartner and Ed Helms of The Office fame were two of her classmates! Mount Vernon High School has become a theater power-house in recent years due in large part to one student, Miss Arden Adams, who won our competition two years in a row, and placed third in another year! We are happy to report that she is continuing to pursue her passion for the stage as a student at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. She will graduate in 2025 with a BFA.

Thank you to Diane and Randy Brannen for the phenomenal job they do each year in organizing and presenting this event. 

Congratulations, Amelia!

See photos of the event


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General Membership Meeting - February 15

General Membership Meeting

Thursday, February 15, 2024 @ 4pm


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Dr. Manning Patillo Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Manning Patillo's contributions to the English Speaking Union were recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the October 2023 ESUUS National Conference. Charles Maddrey, Board Chair, presented the award to Dr. Patillo's daughter.

Dr. Manning Patillo joined the Atlanta Branch of the ESU in 1975 and served in many leadership roles over the years. As President and then Board Chairman, he led the Branch in implementing financial policies that continue to benefit us to this day, and in providing programs and community outreach that support ESU activities.


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The 2024 National Shakespeare Competition Starts Now!

News Photo

We are pleased to announce the kick-off of the ESU's National Shakespeare Competition! Schools in our region may enter now, giving students the opportunity to compete in The Atlanta Branch Competition.  The winner of the branch competition will travel to NYC to compete in the national finals at Lincoln Center!  


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The English-Speaking Union

Atlanta Branch

Atlanta Branch Landmark Photo