News And Events

News And Events

Andres Dubus III Event


Wednesday, November 12, 6 o'clock
Eight Park Street, Boston

ESU recognizes writers with a distinct voice that when combined with extraordinary use of the English language produces writing that can be most memorable and profound, enlightening and entertaining and extremely worthy of a reader's concentrated attention. Such is the voice of our ESU Author of the Year Andre Dubus Ill.

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ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE For teen from Scituate High School

New York City, May 5, 2014 -- Captivating audiences with a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, John Duff from Scituate, Massachusetts, a student of Ty Lemerande at Scituate High School in Scituate, placed as a semi-finalist in the 31st annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition.  The Competition was held on May 5th at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City for 58 winners of ESU Branch competitions nationwide. John had previously won the ESU Boston Branch regional competition. 

John Duff, semi-finalist in the 2014 English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City.

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Annual Garden Party

The Boston Branch of
The English-Speaking Union
Cordially invites you to a
Festive Garden Party and Champagne Reception.

The event will be held at the lovely home of
Eli and Jody Dow
3:00 P.M. Rain or shine
Sunday, June 8, 2014

The proceeds from this annual garden party, our major fundraiser, are to benefit the ESU Education Fund, which supports the Shakespeare Competition for high school students. More than 20,000 talented teenagers from schools in the Greater Boston area have participated in this annual educational event over the last 30 years.

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Evelyn Wrench Speaker Adrian Tinniswood

The Boston Branch of the English-Speaking Union
in cooperation with the Boston Athenaeum
10 ½ Beacon Street, Boston

presents the ESU's 2014 Evelyn Wrench Speaker

 Adrian Tinniswood, OBE

speaking on his new book, The Rainborowes

More than a century before the American Revolution, Bostonians—and Boston ideals—played a role in overthrowing another English king.  The Rainborowes bridges two generations and two worlds as it carries the reader back and forth across the Atlantic, between Boston and England, weaving together the lives of different members of the Rainborowe clan (including members of other prominent Boston families to whom they were related) as they struggle to forge a better life for themselves and a better future for humankind in the New World and in the Old, as colonists, entrepreneurs and idealists. The narrative unfolds between 1630 and 1660 – a time which shattered England and shaped America – and follows the fortunes of William Rainborowe, a formidable merchant-mariner and shipmaster, and his equally formidable sons and daughters. As it does, the reader comes to know and understand not only the lives and loves of a single family, but the dreams of an entire culture – confused and chaotic, catching hold of hope and losing its grip on old certainties.

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National Shakespeare Competition

The 31st ESU Shakespeare Competition for High School Students is pleased to announce the following students:

Claire Glover
Esha Nihoff Asser
Gabrielle Farrah
Josh Champagne
Caroline Clancy
Jack Duff
Jacqueline Balter
Samantha Marchiony
Victoria Greenwald
Oliver Hernandez

will be moving onto the Boston Finals  to be held on Saturday, March 1 1pm to 4pm at

The Semel Theater
on the 3rd floor of
The Tufte Performance Center
Emerson College, Boston

10 Boylston Place
Boston 02116
(Boylston Place is a pedestrian walkway located off Boylston Street, halfway between Charles Street and Tremont Street.)

 Click Here for directions & parking

Your participation will provide vital support and enthusiasm for our cast of brave and brilliant students and your hopes for the next generation will be enhanced by seeing these young people in action doing important work.  It is by no means an accident that our past contestants have gone onto illustrious careers in academia, the professions and industry.  You will be the better for joining us at this final.

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National Shakespeare Competition

The National Shakespeare Competition semi-finals will take place on Saturday, February 22 at the Sorenson Center for the Arts at Babson College located on 231 Forest St., Park Manor South, Wellesley, MA 02457 strating at 10:00 a.m.

The Boston Branch is collaborating with the British School of Boston and the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company.

The finals will be at the Tufte Performace Production Center in the Semel Theater of Emerson College on Saturday,  March 1 at 12:30 p.m.

21 Schools are participating in the Semi-Finals at Babson from which approximately 10 will participate in the finals at Emerson.  We welcome all visitors. We would like to have an enthusiastic and substantial audience for these deserving, brave, and highly talented young Shakespeare competitors. 

This will one of the Boston's Branch primary events of the season.

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A Pre-Oscar Evening with Ty Burr

Take a look at this flyer! Click Here.  This is a unique ESU event that we are co-sponsoring with the Union Club of Boston. It's a great value -  at $30, you will be sufficiently satiated with hors d'oeuvres plus a complimentary glass of wine prior to hearing Ty Burr's stimulating talk on the Oscar and Bafta films nominated this year, how they got to this position - and what is going to happen next. You will go out on a limb and pick winners and losers and explain why, given industry politics in Britain and the United States.

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Speaker Event a Big Success

Collaboration between the Colonial Society of Massachusetts and ESU Boston produced a wonderful event! 

The evening took place on Dec 19 at the beautiful town house on Beacon Hill of the Colonial Society.  

Nathaniel Philbrick spoke wisely, lucidly and with great passion on not only the substance and story-line of Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution, but also on the research and great amount of interviewing that took place providing the historical anecdotes and insights, and novel-like presentation of the material.  We had a splendid turnout of our members at this afternoon event and our members demonstrated great enthusiasm for the subject matter and for Philbrick's presentation, after trudging through snow and ice to make the event.


l-r Caroline Case, David Case, Nathaniel Philbrick,
Paul T Boghosian, Peter Ames, Ghia Truesdale


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The 31st Annual Boston Shakespeare Competition for High School Students

You are Cordially Invited to Attend

The 30th Annual Boston Shakespeare Competition for High School Students

Sponsored by the Boston Branch of the English-Speaking Union in Partnership with The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company


Saturday, February 22, 2014
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

High School students – winners of competitions in their own school throughout Greater Boston – will perform 20-line monologues and recite sonnets from Shakespeare's works before panels of distinguished judges. Please join us for as much of the day as your time permits to support these dedicated and talented young people.


Saturday, March 1, 2013
1:00 PM

The Finalists chosen at the Semifinals will compete before judges and an audience of parents, teachers, ESU members and friends. The winner will receive a free trip to New York in April to compete in the National Shakespeare Competition against over 50 other high school students from across the country. The top prize in the National event is a summer study course in Great Britain.

The Boston Branch of the English-Speaking Union recognizes the dedication of the teachers and families of all the student competitors. Without their encouragement, cooperation, guidance, instruction and inspiration, the competition could not take place.  Our sincere thanks go to all.

Both Events are Free and Open to the Public   (Voluntary Donations Accepted)

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Annual Garden Party and Champagne Reception

Our Annual Garden Party and Champagne Reception took place on Sunday, June 2, at the home of Susan Bush. Fortunately it was a glorious sunny day with approximately sixty enjoying her delightful gardens. We were honored by the presence of Ms. Susie Kitchens, HM Consul General of Boston.

Ann Bortnick, winner of the Boston's Shakespeare Competition and of the "silver medal" in the National Finals in New York City gave another wonderful rendition of her monologue and sonnet.

Our special guest presenter, Dick Flavin, seven-time Emmy Award winning broadcaster, regaled us with Kipling rhyme, humorous anecdotes, and witty stories.

The proceeds from the party benefited the Boston English-Speaking Union's Education Fund.

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