Etty

Susan Stein in the role of Etty Hillesum. Etty is a touring one-woman play based on the diaries and letters of Etty Hillesum, adapted and performed by Susan Stein. Directed by Austin Pendleton.

Using only Etty Hillesum's words, Susan Stein's adaptation brings us to 1941 when Esther "Etty" Hillesum, a young Dutch Jewish woman, is living in Amsterdam. Upon the recommendation of her therapist, Julius Spier, she began a diary on 8 March 1941 to help her with her depression. Hoping to become a writer, the diaries take on their own literary life, presenting both Etty's growth as a writer and spiritual transformation. As deportations begin, she prepares for the three day journey eastward, she digs deeper into her soul to understand this piece of history and root out any hatred or bitterness, believing that humanity is the best and only solution for survival. Etty's words, insights and beliefs reach out from the Holocaust and allow us to see the power of hope and individual thought in the most extreme circumstances. In her gentle yet forthright way, Etty asks us not to leave her at Auschwitz but to let her have a bit of a say in what she hopes will be a new world.

ettyplay inc encompasses theatrical and educational experiences designed to challenge participants to reexamine assumptions about the Holocaust and explore issues of resistance, human rights, social justice and individual responsibility. We make available study guides to enrich an audience's experience of the play. Teaching artists work closely with educators to tailor to the needs of a given site a variety of writing and dramatic workshops. ettyplay teaching artists have also created a curriculum for teaching the Holocaust through the arts with a series of lessons that work independently or in conjunction with the play Etty.

The mission of ettyplay inc is to use the writings of Etty Hillesum to promote social justice, to challenge prejudice by examining the consequences of genocide and to enable participants to explore their own personal stories alongside Etty's, as they consider their role in the struggle for human rights.

News

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Portrait of Frank Stastio, host of The State of Things on North Carolina Public Radio. Frank Stasio, the host of The State of Things on North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC, interviewed Susan about Etty Hillesum and her play Etty on Thursday, March 14th, 2013. Susan also performed excerpts from her play. You can listen on The State of Things "The Hidden Diaries of a Young Jewish Woman" web page or stream the podcast directly.

Portrait of Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury discusses Etty Hillesum in a 2004 lecture delivered at Oxford University.

How To Book Etty

You can book Etty at your venue. We perform Etty and lead discussions and workshops at primary schools, higher education institutions, community organizations, religious organizations, festivals, and nonprofit theaters. ettyplay inc travels to prisons throughout the United States and United Kingdom.

Please contact us if you are interested in learning more.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events
Date Location Description
2015 Aug 05 07:00PM Rikers Island, New York, NY, US.

Performance of Etty followed by post-performance discussion. Open to the Rikers Island community. Sponsored by New York City Dept of Corrections.

2015 Sep 05 07:00PM Temple Beth El, 2675 Central Avenue, Riverside, CA, US - map

Performance of Etty followed by post-performance discussion. Free. Open to the public. Sponsored by Temple Beth El Riverside.

2015 Oct 06 07:00PM Vanderbilt University, 2201 West End Avenue,Nashville, TN, US - map.

Performance of Etty as part of The 37th Holocaust Lecture Series, "Gender & Sexual Violence". Free. Open to the public. Sponsored by Vanderbilt University.

2015 Nov 09 04:00PM Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, US - map.

Student performance of Etty and post performance discussion with Marie Baird, Ph.D., Daniel Burston, Ph.D., Mark Frisch, Ph.D., and Matthew Schneirov, Ph.D.. Open to Duquesne University students.

2015 Nov 10 07:00PM Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, US - map.

Performance of Etty as part of Kristallnacht Commemoration. Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Forum at Duquesne University. Free. Open to the public.

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Modified: 2015 Aug 04