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.

finding-etty 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. finding-etty 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 finding-etty 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.


finding-etty gratefully acknowledges the following foundations, organizations and individuals who support our mission and activities throughout the year.

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. finding-etty 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
2019 May 02 01:30 PM 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, US - map.

Performance of Etty followed by post performance discussion as part of commemoration of Yom HaShoah (יום השואה), Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration. Tickets: $10 for non-members. Sponsored by the 92nd Street Y.

2019 May 10 Ryan Gloyer Middle School, 122 Seneca School Road, Harmony, PA, US - map.

Teaching artist Susan Stein will leads "Recovering Lost Voices" workshop. Sponsored by Classroom Without Borders.

2019 May 13 12:00PM Valley School of Ligonier, 153 Lupine Lane, Rector, PA, US - map.

Performance of Etty followed by post performance discussion. Sponsored by Classroom Without Borders.

2019 May 15 10:00 AM. chhange, Brookdale Community College, Navensink Rooms, 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ, US - map.

Susan Stein presents a workshop entitled "Recovering Lost Voices" at the colloquium We Are the Change: Our Voices Matter. Sponsored by chhange.

2019 May 20
2019 May 21
Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST), 305 MAST Way, Highlands, NJ, US - map.

In partnership with chhange, artist/scholar in residence Susan Stein will lead a two day residency, engaging students with primary source documents and narratives from the Japanese Internment camps during World War II to further their understanding of the consequences of racism and hatred. Open to the MAST community. Sponsored by chhange.



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Modified: 2019 May 03