Etty

Susan Stein in the role of Etty Hillesum. Etty is a touring one-woman theatrical 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 1943 when Etty, a young Jewish woman, is about to be deported out of Holland. As 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 say in what she hopes will be a new world.

Esther "Etty" Hillesum was a young Dutch Jewish student living in Amsterdam during WWII. 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. Etty's diaries and letters from 1941 - 1943 describe life in Nazi-occupied Holland and Westerbork Transit Camp where she was interned. Etty Hillesum was 29 years old when she was murdered at Auschwitz/Birkenau.

News About Etty

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.

Book Etty

You can book Etty at your venue. We perform Etty and lead discussions at primary schools, higher education institutions, community organizations, religious organizations, festivals, and nonprofit theaters.

Please contact us if you are interested in learning more.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events
Date Location Description
2014 Oct 31 03:00 PM Thirteenth Biennial Lessons and Legacies Conference, Wyndham Hotel, 1950 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL, US - map.

Performance of Etty followed by post-performance discussion as part of Thirteenth Biennial Lessons and Legacies Conference.

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