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.


ettyplay inc is hiring! Please visit our jobs page for more information.

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
2018 Oct 04 09:00 AM
2018 Feb 05 09:00 AM
Forrestdale School, 60 Forrest Avenue, Rumson, NJ, US - map.

Teaching Artist Susan Stein will lead workshop on Dinka songs and South Sudan Music as part of their study of the Lost Boys of Sudan. Sponsored by cchange.

2018 Oct 14
2018 Oct 15
Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST), 305 MAST Way, Highlands, NJ, US - map.

In partnership with cchange, Artist/Scholar in Residence Susan Stein > will lead "Diaries: A Key to Activism," a program engaging students with primary source documents to further their understanding genocide and the consequences of racism and hatred. Open to the MAST community.Sponsored by cchange.

2018 Oct 27 01:30PM California Institution for Women (CIW), 16756 Chino-Corona Road, Corona, CA, US - map.

Performance of Etty followed by post-performance discussion. Open to the CIW community.

2018 Oct 30 04:00PM Wallace All Faiths Chapel, Chapman University, 1 University Drive, Orange, CA, US - map.

Performance of Etty followed by post-performance discussion. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Fish Interfaith Center and the Department of Religious Studies, Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. The Joyce and Saul Brandman Foundation Lecture Series.

2018 Nov 09 10:00AM Falmouth Jewish Congregation, 7 Hatchville Road, East Falmouth, MA, US - map.

Performance of Etty followed by post-performance discussion. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by Falmouth Jewish Congregation.

2018 Nov 13
2018 Nov 14
Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, 100 Edgartown Vineyard Haven Rd, Oak Bluffs, MA, US - map.

Two day residency including performances of Etty workshops. Open to Martha's Vineyard Regional HS community. Sponsored by Martha's Vineyard Regional High School.

2018 Nov 28
2018 Nov 29
2018 Nov 30
Avenworth Middle School, 256 Josephs Lane, Pittsburgh, PA, US - map.

Teaching Artist Susan Stein leads 3 day Recovering Lost Voices workshop in preparation for their Art Exhibit on the Holocaust being presented to the Pittsburgh community. Sponsored by Classroom Without Borders.

2019 Jan 29 07:00PM The Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice & Public Understanding, St. Norbert College, 100 Grant Street, De Pere, WI, US - map.

Performance of Etty followed by post-performance discussion. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by The Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice & Public Understanding.



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Modified: 2018 Oct 22