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.

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 Nov 27
2018 Dec 04
Winchester Thurston School, 555 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, US - map.

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

2018 Nov 27 07:00 PM Mt. Lebanon Public Library, 16 Castle Shannon Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA, US - map.

Performance of Etty followed by post-performance discussion. Free and > open to the public. Sponsored by Classroom Without Borders.

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.

2018 Nov 29 06:00 PM
2018 Dec 01 09:00 AM
State Correctional Institution (SCI) at Mercer, 801 Butler Pike, Mercer, PA, US - map.

Two day visit to SCI at Mercer which includes performance of Etty followed by post-performance discussion.

Susan Stein will also lead a writing workshop and Readers Theater with prison inmates. Open to the SCI at Mercer community. Sponsored by SCI at Mercer.

2018 Dec 02 02:00 PM Temple Shalom, 23 Bethany Pike, Wheeling, WV, US - map.

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

2018 Dec 03 09:00 AM to 02:00 PM The West Liberty University Highlands Center, 355 Wharton Circle, Triadelphia, WV, US - map.

Susan Stein will lead a Professional Development Workshop for middle and high school teachers, "Recovering Lost Voices" which demonstrates how to integrate young people's diaries and other forms of witness from the Holocaust and other genocides into curricula.

For more information contact Jamie Campbell, CWB-Wheeling Program Coordinator at or 304 650 9848. Sponsored by Classroom Without Borders.

2018 Dec 05 to 2018 Dec 07

As part of a week long Artist/Scholar in Residency sponsored by The North Carolina Council for the Holocaust, Susan Stein will perform Etty, lead post performance discussion and facilitate "Recovering Lost Voices": a workshop integrating young people's diaries from the Holocaust into school curricula at these schools:

  • Durham, NC - North Carolina School of Science and Math - December 5, 2018
  • Seagrove, NC - Westmore Elementary School - December, 6, 2018
  • Shelby, NC - Crest High School - December 7, 2018
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 Nov 25