Tuesday September 13, 2022
ETTY: WRITING AS RESISTANCE
Please join us, virtually, for the performance of Etty as part of our week long series of events.
Adapted from the diaries of Etty Hillesum and performed by Susan Stein. Directed by Austin Pendleton.
As the world closes in around her, Etty digs deep into her soul to root out hatred and bitterness, and finds a freedom within herself that is unshakeable. Using only Etty Hillesum’s words, the play presents one woman’s struggle to sustain humanity in the face of brutality. Standing alone on a bare stage, Etty speaks directly to the audience as she wrestles to write about the life she is living–her loves, her work, her sense of humor, her knowledge of self in this moment in history. She loves much of her life in 1942 occupied Amsterdam and even later in the Westerbork concentration camp, yet she also finds it horrifying. 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.
Combining performance and discussion, playwright and actor Susan Stein introduced us to Etty Hillesum and the original play, Etty, crafted using only Hillesum's words, which she tours to theaters, universities, school and prisons throughout the US and UK. She discussed her research, and took us through her discoveries, including meeting Holocaust survivors and people in Etty's life. She walked us through her own story of finding Etty. She invited the audience to join the conversation that Etty began in her diaries and letters.