Friday, October 21
7:30pm Open Mic; 8pm ETTY
$10 general admission
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If you are looking for a moving, entertaining and educational experience, come out and see Etty at Darlington Arts Center’s Coffee House Series on Friday, October 21 at 7:30pm ($10 general admission). Etty is a touring one-woman theatrical play based on the diaries and letters of Etty Hillesum, adapted and performed by Susan Stein and directed by Austin Pendleton. Using only Etty Hillesum’s words, Susan Stein’s adaptation brings us to 1943 right before Etty is deported to Auschwitz where she is killed. Darlington’s Coffee Houses start with an open mic for amateurs and students at 7:30pm followed by the featured performers at 8pm. Bring a picnic & a corkscrew (BYOB) and enjoy this stirring experience!
Caught in the Nazi’s complex game with human lives, Etty faces an ethical dilemma as a worker on Amsterdam’s Jewish Council where she struggles between her instinct to live and her willingness to die. She refuses to see herself as a victim and chooses to accept her fate and suffer with her fellow Jews. Sharing the stage with a suitcase, Etty speaks to us as she tries to gain clarity and insight into her life as she prepares for her three day journey to Auschwitz. Music from Westerbork’s Cabaret is woven into sharp accounts of the transports, the fields of lupins, the barbed wire, and the untenable situation of Jews in the Jewish Council. Etty’s story is a struggle against despair. She tries to engage the horror rather than shrink from it, embracing everything about it. By confronting the truth of what is happening she creates a new form of resistance that poses a larger question and ultimately liberates her. 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.
Susan Stein, author & actress
Susan Stein is the author of Etty, an adaptation of Etty Hillesum’s diaries and letters. After reading Etty’s diaries, Susan wanted to give something back to Etty and keep her alive.
Susan Stein appeared in Arthur Miller’s American Clock, directed by Austin Pendleton at HB Playwrights Foundation. She was seen at Luna Stage as the wife in Bathsheeba Doran’s A Parent’s Evening and in Pennsylvania as Rodney’s Wife. Other roles include Louise in Lanford Wilson’s The Great Nebulae of Orion, W1 in Beckett’s Play, and Wanda in Christopher Durang’s Wanda’s Visit. Susan studied acting at NYU Graduate School and SUNY Purchase. She is on the faculty of Princeton Day School.
Austin Pendleton, director
Austin Pendleton has an extensive career that spans over forty years. He is an American film, television and stage actor, a playwright, and a theater director and teacher. He was seen as Frair Lawrence at the Delacorte Theater’s 2007 production of Romeo and Juliet; he played the Army Chaplain in their 2006 production of Mother Courage. He is an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and the author of Orson’s Shadow, Uncle Bob and Booth.