College to Host Fringe Festival Play "Etty"

Play Portrays One Woman's Journey to Auschwitz during the Holocaust

Release Date: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Chestnut Hill College will host a performance of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival selection, “ETTY” on Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. in the Social Room, Fournier Hall. The event is sponsored by the Institute for Forgiveness and Reconciliation at Chestnut Hill College.


Etty Promo 

Ricardo Barros, Copyright 2009

“ETTY” is a touring one-woman theatrical play based on the diaries and letters of Etty Hillesum, adapted and performed by actor Susan Stein and directed by Austin Pendleton.


Using only Etty Hillesum's words, Susan Stein's adaptation transports us back to 1943 when Etty, a young Jewish woman, is about to be deported from 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 of 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.

About Susan Stein

Susan Stein is the author of “ETTY,” an adaptation of Etty Hillesum's diaries and letters. Susan picked up Hillesum’s diaries in 1994 for 50 cents at a yard sale after her friend, Joan, recommended it. After reading the diaries, Susan wanted to give something back to Etty and keep her spirit alive.

Susan Stein has 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.” 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 a member of the faculty at Princeton Day School.

About Austin Pendleton

Austin Pendleton, the director of “ETTY,” became interested in the project when he was introduced to Etty's diaries.

Pendleton’s extensive theater career spans more than 40 years. He is an American film, television and stage actor, a playwright, and a theater director and teacher. He portrayed Friar Lawrence at the Delacorte Theater's production of “Romeo and Juliet” and 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”.

About Ricardo Barros

Ricardo Barros became involved in the project as a photographer following a reading of the play.

The performance of “Etty” is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Catherine Nerney, SSJ, Ph.D. at 215.248.7099 or e-mail For more information about the Institute for Forgiveness and Reconciliation at Chestnut Hill College, please visit