What Susan Stein can do with Etty, (the play) in Cleveland

What Susan Stein can do with Etty, (the play) in Cleveland

Dates: January 13-18, 2020

What Susan Stein can do with Etty, (the play) in Cleveland

Dates: January 13-18, 2020

What Susan Stein can do with Etty, (the play) in Cleveland

Dates: January 13-18, 2020

Etty: A Conversation

Etty is a one-woman play adapted from the diaries and letters of Etty Hillesum, a young Jewish woman living in the German-occupied Netherlands. 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 Hillesum’s words, the play presents one woman’s struggle to sustain humanity in the face of brutality. 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.

The play is portable and can be performed in a theater, classroom, or library. The play’s second act engages the audience in a discussion about what it means to be human, fostering dialogue about social justice, violence and hatred, human rights, resistance and personal responsibility. Performances are customized to accommodate venue and audience.

  University Performance—adult content (55 minutes without intermission)

  High School Performance—9th-12th grade (35 minutes)

  Middle School Performances—7th & 8th grade (25 minutes)

  Excerpts—5th & 6th grade (20 minutes excerpts plus 25 minutes discussion)

*Voices Of Hope Through The Written Of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Etty Hillesum - Workshop

This workshop pairs the writing, thinking and sensibilities of Martin Luther King, Jr. with Dutch diarist, Etty Hillesum. We will look at the stark contrast between them. King was a public figure, a preacher, an activist and a man. Hillesum, a young woman writing in Nazi-occupied Holland, was not public and waged her battle for justice in her writings. But they both are committed to sustaining humanity in the face of brutality. They are born into worlds that call on them to be true to their souls and speak out. They share hope for a better world that can be realized in this lifetime. Pairing Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham jail and Etty Hillesum letter from Westerbork (written two weeks before she was deported to Auschwitz), we will witness their courage in facing the truth of their circumstances while simultaneously working towards building a more just world.

*Workshop is of minimum of 45 Min.

*Forms of Witness - Workshops

Holocaust and Genocide Education is fundamental to middle and high school education. Workshops engage students intellectually, emotionally and artistically, as they wrestle with issues of social justice and ethical dilemmas. Through primary sources including diaries, journals, memoir, letters, and artwork as well as fiction and historical research, students explore how different forms of bearing witness shape understanding. Lessons are organized around essential questions using primary and secondary sources for middle or high school students and can be tailored to single class periods, full-day workshops, or extended residencies. Each workshop is designed as an individual class experience but may be adapted to accommodate larger groups (max. 50 students).

Primary Source Literacy: Students take ownership of primary sources and get their hands dirty by analyzing, exploring, and engaging deeply with questions about how we convey history to others and consume history that is presented to us. Sample assignments include:

  Practice close reading and discussion of primary source documents

  Critical writing in response to prompts and learning how to draft their own research questions

  Adapt diaries into found poems

  Create monologues, dramatic scenes, choral readings that adapt primary sources from the page to the stage

  Create an exhibit of student-curated work and research for the school and broader community

  Compare documents to understand how perspectives and experiences differ

*Workshop is of minimum of 45 Min.

Etty: A Conversation

Etty is a one-woman play adapted from the diaries and letters of Etty Hillesum, a young Jewish woman living in the German-occupied Netherlands. 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 Hillesum’s words, the play presents one woman’s struggle to sustain humanity in the face of brutality. 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.

The play is portable and can be performed in a theater, classroom, or library. The play’s second act engages the audience in a discussion about what it means to be human, fostering dialogue about social justice, violence and hatred, human rights, resistance and personal responsibility. Performances are customized to accommodate venue and audience.

  University Performance—adult content (55 minutes without intermission)

  High School Performance—9th-12th grade (35 minutes)

  Middle School Performances—7th & 8th grade (25 minutes)

  Excerpts—5th & 6th grade (20 minutes excerpts plus 25 minutes discussion)

*Voices Of Hope Through The Written Of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Etty Hillesum - Workshop

This workshop pairs the writing, thinking and sensibilities of Martin Luther King, Jr. with Dutch diarist, Etty Hillesum. We will look at the stark contrast between them. King was a public figure, a preacher, an activist and a man. Hillesum, a young woman writing in Nazi-occupied Holland, was not public and waged her battle for justice in her writings. But they both are committed to sustaining humanity in the face of brutality. They are born into worlds that call on them to be true to their souls and speak out. They share hope for a better world that can be realized in this lifetime. Pairing Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham jail and Etty Hillesum letter from Westerbork (written two weeks before she was deported to Auschwitz), we will witness their courage in facing the truth of their circumstances while simultaneously working towards building a more just world.

*Workshop is of minimum of 45 Min.

*Forms of Witness - Workshops

Holocaust and Genocide Education is fundamental to middle and high school education. Workshops engage students intellectually, emotionally and artistically, as they wrestle with issues of social justice and ethical dilemmas. Through primary sources including diaries, journals, memoir, letters, and artwork as well as fiction and historical research, students explore how different forms of bearing witness shape understanding. Lessons are organized around essential questions using primary and secondary sources for middle or high school students and can be tailored to single class periods, full-day workshops, or extended residencies. Each workshop is designed as an individual class experience but may be adapted to accommodate larger groups (max. 50 students).

Primary Source Literacy: Students take ownership of primary sources and get their hands dirty by analyzing, exploring, and engaging deeply with questions about how we convey history to others and consume history that is presented to us. Sample assignments include:

  Practice close reading and discussion of primary source documents

  Critical writing in response to prompts and learning how to draft their own research questions

  Adapt diaries into found poems

  Create monologues, dramatic scenes, choral readings that adapt primary sources from the page to the stage

  Create an exhibit of student-curated work and research for the school and broader community

  Compare documents to understand how perspectives and experiences differ

*Workshop is of minimum of 45 Min.

*Professional Development Workshops for Teachers

Finding Etty may be booked for half or full day workshops for teachers, who may receive professional development hours. Sample workshops include:

  Teaching the Holocaust through the Arts: Learn how to use primary source art works to open this difficult topic to middle and high school students

  Recovering Lost Voices: Learn to adapting primary source children’s diaries into theater pieces

  Primary Source Literacy: Learn how to have students take ownership of primary sources through close reading, analysis, writing, research, and adaptation

  Writer’s Notebooks: Learn how to get students to keep their own writer’s notebooks

  Found poems: Learn how to teach found poetry and empower students to create their own found poems

  Monologues, dramatic scenes, choral readings: Learn how to adapt primary sources from the page to the stage

  Exhibition of student-curated work: Learn how to teach students research skills and how to create an exhibit for the school and broader community

  Embodying Language: Learn how to approach poetry and short stories through direct

contact with the words as sensory and emotional experience

  Film and the Holocaust: Learn to use film as a critical thinking tool for introducing the Holocaust and other genocides

*Workshop is of minimum of 45 Min.

*Presentations

Susan Stein has been giving talks on Etty Hillesum at conferences and in universities, houses of worship, community centers, and other event spaces throughout the United States, parts of Europe and Israel. These presentations invite audiences to join the conversation. Some of her talks include:

Their Eyes Are Watching God: Etty Hillesum and Zora Neale Hurston – This presentation pairs two young women who bear witness to oppression by speaking directly to God, and in so doing grow into themselves. Insisting on not seeing themselves as victims, they use their fresh voices to celebrate their ethnicity, culture, and themselves.

Diaries: A Key to Activism – This presentation examines writing as an act of resistance. The immediacy of diaries captures life as it is lived in real-time. The excerpts of diaries written during the Holocaust and other genocides offer insight into the everyday experiences that would otherwise remain unknown.

A Conversation: Pairing Anne Frank and Etty Hillesum – This presentation explores what political consciousness looks like in an attic, on the streets of Amsterdam, and in a transit camp. Writing on the same day in Amsterdam in 1942 less than a mile apart, Anne Frank and Etty Hillesum both choose writing as an act of resistance.

Summer Roommates: Amy Winehouse and Etty Hillesum – This presentation imagines these two women, both 27 years old, meeting at night when the tourists have left the Jewish Museum in Amsterdam. One room exhibits Winehouse’s intimate items from her London childhood – her blue dress, her first guitar, some letters–and displayed in the next room are Hillesum’s twelve original diaries. Meet them as they meet each other.

Etty Hillesum Writes her Body – This presentation explores Etty’s relationship with her physical body, her gender and expectations as a woman, and her emerging sexuality. Etty’s diary begins as medical document that she keeps on the recommendation of her therapist, and it evolves into a piece of literature that traces her development as a woman and as a writer.

Becoming Woman: Etty Hillesum and Anne Frank – This presentation, originally given in a women’s health class at Duke University, explores how we write women’s health. Paired diary entries confront the commonality and mystery of menstruation and body changes, as both women bravely explore their own sexual and spiritual longings.

From Page to Stage: Translating Diaries to Theater – This presentation charts the process of bringing Etty Hillesum to the world by turning 850 pages of her intimate writings into a script for public performance.

Sexuality and Spirituality: Reading Etty Hillesum – This presentation examines the deep connection between spirituality and sexuality. As Etty opens to her body, she opens to God and to the power of being fully alive and present, bearing

*Presentation is of minimum of 45 Min.

*Professional Development Workshops for Teachers

Finding Etty may be booked for half or full day workshops for teachers, who may receive professional development hours. Sample workshops include:

  Teaching the Holocaust through the Arts: Learn how to use primary source art works to open this difficult topic to middle and high school students

  Recovering Lost Voices: Learn to adapting primary source children’s diaries into theater pieces

  Primary Source Literacy: Learn how to have students take ownership of primary sources through close reading, analysis, writing, research, and adaptation

  Writer’s Notebooks: Learn how to get students to keep their own writer’s notebooks

  Found poems: Learn how to teach found poetry and empower students to create their own found poems

  Monologues, dramatic scenes, choral readings: Learn how to adapt primary sources from the page to the stage

  Exhibition of student-curated work: Learn how to teach students research skills and how to create an exhibit for the school and broader community

  Embodying Language: Learn how to approach poetry and short stories through direct

contact with the words as sensory and emotional experience

  Film and the Holocaust: Learn to use film as a critical thinking tool for introducing the Holocaust and other genocides

*Workshop is of minimum of 45 Min.

*Presentations

Susan Stein has been giving talks on Etty Hillesum at conferences and in universities, houses of worship, community centers, and other event spaces throughout the United States, parts of Europe and Israel. These presentations invite audiences to join the conversation. Some of her talks include:

Their Eyes Are Watching God: Etty Hillesum and Zora Neale Hurston – This presentation pairs two young women who bear witness to oppression by speaking directly to God, and in so doing grow into themselves. Insisting on not seeing themselves as victims, they use their fresh voices to celebrate their ethnicity, culture, and themselves.

Diaries: A Key to Activism – This presentation examines writing as an act of resistance. The immediacy of diaries captures life as it is lived in real-time. The excerpts of diaries written during the Holocaust and other genocides offer insight into the everyday experiences that would otherwise remain unknown.

A Conversation: Pairing Anne Frank and Etty Hillesum – This presentation explores what political consciousness looks like in an attic, on the streets of Amsterdam, and in a transit camp. Writing on the same day in Amsterdam in 1942 less than a mile apart, Anne Frank and Etty Hillesum both choose writing as an act of resistance.

Summer Roommates: Amy Winehouse and Etty Hillesum – This presentation imagines these two women, both 27 years old, meeting at night when the tourists have left the Jewish Museum in Amsterdam. One room exhibits Winehouse’s intimate items from her London childhood – her blue dress, her first guitar, some letters–and displayed in the next room are Hillesum’s twelve original diaries. Meet them as they meet each other.

Etty Hillesum Writes her Body – This presentation explores Etty’s relationship with her physical body, her gender and expectations as a woman, and her emerging sexuality. Etty’s diary begins as medical document that she keeps on the recommendation of her therapist, and it evolves into a piece of literature that traces her development as a woman and as a writer.

Becoming Woman: Etty Hillesum and Anne Frank – This presentation, originally given in a women’s health class at Duke University, explores how we write women’s health. Paired diary entries confront the commonality and mystery of menstruation and body changes, as both women bravely explore their own sexual and spiritual longings.

From Page to Stage: Translating Diaries to Theater – This presentation charts the process of bringing Etty Hillesum to the world by turning 850 pages of her intimate writings into a script for public performance.

Sexuality and Spirituality: Reading Etty Hillesum – This presentation examines the deep connection between spirituality and sexuality. As Etty opens to her body, she opens to God and to the power of being fully alive and present, bearing

*Presentation is of minimum of 45 Min.