Heartwood Theater enters the new year in the Poe Theater with two performances of actor/writer Susan Stein’s incredible one woman, touring production, “Etty,” directed by Austin Pendleton. This soulful, memoir-based piece will be followed by an open post-performance discussion, with Stein.
Heartwood’s Artistic Director, Griff Braley, attended “Etty” last April, as part of Skidompha Library's Chats with Champions Series and invited Stein to return to the Midcoast with this beautiful production.
"Heartwood strives to deliver 'theater with heart,' " notes Braley, "and this production certainly does that - bringing humanity and dignity to a character living through unbearable times."
Using only Etty Hillesum’s words, audience returns to 1941, when Esther “Etty” Hillesum, a young Dutch Jewish woman, lives in Amsterdam. Upon the recommendation of her therapist, she begins a diary on 8 March 1941, to help her with depression. Her diaries take on their own literary life, presenting both Etty’s growth as a writer and her spiritual transformation.
As deportations begin, she prepares for the three-day journey eastward, digging deeper into her soul to understand “this piece of history” and root out any hatred or bitterness.
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 manner, 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.
Susan Stein will be in residence at Lincoln Academy on Jan. 13, connecting with high school students in the classroom and the theater. Two evening performances are scheduled for Jan. 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Poe Theater at Lincoln Academy, 81 Academy Hill Road in Newcastle.
Tickets are $5/students through high school and $10/adults. Reservations available by phoning Heartwood at 207-563-1373 or emailing the box office at email@example.com.