Cudahy Actor Performs in Acacia Theatre's "Irena's Vow"

Nov. 7, 2012

Philip Birdener, of Cudahy, plays Lazar Haller in “Irena’s Vow,” the story of a brave Polish Catholic housekeeper secretly protecting Jewish refugees while she was working for a German major. Her courageous story comes to life in “Irena’s Vow,” playwright Dan Gordon’s retelling of the true story of Irena Gut Opdyke.

Birdener describes the power of Irena’s story. He says, “The audition was the first time I saw the script, and my first impulse would have been tears during some of the scenes. As I drove back home, I reflected on how sad and yet uplifted I felt from simply reading the lines. The power of the ‘cold read’ let us experience the emotions of the words as we read them aloud for the first time. With a very special kind of script, this has the effect of relieving an emotional strain we didn’t know we had at the initial response to the reading. It’s a very powerful story.”

The script allows the audience to understand a particular display of courage. Phil explains, “We glimpse one society trying to obliterate another that it sees only as vermin. We glimpse the fear that threatens to control the decisions of those hiding from obliteration and managing to stave it off by a hair for one more day. We glimpse the strength of the courage, rooted in faith, able to override the decisions of fear and to empower hearts to do things that need be done no matter the cost, just to keep people in turmoil from losing their humanity.”

All performances will be given in Concordia University Wisconsin’s Todd Wehr Auditorium, 12800 North Lake Shore Drive in Mequon, Wis

“Irena’s Vow” is the inspiring, life-affirming story of one of the most courageous and unsung heroines of World War II, Irena Gut Opdyke. 19-year-old Irena, a Polish Catholic, was forced to work as head housekeeper for a prominent German major. Over a two year period of service, Irena used her wit, humor, and courage to protect the lives of the Jewish refugees she cared for secretly. A celebration of triumph in a time of suffering, this is an extraordinary true story of one woman’s character.

Performances will be given on Friday, November 9, 2012 at 8pm; Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 8pm; Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 3pm; Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 8pm; Friday, November 16, 2012 at 8pm; Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 4pm and 8pm; Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 3pm.

Season Subscription and Single Ticket Information
Season subscriptions cost $38, or $30 for senior citizens, full-time students and full-time clergy. Single tickets will cost $16, or $13 for senior citizens, full-time students and full-time clergy. More information is available by calling (414) 744-5995 or visiting

About Acacia Theatre Company
Founded in 1980, Acacia Theatre Company is an independent, non-profit, interdenominational group of dramatic artists who share a common desire to integrate art and faith by presenting theatre from a Judeo-Christian worldview. Through uplifting, quality entertainment, Acacia provides occasion for thanksgiving, growth and enjoyment, and the opportunity for Christians and non-Christians to consider their lives in relation to God. More information is available at
# # #

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.

Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Plans for Alyson Dudek ice skating center move forward with donation 03:42 PM

» Missing Franklin man found dead on Nov. 24 near Oak Leaf Bike Trail 03:15 PM

» Police identify body found near bike trail as missing Franklin man 02:22 PM

» Oak Creek girls basketball team looks to dominate with depth 11/24

» Wisconsin DOT: South 27th Street is open for business during holiday season 11/24

» Meijer to provide food for Oak Creek's annual 'Evening of Blessings' 11/24

» Greendale School Board Academy to be held for prospective spring election candidates 11/24

» Franklin girls basketball team has talent, looks for depth 11/24

» Oak Creek pulls away late to beat Brookfield Central, 59-46 11/21

» Oak Creek 8th graders 'view the world' as journalists in writing unit, 4 essays to be posted online 11/19

» Updated state championship game rankings of area prep football teams and players 11/19

» Franklin's $37 million budget has no tax change 11/18

» Rawson Avenue closure beginning Nov. 18 11/18

» Cudahy man found dead near hunting tree stand in Adams County 11/18

» Greendale trustees raise tax levy 1 percent, bump up budget by 45 percent to construct fire station 11/18

» Coming off good season, will Oak Creek football team dare to be great? 11/17

» Nine Oak Creek athletes sign letters of intent 11/17

» Franklin, Oak Creek swimmers finish well at state 11/17

» Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce to host social on Nov. 24 11/17

» Oak Creek Culver's to host annual Kids2Kids Toy Drive 11/16

» Hales Corners 2016 proposed budget sees 'nominal increase' 11/16

» Legacy Spa & Salon to host networking event on Nov. 7 in Hales Corners 11/16

» Greendale's first fire engine, which entered service in 1938, returns home 11/16

» Videos: Arrowhead stuns Franklin in epic football finish 11/14

» Resident invited to special Packers event after solving Associated Bank's 'turf search' in Oak Creek 11/13

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss



Local Business Directory