Wauwatosa Actress Performs in Acacia Theatre's "Irena's Vow"

Nov. 7, 2012

Dawn Kimsey Purpura, of Wauwatosa, performs the role of Ida Haller in “Irena’s Vow,” the story of a brave Polish Catholic housekeeper secretly protecting Jewish refugees while 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.

Purpura explains, “I had never heard of this story, but after I read the script and knew who might be involved in the production, I really wanted to be a part of this play. I feel like we need to continue to get the message out that the Holocaust did happen, and we need to be aware of the ‘holocausts’ that are occurring in our world today.”

Purpura was particularly drawn to the characters in the play. “I think Irena is so interesting because she is so young when she performs these incredible acts of courage for people she barely knows, all at the risk of her own life. I find my character Ida interesting because she is both strong and soft at the same time. She is the nurturer and tries to bring unity to the situation,” she explains.

“People should see this play because it is a beautiful story about a very ugly time in our world's history. People need to see it so they will make choices in their own lives to love instead of hate and to sometimes take risks that may be costly to themselves for the sake of others,” adds Dawn.

“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 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 www.acaciatheatre.com.

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 www.acaciatheatre.com.

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