Acting is a Family Affair for Lead in Acacia Theatre's "The Miracle Worker"

Oct. 19, 2011

Helen Keller is not the only inspirational young woman in Acacia Theatre’s production of “The Miracle Worker” by William Gibson. The Whitefish Bay actress who plays Helen Keller, Alison Pogorelc, is stepping onto a stage also occupied by her older sister, Emily Pogorelc, who played the role of Lucy Rose and Young Thee in Acacia Theatre’s “An L.M. Montgomery Christmas” last season. Two seasons ago, Alison played Mary Lennox in Acacia Theatre’s “The Secret Garden.”


Given such talent, Alison has learned to appreciate her gifts. In a recent interview, she said, “I’ve learned not to take anything for granted. Helen's world was so small and closed off before Anne came into her life. We don't appreciate our senses, because they are always there and we use them unconsciously.”


“When we did the read through I realized how difficult the part would be. There is virtually no dialog for me. Even though I don't have to memorize lines, there is crucial blocking. To make the show work, I need to be at the right place at the right time,” explained Pogorelc.


According to Alison, “Overcoming obstacles is a big theme in this play. Everyone has obstacles that they deal with in life, but Helen's were a lot bigger than most people have to deal with. Annie's faith in Helen is so inspirational. She gave hope to so many other people that were in institutions at the time.”


Pogorelc’s favorite aspect of the play is the inspiration found in Annie’s persistence. “I like how inspirational the story is. Annie never gives up on Helen. She knows there is a fire burning in Helen and she is determined to find a way to get to it,” she notes.


Among Pogorelc’s many credits is “The Music Man” at Mariott Lincolnshire last winter. This summer, she also played Jenny Dillingham in "Aspects of Love" at Off The Wall.

Acacia Theatre Company will perform the play Oct. 21 through Oct. 30 in Concordia University Wisconsin’s Todd Wehr Auditorium, 12800 North Lake Shore Drive in Mequon, Wis.

“The Miracle Worker” tells an amazing tale of courage.


Blind and deaf since infancy, Helen Keller is trapped in a secret, silent world, unable to communicate, until her teacher Annie Sullivan arrives, realizing that there is a mind and spirit waiting to be rescued from the dark silence. Annie leads her bold pupil on a tumultuous journey from fear and isolation to happiness and light. In the process, both Annie and Helen understand each other’s determination, persistence and tenacity.

Performance Schedule and Ticket Information

Performances will be given on Oct. 21 at 8pm; Oct. 22 at 8pm; Oct. 23 at 3pm; Oct. 27 at 8pm; Oct. 28 at 8pm; Oct. 29 at 4pm and 8pm; Oct. 30 at 3pm. Tickets will be available by calling (414) 744-5995 or at

Tickets will cost $16 or $13 for senior citizens, full-time students and full-time clergy ticket. Group (10+) discounts are available.


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

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