OWU Alumni Connect with ‘Almost, Maine’ Crew

Sharing skills for today and the future
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Pictured here are Chris Andrus ’06 (left) and Justin Bellassai ’15. Bellassai was master electrician for the production, ‘Almost, Maine.’ (Photo courtesy of Ed Kahn)

OWU’s theatre & dance department recently debuted a production of Almost, Maine, about the weaving together of several couples and the triumphs and tribulations that surround their love stories. Also woven into the production were the talents and professional experience of two OWU alumni—Bradford Sadler ’05 and Chris Andrus ’06. Sadler, who helped the Almost, Maine cast with warm-up routines, is a working actor, director, and part-time instructor at OWU; Andrus, head of the audio department at Bartha, a Columbus-based production company, taught students about lighting and theatre setting. Both were welcome additions to the production’s cast and crew.

“You could tell how much they wanted to be here and that they were doing it because they love their work and they really wanted to help,” says Courtney Dunne ’17, assistant stage manager.

“To perform well, actors need a lively and dynamic connection between mind, body, and voice, and my goal was to give students a process through which they could create this connection for themselves consistently,” says Sadler. His warm-up routines with each of the students lasted 20 minutes, and they utilized the techniques right before going on stage. Says Sadler, “I hope they will be able to continue using these routines here at OWU and in the future.”

Andrus, in contrast, has experience working in large venues with big budgets such as Tim McGraw concerts. He was a valuable addition to the Almost,Maine team, bringing creativity and a fresh perspective to a stage on which he already had a good deal of experience.

“My company has audio consoles that cost more than the combined budget for every production students will be part of during four years at OWU,” he says. “However, as impressive as these events are, they are nowhere near as polished as what the OWU cast and crew pulled off with Almost, Maine.”

One of the great things about OWU—in every department—is the strong bond with alumni. Students gain so much from their years here, and seem eager to return the favor.

“It was fun and informative for the actors and technicians to hear from Chris and Brad about their journeys, both at OWU and after graduation,” says Ed Kahn, chair of the theatre and dance department. “It is no surprise that we can expect great things from our current students and alumni alike.”

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