Marion, OH,
20:06 PM

Secret Lives: From rehab to rehearsal


Kelly Andrews, RRT, RCP, TTS, AE-C, had never been in a play when she auditioned for the musical "Hairspray" at the Historic Marion Palace Theatre in 2011.

The then 44-year-old pulmonary rehab coordinator at OhioHealth Marion General Hospital knew nothing about dancing or acting, but she’d always loved to sing. So, when a patient encouraged her to try out for the musical, she decided to give it a go. Her boldness paid off.

“I got a part in Mr. Pinky’s chorus,” Kelly says. “It was so much fun.” Since then, Kelly has honed her singing, dancing and acting skills and has taken on several more roles. She’s played Mrs. Greer, the head housekeeper in "Annie," Elle Woods’ mom and the district attorney in "Legally Blonde" and a woman feeding the birds in "Mary Poppins." She also tap dances in an annual variety show called "Christmas at the Palace."

After taking acting classes, Kelly landed a bigger speaking part in the musical "Bingo" in 2014 about a group of die-hard bingo players. And last year, she starred as Sister Mary Amnesia in the musical "Nunsense," where she had to sing with a puppet called Mary Annette.

“I had to sing high soprano for Sister Mary Amnesia and low alto for Mary Annette,” Kelly says. “It was a big challenge, but I just loved it.”

Kelly says being on stage has even helped her with teaching smoking cessation classes at Marion General.

“It has really helped me get over my fear of public speaking,” she says. “I’ve learned a lot.”

Secret Lives is an ongoing series that shares the unusual past careers and unique hobbies of OhioHealth associates, physicians, and volunteers.