Rudy Sanda ’96

To Catch a Thief

“Thou art a boil, a plague sore,” thought Rudy Sanda, an actor who apprehended one of two thieves who stole donation jars from a Two Gentlemen of Verona performance in Westerly, R.I., last summer.

“It was just before intermission, and I was back stage chatting when Harland [the director] starting yelling, ‘Call the cops!’ while running through stage left. I knew something was bad,” says Sanda, who at the time was in full costume as Thurio, a wealthy nobleman. “I saw two men run across the street behind a house, so I chased them.”

At that moment, Sanda’s martial arts training and expertise in stage combat kicked in: “It was dark, but I tackled one and held my forearm to his throat for about five minutes until the cops came.”

Police officers took the suspect away, and he was held in prison when law enforcement officials learned he was wanted on a warrant for an unrelated incident.

Sanda, like all good actors, went on with the show.

Since assisting area police officers and making the world a safer place, this theater graduate has been busy with auditions, performances, and preparing for roles in Birdy and Burn This that will be performed in Rhode Island theaters before summer.

Birdy is set in a U.S. military mental hospital and follows the developing friendship between two patients; Burn This focuses on four friends dealing with the death of a loved one.

When the seasons change and Shakespeare in the Park resumes at Westerly’s Colonial Theater, Sanda will most likely return to the scene of the crime—again, as an actor. While he has no desire to present an encore performance of To Catch a Thief, Sanda noted the bright side: “It was good publicity for the theater; many local newspapers covered the story.”  

To learn more about Rudy’s career, visit his page at the New England Actors site:

Maria V. Caliri ’86, M.B.A. ’92