A native of South Carolina, Marlene Inman began her study of voice at the University of South Carolina. Upon completing a Masters in Music she then continued her education at the University of Michigan, where she received her Specialist of Music degree in 2007.
A versatile crossover artist, Marlene has performed regionally with The Encore Musical Theatre Company, The Dio Theatre, Arbor Opera Theater, and Michigan Opera Theater, and is a proud member of the American Guild of Musical Artists. Notable performances include Hello Dolly (Dolly Levi); South Pacific (Nellie Forbush); Carousel (Nettie); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (Judy); and The Light in the Piazza (Signora Naccarelli) for which she received a Rogue Award for Best Supporting Actress. Marlene was also awarded Michigan’s equivalent of a Tony, a Wilde Award, for Best Actress in a Musical, for her role as Francesca in the Dio’s production of The Bridges of Madison County.
In addition to performing, Marlene has served as the musical director for both regional youth and professional theater including The Dio Theatre’s recent production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder as well as seven years music directing at Ann Arbor’s Young People’s Theater. A passionate and vetted music educator, Marlene taught music at the Daycroft Montessori school for three years, and currently she is the handbell choir director at Dexter United Methodist Church, in addition to her large private vocal studio.
In 2019, Marlene founded the Academy of Vocal and Dramatic Arts (AVDA) in order to expand her mission to provide an inclusive and safe emotional space for the development of well-rounded performers, instilling in them an unwavering sense of self-worth; exceptional, personalized training in voice, acting and piano provided by a team of dedicated professional artists and educators; and the resources to pursue their most audacious creative goals. Marlene has been teaching children and adults to sing for more than 20 years.
On a personal level, Marlene shares her life and love of performing with her supportive and equally talented partner, Keith. Together they enjoy attending concerts. Some concert highlights include Hall and Oates; Elton John; Paul Simon and Michael Bublé, whom Marlene had the privilege of singing onstage with, for 14,000 of his fans at his concert last year in Detroit! Marlene is an avid foodie having been brought to tears on more than one occasion by a perfectly curated steak paired with the right glass of Malbec. She loves to travel, vowing to return to Italy in celebration of her 50th birthday. Marlene is a loving mama to Pickles and Pepper, her two tabby cats whom she rescued in 2021. Marlene wakes up on fire each day grateful for the opportunity to shape and serve the next generation of artists.