Inly Players Theater: Local TV Celebrity, Students Learn About Working Well With Others

Family theater events with a professional twist

The Inly Players are pleased to bring Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the story of the legendary candy maker, to the stage for their sixth annual musical theater production. There are six shows over two weekends: Saturday, February 25 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm, Sunday, February 26 at 2:00 pm; Saturday, March 3 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm and Sunday, March 4 at 2:00 pm.

The Inly Players is a troupe of students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff of Inly School and includes professional actors and stage crew. Since 2007, the Inly Players Theater troupe has continued to grow, and this year’s Willy Wonka cast includes 75 people!

Veteran WBZ-TV news anchor Scott Wahle as Willy Wonka

Leading the cast is Scott Wahle, who plays the part of Willy Wonka. Best known for his 10-year run as morning news anchor for Boston’s WBZ-TV, the multi-talented Wahle has been involved in theater for many years and performs regularly with the Reagle Music Theater of Greater Boston. His role of Harold Hill in the “Music Man” earned him an IRNE (Independent Reviewers of New England) award for Best Actor.

Wahle made his motion picture debut in the Tom Cruise film Knight and Day. He was a featured guest on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” has performed twice with Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops, and has sung the National Anthem at Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and Patriots games. His Inly Players debut as the Beast in Beauty and the Beast last year was very well received by all. Head of School Donna Milani Luther said, “Scott is a truly talented actor and great friend of Inly. I am thrilled to work with him again this year.”

What cast members learn from the performing arts experience

Wahle says he’s looking forward to another big performance with the Inly Players. “It’s an interesting model that Donna has created,” he commented, “and it works for the benefit of everyone involved. She picks shows that are a good fit for the students and then brings in professionals like [Inly music teacher] Meri-Lee Mafera from the Wang Theater and Martha Sawyer, who’s also a real pro, to direct. They hire a real pit orchestra and scene designer and crew, and so the whole experience has a professional feel.”

“It’s a great experience for the kids to learn how to speak well in public, to be a member of a team and to take responsibility for playing a role,” said Wahle. “It’s a great experience for us all, really. You learn a lot about yourself and what it really means to ‘work well with others!’”

Back for her fourth year as guest director of Inly Players Theater is professional director and Scituate native Martha Sawyer. Sawyer studied directing with Helena Dreyfus of the Yale Drama School and David Wheeler of Harvard and the American Repertory Theatre. She is a long-term member of the board of directors for Curtain Call Theatre of Braintree.

“I enjoy working on the Inly Player productions because the support team that Donna puts in place provides a wonderfully creative and visionary environment,” said Sawyer. “It encourages everyone to exercise their imagination and creativity to their limits. We work in a very compressed rehearsal schedule—this time only five weeks—but that short timeline seems to focus everyone. And the results have been very rewarding.”

For more information and tickets, visit the Inly web site.

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