The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. (WBTT) was founded in December 1999, in Sarasota, Florida, by actor, singer, director, and playwright Nate Jacobs. It is the only professional black theatre company on Florida’s west coast.
WBTT produces musicals—some Broadway hits, others written, adapted, and directed by Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs—as well as comedies and thought-provoking dramas from such notable playwrights as August Wilson, Charles Smith, and Katori Hall. In our New Playwrights program, WBTT offers opportunities for writers to workshop new works with audience feedback. The Troupe also provides a variety of community outreach and education programs, including a summer intensive musical theatre camp for underserved youth, a JazzLinks program for area high schools that helps bring history to life, and a Young Artists series in which aspiring artists produce and perform in their individual concerts on our MainStage.
WBTT has enjoyed tremendous growth from a grassroots organization to a successful not-for-profit, professional theatre with a five-show season at its own theatre campus. As a result of broad-based community support, season shows are nearly always sold out, with an average attendance rate of 94%.
WBTT is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association and holds national auditions yearly.
Since its inception, WBTT has mentored and inspired many African-American youth and young adults through participation in the company’s productions. Many aspiring professional artists who trained with WBTT have gone on to work with regional theaters, national touring companies, on Broadway and cruise ship stages, on national television shows, and with major record companies.