SARASOTA, FL -- For the third summer, actors, dancers and singers ages 13-18 are taking the stage with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. From June 11 through July 16, WBTT is presenting "Stage of Discovery," an intensive summer musical theater program that is offered at no cost to participants. 

The 30 teens are under the direction of WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs and Stage of Discovery coordinator Joey James. WBTT staff and guest instructors, including choreographers, actors and vocal coaches, offer lessons in dance, acting, singing and improvisation, and provide behind-the-scenes experience with set and costume design. The program will culminate with two public performances of "Broadway in Black, Jr." at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 15, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Monday, July 16. Tickets, which are available on WBTT's website, are $15/adults, $5/students and active military. Free tickets to the Monday matinee are being provided to groups of students from local summer camps.

The camp takes place 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on weekdays at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe's brand new Education & Outreach Center (1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota). “Hands-on Discovery,” an optional post-camp theatre arts program, is available from 3-5 p.m. and offers further exploration in the visual arts, prop making, and costuming. 

"Many of these young people, while naturally talented, have never had any formal theater experience. We work them fairly hard – while having lots of fun – to bring their individual talents out and give them a basic understanding of the art of theatre," said Jacobs. "While WBTT is dedicated to producing the finest dramatic and musical theatre, my dream – my true calling and purpose for founding this organization – has always been to help young aspiring artists who may otherwise be overlooked to develop their talents and have the opportunity to achieve success."

The Stage of Discovery program is free to students, thanks to underwriting by The Robert E. Dods Family Foundation and the Walter Haskins Fund in memory of Stacy K. Haskins at The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, with additional support from The Martin D. Cohen Family Foundation, Patricia Kordis, Nancie-Lynn Sheldon-Martin and David Martin, and donors to WBTT’s 2018 April Fool’s Fete.

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