Popular WBTT artist Earley Dean to present Jean-Paul Sartre’s ‘No Exit’ on March 17

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to present the sixth year of its annual Young Artist Program, through which Troupe members are able to showcase their talents with self-produced, one-person shows. The second Young Artist showcase of the season, featuring popular WBTT artist Earley Dean, takes place Sunday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Dean will star in Jean-Paul Sartre's existential drama No Exit, playing the complex and dramatic character Joseph Garcin. Joining him are Ashley D. Brooks, Raleigh Mosley II and Kathryn Parks. The guest director is Harry Bryce. Proceeds will be used to help Dean realize his dream of producing his original play, Happy Birthday Jethro Jenkins, which he previewed in a 2016 Young Artist Program.

The third artist being featured this year is Brian L. Boyd, who will present A Rhapsody Revelation on April 7; in February, Young Artist Program participant Maicy Powell opened the 2018-2019 Young Artist Program series with two sold-out performances of The Kid Is Alright. Young Artist Program showcases take place at the WBTT theater, located at 1012 N. Orange Avenue in Sarasota. Tickets are $25 general admission; sponsor tickets, which include reserved preferred seating, are $100. Call the box office at (941) 366-1505 or purchase tickets online at westcoastblacktheatre.org.

Dean is a longtime Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe member. Audiences have enjoyed his work in numerous productions, including The Piano Lesson, Cotton Club Cabaret and Purlie. Particularly memorable roles have included the sadistic dentist in Little Shop of Horrors and the overbearingly but hilariously self-absorbed Prince Charming in Rockin’ Down Fairytale Lane.

WBTT’s Young Artist Program, part of its educational programming, was created to support, develop and showcase the talents of young, aspiring artists of color. The Young Artist Program offers company members the opportunity to develop and present an original production. All proceeds from the show are given to the presenting artist to be used for further artistic and professional development.

“Earley is a unique artist who definitely has a strong impact on productions he’s in – his roles tend to bring the house down, whether musical, comedic or dramatic,” said WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs, who assists the young artists in developing and directing their presentations. “The response to his previous Young Artist Program showcase in 2016, an original production, was excellent. Audiences will be in for a treat as Earley performs his take on Jean-Paul Sartre.”

Since its inception, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has mentored and inspired many African-American youth through their participation in the company’s productions. Many of the aspiring professional artists trained in the organization’s performing arts program have gone on to work with regional and national companies. One of WBTT’s youngest performers, fan favorite Christopher Eisenberg, was signed by Sony/ATV in 2016 as part of pop group Next Town Down. WBTT founding member Teresa Stanley has two Broadway hit shows under her belt. And Naarai Jacobs – frequent WBTT performer and the daughter of Nate – performed last year with world-famous artists including Beyoncé and Logic.

“What’s exciting about the Young Artist Program is that it gives artists who may have only experienced ensemble work the opportunity to move into the spotlight,” said WBTT executive director Julie Leach. “This program highlights our commitment to investing in the artists who work with us in order to further their performance and career opportunities.”

For more information or tickets to WBTT’s season of shows, go to westcoastblacktheatre.org.

About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe:

The mission of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is to produce professional theatre that promotes and celebrates the African-American experience, to attract diverse audiences, to support and develop African-American artists, and to build the self-esteem of African-American youth. For more information on WBTT, visit the website at westcoastblacktheatre.org or call (941) 366-1505.

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