2018-2019 SEASON: UPCOMING SHOWS

Popular WBTT artist Brian L. Boyd to present ‘A Rhapsody Revelation’ on April 7

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 third and final Young Artist showcase of the season, featuring popular WBTT artist Brian L. Boyd, takes place Sunday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m.

In A Rhapsody Revelation, Boyd will perform a range of musical styles, from Broadway classics to the soulful sounds of Motown. Audiences will be taken on Boyd’s journey from young adulthood to the artist he is today.

Boyd is the third artist being featured this year; in February, Maicy Powell opened the 2018-2019 Young Artist Program series with two sold-out performances of The Kid Is Alright. Earley Dean will present Jean-Paul Sartre’s one-act play No Exit on March 17 (extremely limited tickets remain for this performance).

Boyd is in his third season with WBTT. He has performed in numerous productions here: Raisin (Walter Lee), Broadway In Black, In the Heights (Benny), and The Amen Corner (David), to name just a few. He has also performed in iconic roles such as Coalhouse Walker Jr. in the musical Ragtime in Colorado and Joe in Smokey Joe's Café in Georgia.

WBTT’s Young Artist Program, part of its education 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.

“Brian is an artist with incredible talent – he came to us with strong skills and he’s only matured and become more polished since then,” said WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs, who assists the young artists in developing and directing their presentations. “We are excited to see how he performs while owning the stage in a solo act. I have a hunch that audiences will be very impressed!”

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.

“While Nate is available to consult, our Young Artist Program participants are responsible for writing their own script, the song choices, costumes, choreography, promotions … the whole works,” said Julie Leach, WBTT’s executive director. “This is a rigorous effort but one that helps to equip our artists with the tools they need to take their careers to the next level.”     

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.

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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