Arts organization’s annual gala to highlight ‘Oz’ theme, honor supporters Carolyn Michel and Howard Millman

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will celebrate its 17th anniversary and present its major annual gala, this year titled “Emerald City Ball,” on Thursday, November 10, 6-10pm at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium (801 N. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota). Guests will be taken on a journey to Oz, with fanciful décor and performances by artists from WBTT’s current production of The Wiz.

Initial offering of the season will feature Earley Dean in a tribute to the music of Teddy Pendergrass

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to announce its fourth annual Young Artist Program, through which Troupe members are able to showcase their talents with one-night, one-person shows. The first show of this season, “Happy Birthday Jethro Jenkins,” features WBTT founding member Earley Dean and takes place Monday, October 31 at 7:30pm. Join Dean as he paints a picture of the life of Jethro Jenkins through comedy, drama, and the soul-stirring music of the incomparable Teddy Pendergrass.

‘Aunt Rudele's Family Reunion’ promises side-splitting laughs in portrayal of outspoken, busybody relative

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs will once again don a dirty-blond wig, glasses and heels to reprise his role as "Aunt Rudele" this month in Aunt Rudele's Family Reunion. Show runs two nights only: Friday and Saturday, August 19 and 20, at 8 p.m. Takes place at the Westcoast Black Theatre (1646 10th Way, Sarasota).

WBTT’s electrifying ‘How I Got Over: A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson’ celebrates the Queen of Gospel and other gospel greats

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe presents its summer 2016 show, How I Got Over: A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson, which runs July 13 – August 14, 2016. The musical revue is an original production created by WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs to honor Jackson, “The Queen of Gospel.”

Staged readings to take place internationally as part of Project1VOICE effort on June 19 and 20

SARASOTA, FL – On June 20, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) will take part in Project1VOICE/1PLAY/1DAY, an international effort presented in association with more than 40 theater companies, museums and other diverse institutions to celebrate African American theatre. This year, Project1VOICE will celebrate the 30th anniversary of "The Colored Museum," written by two-time Tony Award-winning theatrical powerhouse George C. Wolfe, with staged readings. 

Actors, dancers and singers ages 13-18 are invited to take the stage with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe this summer. From July 20-August 15, WBTT will offer "Stage of Discovery," a theatre-intensive summer musical pilot program. The teens will be under the direction of WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs, with professional creative coaches assisting in the instruction. The program culminates with a public performance of an original musical.

Takes place at the Westcoast Black Theatre (1646 10th Way, Sarasota) from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The 2016 pilot program is free and lunch is provided; aftercare is available from 2:00-5:00 p.m. for $50 per week per child. This program is being underwritten by the Robert E. Dods Family Foundation.

There will be a mandatory audition on Saturday, June 11, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. For more information and/or to schedule an appointment, call Joey James at (941) 366-1505, ext. 108 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

New program debuts with ‘Real Life,’ original musical written and directed by WBTT artist Joel P. E. King

SARASOTA, FL – The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is launching a new program to enable young artists to gain experience and exposure for their original works through the "New Playwrights Series.” The debut performance of the series will be a blocked stage reading of "Real Life," written and directed by WBTT artist Joel P. E. King. King aims to assure an “off book” performance that he believes will be more engaging and less distracting for the artists and the audience. Other WBTT artists will perform various roles in the reading.