Arts organization's major gala to feature Tony Award-winning Broadway actress, TV star and recording artist Melba Moore

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will present its major annual gala, this year titled "Broadway Under the Stars," on Thursday, November 19, 6-10pm at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium (801 N. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota). Featured guest at the event will be the Tony Award-winning Broadway actress, TV star and recording artist Melba Moore, who was inducted into The Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame Museum in Detroit on October 4.

Production brings WBTT founding member Apphia Campbell back to WBTT; serves as WBTT directorial debut for James Harkness

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe opens its 2015-2016 season with The Color Purple, with a run of October 14 - November 21. This inspiring musical tells the story of an unforgettable woman who triumphs over adversity and discovers her unique voice in the world.  Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker (and the popular 1985 Steven Spielberg film), the play chronicles Celie’s 40-year evolution from near-enslavement to enlightenment through heartfelt letters to God and her long-lost missionary sister. With a jubilant score of roof-raising gospel, jazz, and throaty blues, The Color Purple is the tale of an everywoman triumphing over adversity, and a testament to the power of hope. 

Former WBTT CEO honored for past, ongoing contributions to arts organization

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has named its former CEO, Christine Jennings, as its first “Ambassador.” The honorary title recognizes her transformational contributions to the organization’s current fiscal health and artistic excellence.  In this role, she will occasionally speak in the community about the Troupe, and will continue her efforts to engage new patrons and supporters for the Troupe.

Former board chair tapped for professional leadership role of growing theatre

SARASOTA, FL – Julie Leach has been named executive director of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. Leach, who has served as the WBTT board chair since 2010, will help guide the theatre company through continued growth, physical plant and artistic enhancements, and a planned capital campaign.

On opening night for Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe's current production, "Cotton Club Cabaret," the show's music director/arranger/pianist LaTerry Butler was presented with the "Agent of Success" award. He was recognized to show thanks for and appreciation of his contributions to WBTT and to the development of numerous local up-and-coming African American artists.

Guests will enjoy lite bites, open bar and exclusive performance before company leaves for National Black Theatre Festival

SARASOTA, FL – In advance of its August appearance at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will present an exclusive sneak peek of the show the company will perform at the Festival, Soul Crooners 2. The event – which is being held to help raise money to defray the expenses that will be incurred for the week-long Festival – takes place on Sunday, July 26, 5-7pm at the WBTT Theatre (1646 10th Way, Sarasota). Morton’s Gourmet Market is the sponsor.

WBTT founder and artistic director to receive National Black Theatre Festival’s ‘Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award’ during August event, at which the Troupe will also perform

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) founder and artistic director, Nate Jacobs, will receive the “Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award” during the 2015 National Black Theatre Festival in August, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He will receive the honor, accorded due to his contributions to Black theatre specifically and American theatre in general, during the Opening Night Gala Awards Banquet.