Production continues WBTT’s commitment to produce every play by August Wilson; renowned director Chuck Smith returns to take the reins for the show

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe continues its 2016-2017 season with The Piano Lesson, which runs January 11 – February 18, 2017. With this production, WBTT continues its commitment to produce every play by Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright August Wilson. The Piano Lesson is one of the 10 plays in Wilson’s “American Century Cycle,” which examines 20th century African American life.

Second offering of the season will feature Victoria Byrd paying tribute to her early influences

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is proud to present the second installment of its fourth annual Young Artist Program, through which Troupe members are able to showcase their talents with one-night, one-person shows. The second show of this season, “When I Think of Home …” features WBTT artist Victoria Byrd and takes place Monday, January 2, 2017 at 7:30pm. Byrd will take the audience along on her journey through the different music genres that have influenced her as a performing artist, from her early days studying opera, to songs from The Great American Songbook, to musical theatre favorites.

WBTT founding member Apphia Campbell to present ‘Nina Simone: Soul Sessions’ on December 19

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is proud to welcome back to its stage founding member Apphia Campbell, who invites audiences on a musical journey honoring soul icon Nina Simone. Nina Simone: Soul Sessions follows Campbell's life from New York to Shanghai in pursuit of artistic transformation; the show – which is currently on tour in Europe – features renditions of the very best of Simone's catalog of classic songs, in a soul-searching and intimate musical performance.

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.”