Nate Jacobs, Founder/Artistic Director

Nate Jacobs, Founder & Artistic Director

Nate Jacobs is the founder and artistic director of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. The mission of the nonprofit organization, founded in 1999, is to produce professional theatre that promotes and celebrates African American history and experience, engages a broad base of patrons and audiences, supports the development of a dynamic group of aspiring artists and builds self-esteem in youth of color. 

A graduate of Florida A&M University, Nate has written, composed, directed and performed in many shows, as an actor, singer, dancer and comedian. He trains and mentors youth in the performing arts through programs such as Stage of Discovery, WBTT’s summer musical theatre intensive program.

Nate and the troupe marked WBTT’s 20th anniversary in 2019 with a musical retrospective of the company’s first two decades. In January 2020, following the successful Heart & Soul capital campaign, WBTT staged its first show in its renovated theatre.

In March 2020, WBTT joined theatres around the world in an unscheduled intermission. Undaunted, Nate and his colleagues pivoted to online offerings. Live performances resumed in October 2020, outdoors on the theatre’s campus. The troupe returned to indoor shows in October 2021 for its 2021-2022 season.

In addition to performances and events on its campus on Orange Avenue in downtown Sarasota, under Nate’s artistic leadership WBTT reaches out to the community to present events at various locations, including a 2019 concert at Ed Smith Stadium, ‘70s Soul Party. Each January, WBTT presents Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: Celebrating His Legacy in Spoken Word and Song. The program has been presented for several years at Booker High School and, in 2021, at First United Methodist Church in downtown Sarasota.

Nate has received several awards and accolades through the years. The Sarasota County Branch NAACP Youth Council recognized Nate as one of its 2012 Men of Valor. In 2015, he was honored with the prestigious Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., “for his contributions to Black theatre specifically and American theatre in general.” Nate received the Arts Leadership Award for Artistic Achievement from the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County in 2018. In 2021 he received the Perfect Pitch Award from Key Chorale, which recognized him as a driving force in the arts and for his collaborations with other arts organizations, including American Roots: The Gospel Experience, a series of concert performances with WBTT performers and Key Chorale presented in three area churches in the fall of 2019.