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Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to announce that -- in less than one year -- it has paid off its mortgage loan from BB&T Bank in Sarasota. The money was received on March 26, 2013 and completely paid off on March 12, 2014. The Troupe's property is located at 1646 10th Way at Orange Avenue in Sarasota and includes two buildings on almost two acres.

According to Julie Leach, president of the WBTT Board of Directors, "This amazing achievement was only possible through the generosity of our board members and many other supporters in the community, the confidence in our team by BB&T Bank, and the warm reception in the community for what we are trying to accomplish with this theater company. We could not be more appreciative or thrilled. "

A capital campaign is planned to kick off later this year. Additional funds are needed to renovate the theater space, rehearsal and dressing rooms, costume shop, meeting rooms and offices. Classroom spaces for educational programming are also in the future plan. Anyone interested in learning more about these upcoming announcements, can contact CEO Christine Jennings at 941-366-1505.

Jennings added, "On behalf of the Board, staff and Troupe members, we can now be 100 percent excited about the next chapter of this organization. We have our permanent home with a platform for these amazing performers. We have an opportunity to create an exciting center for performing arts which will bring diversity, entertainment and economic opportunity to our community. We are just thrilled about the future."

For more information about the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, visit the website,

About WBTT: The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. (WBTT) is the only professional black theater company on Florida’s West Coast. The mission is to “produce plays that promote and celebrate the African-American experience, attract diverse audiences, while using its productions as a vehicle for supporting African-American artists and building the self-esteem of African-American youth.” Throughout the past decade, WBTT has produced many productions and has gained a reputation for high quality, thought-provoking and entertaining performances. Since its inception, WBTT has mentored and inspired many African-American youth. Many of the aspiring professional artists trained in the WBTT performing arts program have gone on to work with national and regional companies, including Apphia Campbell who most recently has been seen performing her one-woman show, Black is the Color of My Voice, in Shanghai and New York and Teresa Stanley who was a featured cast member on Broadway in The Color Purple andpresently stars in Rock of Ages. For more information on WBTT, visit the website at, follow on Facebook or call 941-366-1505.