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Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to announce that founding Troupe member Teresa Stanley has just been cast in the role of Justice/Mother for the Broadway production on Rock of Ages at the Helen Hayes Theatre, 240 West 44th Street, NYC. Stanley will appear in the January 21st performance. It is a role she played on the first national Rock of Ages tour. Stanley will be replacing the current cast member.

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to announce the opening of its first 2012-13 show, Nate Jacobs 50s Jukebox Revue. Conceived and directed by founding Artistic Director Nate Jacobs, this original revue is an exciting new musical that gives homage to the heyday of rock 'n' roll. The show opened on Friday, November 16th and runs through Sunday, December 16th. All performances are held at the WBTT theater at 1646 10th Way in Sarasota. Times are 8:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday with 2:00 pm matinees on Sunday. Tickets are $28 and may be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 941-366-1505.

Blackbird Takes flight at WBTT

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to announce the details of its 2012 season finale, Blackbird, The Story of Josephine Baker. The play is an original musical born from a longtime collaboration between Tony-nominated Playwright Sherman Yellen and award-winning composer and conductor, the late Wally Harper. The play follows six years of Josephine Baker’s life, 1919 to 1925, during which time she emerged from an unschooled, ghetto teenager street dancing in East St. Louis, to the beginning of her legendary career in Paris where she was instrumental in introducing the Jazz Age.

2012 - 2013 Season Includes November Opener and Longer Runs

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to announce its lineup for the 2012-2013 season which will offer more ticket availability and an earlier schedule beginning in November. With three out of four shows featuring music from different eras, the 'Rock, Swing and Sway' theme is aptly named. The shows include three musical revues, two of which are being written by Founding Artistic Director Nate Jacobs, and an August Wilson drama. Each production will run for five weeks as opposed to the previous four-week runs. Season opener, on November 16th, will be Nate Jacobs' 50s Jukebox Revue, followed by August Wilson's Jitney, a new Soul Crooners 2, and closing with the Tony-nominated It Ain't Nothin'But the Blues. Subscription prices are still $75 for four shows and can be purchased online. Individual tickets will be available later this fall and will remain priced at $28 each.

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to announce the opening of Sammy Tonight! A Tribute to Sammy Davis, Jr. The musical revue features De'Zhon Fields who has traveled the world showcasing the legendary icon. Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Artistic Director Nate Jacobs has collaborated with Fields to create an original WBTT Sammy Tonight, featuring songs considered 'Sammy Davis classic' as well as other music from that era. The show opens on Friday, March 9th and runs through Sunday, April 1st. Tickets are $28. Evening performances run Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00 pm. Matinees are at 2:00 pm on Sundays.

A Raisin in the Sun Headlines Two Popular Sarasota Actors

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to announce that their next show, A Raisin in The Sun, features two actors who have captivated Sarasota audiences before. Alice Gatling, star of Ruined and cast member of the Troupe's Jar the Floor, will play Lena Younger, mother to Walter Lee Younger, played by Asolo Conservatory graduate Will Little. The play will be directed by Jim Weaver, a fourth WBTT production for this New York City resident. Previous plays directed by Weaver for the Troupe were last season's Cab Calloway, Fences by August Wilson and A Soldier's Story.

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to announce that founding Troupe member Teresa Stanley will join them as a cast member in their season opening show, Love, Sung in the Key of Aretha. Teresa Stanley has been a favorite of Sarasota audiences since she became known to them through WBTT. Stanley grew up performing with the Troupe and then went on to perform on Broadway in The Color Purple, and in the national tours of Rock of Ages and the 30th Anniversary tour of Ain't Misbehavin'. This will be the first time she has performed in a Troupe play since leaving the area for New York, over five years ago.

Teresa is one of our biggest stars and is very popular with local audiences, exclaimed Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. She started with the Troupe when she was 14 years old and just blossomed with every role she took. She now enjoys a busy theatrical career based in New York City. We are thrilled that she has a break in her performance schedule and has agreed to be a part of our cast for the season opening play. She's a real professional and a dynamic performer. All the cast is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her.

Teresa Stanley's first local musical was WBTT's production of Purlie playing the role of Luttibelle Gussiemae Jenkins. She received rave reviews from critics who called her a shinning star. She went on to play roles in productions such as Showboat, Eubie, All Night Strut, Sophisticated Ladies, Ain't Misbehavin', and Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She landed starring roles as Dorothy in The Wiz, and Effie White in Dreamgirls. Stanley has sung and toured with The New York Harlem Singers, The Broadway Church Ladies, Henry L. Porter and The Love Campaign, Dewayne Harvey and Unrestrained Praise, the Westcoast Gospel Chorus of Florida, and WBTT. Teresa's long-time dream to appear on Broadway became true in April 2007 when she was cast in The Color Purple, playing countless roles, and ending the run on Broadway as Church Lady Darlene.

Love, Sung in the Key of Aretha is an original production, conceived and written by Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. Set in the summer of 1968, a year of intense political and racial unrest, the play presents a slice of life during that time, as it follows the lives of four African-American women. The music of Aretha Franklin is used to express the frustration, trials and tribulations that face each of them during sometimes happy, sometimes sad events. Besides Stanley, other familiar Troupe members in the cast include Ariel Blue, Tsadok Porter, Allysa White, Santoy Campbell and Mikeyy Mendez. New and performing with the Troupe for the first time are Steve Cannon, Jasmine Le Shea. Damienne Flagler and Chakara Rosa.

Our original plays and musical revues are always among our most popular productions, remarked Jacobs. The success of Marvin Gaye last season inspired me to finish this piece, which has been in my mind for more than a few years.  I think the audience will really relate to Aretha's great lyrics and music which expressed what so many felt in their everyday lives during the tumultuous 1960s.

The play opens on Friday, December 16 and runs through Monday, January 16. All shows Tuesday through Saturday begin at 8:00 pm. Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 pm. The WBTT theater is located at 1646 10th Way in Sarasota. Subscriptions for the 2011-2012 season are still available and cost $75 for four plays. The cost of a single ticket is $28. All are available online at or by calling the box office at 941-366-1505.

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