(SARASOTA)  The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) ends their 10th anniversary season with a production of the highly-acclaimed Jar The Floor, a combustible comedy-drama about four generations of African-American women from one family. The play presents a vivid portrait of the evolving interaction between mothers and daughters and touches on a number of profound subjects with sensitivity, seriousness, and a great deal of humor.

The four women plus the youngest daughter's friend, who is white, come together to celebrate the matriarch's 90th birthday. It turns into an occasion for venting about life through snide remarks and comic relief, rather than one of candles and cake.

According to the director Van Huff,  "Jar the Floor has been one of the most popular plays to be done in regional theaters during the last ten years. As a man directing this play, I felt like I was eavesdropping on the real discussions women have when men aren't around. The play communicates through the voices of women, but this peek into one family's life is relevant to everyone. Many of the issues discussed are universal, ranging from everyday conflicts to startling situations. The conversations are rich, emotional, truthful and at the same time, very funny."

The talented, all-female cast includes Tammy Elaine as the 90-year-old matriarch. Her daughter Lola is played by Paula Farlin, who has appeared in past WBTT productions, including A Raisin in the Sun.  Alice M. Gatling plays MayDee, the granddaughter. Audiences will recognize Alice from her recent performance in Ruined. The two youngest characters in the play are Vennie, the great granddaughter, performed by Jaszy McAllister and her friend Raisa, portrayed by Amanda Schlachter.

Jar the Floor has one preview performance on Wednesday, April 21st. Opening night is Friday, April 23, 2010, and runs through May 9th.  All shows are held at the Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, next to the Municipal Auditorium. The scheduled times are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 P.M. and Sunday matinees at 2:00 P.M.  The calendar can be found on the Troupe's website, www.wbttroupe.org. Individual tickets are $20 a piece and are available by calling the office at 941-366-1505.



The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. (WBTT) was founded in December 1999, by local actor, singer, director and playwright Nate Jacobs. It is the first and only professional black theater company on Florida's West Coast.

The mission of WBTT is to "produce plays that promote and celebrate the African-American experience, which attracts 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 more than 30 productions locally and around the state of Florida. The company has gained a reputation for high quality, thought-provoking and entertaining performances.

Since its inception, WBTT has mentored and inspired many African-American youth through participation in the company's productions. It has provided a platform for talented individuals who might not otherwise have had an opportunity to cultivate their interests and talents. The company has provided a springboard for many national careers including Apphia Campbell and Teresa Stanley, a featured cast member of The Color Purple and Dreamgirls on Broadway.