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.

Guests will enjoy a delicious dinner and open bar, the Troupe will perform, and there will be dancing to the WBTT band. During the event, longtime supporters Carolyn Michel and Howard Millman – a past president and current board member of WBTT – will receive the “Heart & Soul Philanthropy Award,” recognizing their financial support and leadership service on behalf of the organization. Additionally, guests will have the opportunity to bid on three spectacular auction packages, with Michael Klauber serving as auctioneer.

WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs was excited for the opportunity to incorporate the current production into the gala program.

“One of my very favorite shows as a child was The Wizard of Oz,” said Jacobs. “The upbeat music, vibrant costumes and visual elements, and the inspirational theme will all lend themselves to creating a memorable evening for our guests. We look forward to welcoming our supporters to Oz!”

“Our organization is so fortunate to have supporters like Carolyn and Howard, who have long counseled and supported us in numerous aspects of our operations; Howard continues to be a valued mentor to Nate,” added WBTT executive director Julie Leach. “With Howard’s extensive directing experience and Carolyn’s unparalleled acting talents, they are uniquely qualified to offer their expertise for our benefit. We hope that, by receiving the Heart & Soul Philanthropy Award, they will feel our appreciation of their innumerable contributions to our success.”

Major sponsors are Tervis and Sarasota Magazine. Tickets are $200/person. Call WBTT at (941) 366-1505 for tickets or further information.

About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe:

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. 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. For more information on WBTT, visit the website at or call (941) 366-1505.