Theatre’s annual spring fundraiser to be offered online from May 21-25; will feature most popular WBTT artists performing soul hits

SARASOTA, FL – For more than a decade, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has offered the lively and music-filled fundraiser, the April Fools Fête, in the ballroom at Michael’s On East. This year, with social events shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization will offer a high-energy, 75-minute recorded program – “An Evening with Sheldon Rhoden & Friends” – online from 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 21 through 10 p.m. on Monday, May 25.

Funding of $30,000 from Gulf Coast Community Foundation - in response to economic impacts of COVID-19 - will help WBTT to pivot operations

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, the only professional black theater company on Florida's West Coast and one of only three in Florida, was thrilled to recently receive an emergency Arts Appreciation Grant of $30,000 from Gulf Coast Community Foundation. WBTT was one of 10 of this region's signature arts organizations to receive funding totaling $470,000 in April, to assist arts and cultural organizations hit the hardest due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Major supporters pledge $25,000 to boost Giving Challenge 2020 efforts

SARASOTA, FL – With losses in the hundreds of thousands related to show cancellations due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Sarasota’s “miracle theater” – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe – has been looking for a miracle. With the community-wide Giving Challenge approaching later this month, a miracle has appeared in the form of a $25,000 challenge match to bolster donations during the 24-hour online philanthropic event.

WBTT launches streaming video platform, 'WBTT Live!' with the musical, ‘Your Arms Too Short to Box with God’

SARASOTA, FL – For Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, the decision to go dark for the remainder of its 20th anniversary (2020-2021) season due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was particularly painful as it had just opened its newly-renovated theater building to patrons in January. In an effort to lift spirits as well as generate critically-needed revenue, WBTT is proud to launch its new live streaming platform, "WBTT Live!" with the musical, Vinnette Carroll’s "Your Arms Too Short to Box with God," the production that WBTT was forced to cancel in March, after just three weeks of its run.

Organization cancels ‘Ruby’ and ‘Flyin’ West’; makes adjustments to 2020-2021 season

SARASOTA, FL – In the face of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe officials have canceled the remainder of WBTT's 2019-2020 performance season. In addition to the final three weeks of the run of “Your Arms Too Short to Box with God,” WBTT has canceled the highly-anticipated world-premiere musical “Ruby” and the season’s closing production, “Flyin’ West.”

Season to feature ‘Broadway in Black,’ ‘Ruby,’ ‘Pipeline,’ and ‘Smokey Joe’s Café,’ plus holiday offering, ‘Black Nativity’

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) has announced its 21st anniversary 2020-2021 season. In addition to four regular-season shows, the schedule includes a special holiday show, available outside of the subscription. Running from October 7, 2020 through June 6, 2021, the regular season shows are “Broadway in Black,” “Ruby,” “Pipeline” and “Smokey Joe’s Café.” The holiday show is “Black Nativity.”

'Your Arms Too Short to Box with God' is now closed; WBTT will monitor coronavirus situation to inform decisions on remainder of season schedule

SARASOTA, FL – Due to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations advising the cancellation or postponement of gatherings of more than 50 people in the face of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe officials have closed the current production of "Your Arms Too Short to Box with God." The show was slated to run through April 5; the organization – which has committed to paying the "Your Arms Too Short" artists, band and crew through the scheduled end of the run – faces a potential financial loss of $50,000 for each week that the theatre remains closed.

Archived Press Releases