Arts organization’s annual fall gala raises over $250,000, honors supporters Andrew and Judith Economos

SARASOTA, FL – For Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s 23rd anniversary fall gala, “Groovin’ on the Soul Train,” the arts organization celebrated the music from the #1 television platform for R&B and soul music. The event featured hip décor and performances by favorite WBTT artists and its sizzling live band. 

Uplifting holiday presentation melds gospel with the poetry of Langston Hughes; show runs November 30-December 23

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe – once again – invites the community to celebrate the holiday season with “Black Nativity,” an inspirational gospel musical originally penned by poet/playwright Langston Hughes that retells the biblical Nativity story. The music is combined with dance, poetry and narrative to deliver a message of joy, hope and liberation.  

WBTT’s 2022-2023 season opens with long-lived staple of American musical comedy

SARASOTA, FL – Opening Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s 23rd anniversary season will be one of the most produced musicals in history, “Guys and Dolls.” The production premiered on Broadway in 1950 and ran for 1,200 performances, winning five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Since its original run, it has become a staple of American musical comedy, staged in Broadway revivals, by regional companies, community theatres and schools. A movie version in 1955 starred Frank Sinatra as Nathan Detroit and Marlon Brando as Sky Masterson.

Grant totaling $35,000 will support summer youth training program, MLK Day program, and arts organization’s two major fundraisers

SARASOTA, FL – As Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe prepares for its 2022-2023 programmatic and performance season, it is thrilled to have received a Strategic Partnership Grant of $35,000 from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The funds are to be allocated as follows: $15,000 for Stage of Discovery; $10,000 for the fall gala, “Groovin’ on the Soul Train”; $5,000 for WBTT’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and $5,000 for WBTT’s spring fundraiser, the April Fools Fête.

Eight students involved with WBTT programs have earned funds toward artistic education and training

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is proud to announce it has, for the fourth consecutive year, awarded WBTT Artist Development scholarships to deserving students. Last year, eight up-and-coming artists were presented with $2,000 scholarships for studies in a college or conservatory program in the performing arts or arts management for the 2021-2022 academic year. This year, WBTT has again provided eight young, aspiring artists with scholarships of $2,000 each.

WBTT presents ‘Unbreakable: An Evening with Jnana Wilson Cooper’ at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe on June 13

SARASOTA, FL – For Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe founding member Jnana Cooper, her life’s journey hasn’t always been smooth. But she has come out the other end stronger and, to celebrate, she will return to WBTT – where her professional artistic journey began – and perform in a special concert presentation on June 13 titled “Unbreakable: An Evening with Jnana Wilson Cooper.”

Delmark recording artist returns to Sarasota to bring the blues to WBTT on June 11

SARASOTA, FL – The Jose Ramirez Band will bring its steamy and passionate brand of the blues to Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe for one night only, returning to WBTT’s stage after its September 2021 concert here. A 2021 Blues Music Awards nominee for Best Emerging Artist Album, Ramirez earned second place in the 2020 International Blues Challenge in Memphis after advancing to the semi-finals against over 230 bands from around the world. He has played at legendary venues around the world, including Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago, where Buddy Guy himself joined him on stage.

Archived Press Releases