Highly-anticipated world-premiere musical will still be workshopped and recorded to inform future full stage production

SARASOTA, FL – Due to continuing breakthrough positive COVID-19 test results and a few cases among the “Ruby” cast and crew, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has made the difficult decision to cancel its impending and highly-anticipated world-premiere musical, “Ruby.” The show had originally been scheduled for the 2019-2020 season and then its January 12, 2022 opening was delayed due to positive COVID-19 tests among the production crew of WBTT’s holiday show, “Joyful! Joyful!”; with disruptions to the rehearsal schedule and the ongoing surge of Omicron throughout the community, the organization felt it would be in the best interests of public, artist, crew and staff health and safety to cancel the show instead of trying to work around affected individuals.

WBTT will continue to workshop “Ruby” and film it as a record of its progress over the next couple of weeks so that – once the conditions have improved and a show of its size and complexity can successfully be presented – work on the production can commence again.

“I am tremendously disappointed that we are not able to present ‘Ruby’ at this time but I’m grateful that we had the opportunity to move the production further down the road,” said WBTT Founder/Artistic Director Nate Jacobs, who co-wrote “Ruby” with his brother, Michael Jacobs. “We can’t wait for our patrons to experience this wonderful story on stage!”

WBTT’s next mainstage production is “Broadway in Black,” which is scheduled to open on March 10. Leaders hope that the highly-contagious Omicron variant will have run its course and that WBTT will be able to present “Broadway in Black” and the spring “One-Act Plays” as planned.

"While this is certainly not the outcome we foresaw or hoped for, we felt it wouldn’t be safe or responsible to continue our work on ‘Ruby’ given the ongoing disruptions and infections," said WBTT Executive Director Julie Leach. "Our hope is that we can continue the season in March when, hopefully, conditions will be better, and that we’ll be able to present ‘Ruby’ at a time when we are confident we can do so safely and successfully."  

The Box Office will automatically issue refunds to ticket holders. The Box Office will be closed for in-person inquiries and transactions but the phone lines (941-366-1505) are staffed.