Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s ‘Christmas card to the community’ features traditional holiday tunes, gospel-infused classics and pop songs

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is gearing up for the holidays, ready to celebrate the season with its holiday production and Christmas card to the community, “Joyful! Joyful!” Theater fans of all ages and religious backgrounds are invited to celebrate the season with high-spirited, uplifting songs as only WBTT’s singers, dancers and musicians can perform them. The show runs from November 29-December 30, 2023.

The original musical revue – created, adapted and directed by WBTT Founder/Artistic Director Nate Jacobs and performed for the first time in 2021 – features a blend of new takes on traditional holiday tunes, gospel-infused classics and pop songs. The show will include “Joy to the World,” an O’Jays-inspired take on “Carol of the Bells,” a gospel-infused rendition of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus,” “African Drummer Boy” and many more.

Performing in “Joyful! Joyful!” are a number of WBTT regulars, including Ariel Blue, Michael Mendez, Delores McKenzie, Nate Summers, Raleigh Mosely II, Jazzmin Carson, Stephanie Zandra, Maicy Powell and Samuel “Sammy” Waite as well as artists new to WBTT’s stage. Students from the Stage of Discovery summer musical theatre intensive program will also be featured.

"As the holidays approach, there is so much for our organization to be thankful for, and we’re honored to share our joy with families and the wider community,” said WBTT Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. “We’ve made some changes in the show since its premiere in 2021 and welcome previous and new patrons to join us for this year’s production. In fact, we invite everyone to attend and help us unwrap the present of joyful, seasonal music with WBTT!”

Choreographer is Donald Frison. Music director is Matthew McKinnon, who also plays main keys. The rest of the band is: Charlotte Corporan, auxiliary keys; Marvin Hendon, bass; Brad Foutch, guitar; and Caleb Miller, drums.

Kevin White is production manager, Jennifer Woodford is stage manager, KaCie Ley is assistant stage manager, Patrick Russini is sound designer, Michael Pasquini is lighting designer, Darci Collins is costume designer, Donna and Mark Buckalter are scenic designers, Austin Jacobs is projection designer, and Annette Breazeale is properties designer.

Tickets are $50/adults, $20/students and active military (prices include all applicable ticket fees). Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays; there will be no performances on December 24, 26 or 27. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit westcoastblacktheatre.org or call the Box Office at 941-366-1505.