Uplifting holiday presentation melds gospel with the poetry of Langston Hughes

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe 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, victory and liberation. 

Marvin Gaye: Prince of Soul features popular WBTT artist Sheldon Rhoden, who takes a third turn in the production’s lead role

SARASOTA, FL – For its second offering of the 2018-2019 mainstage season, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is bringing back one of its most popular productions, Marvin Gaye: Prince of Soul. Sheldon Rhoden – who starred in the show in 2011 and 2014 – returns in the title role; WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs is the creator and director. The show runs November 28, 2018 – January 13, 2019, with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and weekend matinees at 2 p.m. at the Westcoast Black Theatre (1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota).

Musical based on ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ explores a family in conflict
SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe opens its 2018-2019 mainstage season with Raisin. The show is a musical theatre adaptation of the Lorraine Hansberry play, A Raisin in the Sun. The show runs October 3 – November 11, with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and weekend matinees at 2 p.m. at the Westcoast Black Theatre (1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota).

WEDU PBS and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) are working together on an original documentary that will tell the story of WBTT and its charismatic Founder and Artistic Director, Nate Jacobs, and highlight its quest for and impact on inclusion and diversity in the arts in our region. 

In 1999, actor and playwright Nate Jacobs founded WBTT, establishing the unique dramatic company to present and explore the African-American experience. The documentary will examine Jacobs' past, including his time at the Westcoast Center for Human Development and his deeply influential relationship with school founder and mentor Dr. Henry Porter, the history, achievements and experiences of the Troupe and some of its standout artists, and explore Jacobs' vision for the future. 

Musical revue to feature greatest hits from the late Queen of Soul, sung by WBTT female powerhouses on WBTT’s mainstage Sept. 11-15

SARASOTA, FL – In response to the recent passing of the legendary Aretha Franklin, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will present Salute to the Queen: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin. This special celebration of the life and legacy of the "Queen of Soul" will feature popular WBTT artists Naarai Jacobs and founding member Teresa Stanley. The evening will showcase many of Franklin’s best-loved songs and will recognize her remarkable achievements; WBTT Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs will narrate the tribute. Songs will include “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman,” “Think,” “Chain of Fools” and many more.

Goal extended to $8 million to ensure ample funds for theater renovation and endowment

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has announced it is extending its Heart & Soul capital campaign, which is funding renovations to its campus and buildings. The organization has exceeded its original $6 million minimum goal and is now preparing to enter the final phase of the campaign: leadership has announced an $8 million final goal to guarantee ample funding for the theater renovation and ensure long-term viability by growing its endowment.

Family-friendly summer production to feature book and lyrics by Nate Jacobs


SARASOTA, FL – This summer, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is pleased to present Rockin’ Down Fairytale Lane, a rousing, family-friendly musical comedy that gives fairytales a new twist. Audiences will follow storylines featuring fairytale characters such as Jack (of giant beanstalk fame), Snow White, Prince Charming, Goldilocks, the three little pigs, and more. The show runs July 25 through August 12, with evening performances at 8 p.m. and weekend matinees at 2 p.m. at the Westcoast Black Theatre (1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota).