Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will receive $50,000, with the National Endowment for the Arts recommendation for American Rescue Plan funding

SARASOTA, FL - Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has been approved to receive an American Rescue Plan grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); these grants are intended to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. WBTT is recommended to receive $50,000 over the next two years, which it will use to support artistic team salaries.

‘A Place for You,’ an hour-long concert celebrating Black history, will feature marimba player Steph Davis and numerous collaborating artists

SARASOTA, FL – On February 14, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and Modern Marimba present “A Place for You,” an hour-long concert celebrating Black history. The program features Steph Davis – co-founder of Modern Marimba – on marimba and several collaborating artists.

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.

Original production, created by WBTT founder/artistic director Nate Jacobs and his brother, Michael Jacobs, tells the story of a 1952 murder in Live Oak, Florida

SARASOTA, FL – The world premiere show “Ruby” (which was originally scheduled for the 2019-2020 season but delayed due to COVID-19) is a musical retelling by WBTT founder/artistic director Nate Jacobs and his brother, Michael Jacobs, of the shocking killing of a White doctor in Live Oak, Florida, by a Black woman – Ruby McCollum – who was tried in the case and eventually committed to Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee, Florida.  

Investment of $100,000 from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation to support expansion of arts organization’s education programs for youth and adults

SARASOTA, FL – In addition to presenting high-quality professional productions and plentiful artistic opportunities for artists of color, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is committed to arts education that utilizes the organization’s authentic voice to celebrate Black achievements, history and culture. While its education outreach efforts have grown organically over the past six years, an investment by an area foundation will seed significant growth of its education programming.

Free community event, ‘Playing Through: The Story of Ann Gregory,’ recognizes America’s first Black woman golf champion

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to present its first WBTT Voices program of the season with “Playing Through: The Story of Ann Gregory,” on November 10. The free program will explore the struggles and triumphs of Ann Gregory, a woman of color who was a pioneer in the elite and competitive world of golf. The program will include a panel discussion and the showing of preview clips from the movie.

Partnership to support the growth of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s education programs as well as a sustainable digital arts industry in Sarasota

SARASOTA, FL (UPDATED Oct. 28, 2021) – Westcoast Black Theater Troupe has entered into a collaboration with Semkhor and FOUNDERS+ to support the high-level education of local artists and the production of digital arts projects. The effort will bring nationally-recognized artists and filmmakers to the area to provide master classes at the theater; these classes will be offered free to WBTT artists and the community and provide a wealth of knowledge on acting and content creation.