SARASOTA, FL – While the stage in Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s brand-new theater building remains dark due to COVID-19, the show will go on(line) – again – later this month. In an effort to lift spirits as well as generate critically-needed revenue, WBTT is proud to continue to offer entertainment options virtually, with the family-friendly musical, “Rockin’ Down Fairytale Lane.” The show will be available online from May 26 through June 8.
The book and music were written, and the production was directed, by WBTT Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. An abbreviated version of “Fairytale Lane” was performed by summer campers at WBTT’s Stage of Discovery musical theatre intensive in 2016; the full-length production was featured as WBTT’s summer show in 2018. While Jacobs has written scores of musical revues, this was his first show featuring all-original music.
The cast includes a number of WBTT favorites, including Ariel Blue, Ashley D. Brooks, Earley Dean, Cherise James, Henry Washington and young phenom Samuel “Sammy” Waite. Talented dancers Derric Gobourne, Jr., Joshua Thompson and Topaz von Wood are featured as well. Musical director/co-arranger and bass player is James “Jay” Dodge II; other musicians include Todd Bellamy on piano, Tanmart Selby on auxiliary Keys, and Trevoris Scott on drums.
“While WBTT has presented shows that are suitable for younger audiences, this production is just perfect for families with younger children to enjoy together, at a fraction of the cost of a night out at the movies,” said Jacobs. “At a time when many people are still staying at home and we truly have no idea when we’ll be able to perform for live audiences again, we are happy to have this opportunity to entertain and share some much-needed smiles and toe-tapping songs with the community.”
WBTT is working to provide entertainment – such as April’s video offering, “Your Arms Too Short to Box with God” – as well as education and mentorship via virtual means. Its online streaming page, “WBTT LIVE!,” showcases interviews with and messages from favorite troupe members and special events. The page can be accessed through the organization’s website, westcoastblacktheatre.org.
The purchase of access to the streaming video of “Rockin’ Down Fairytale Lane” will help WBTT in this difficult time when its theater is closed and it faces up to $50,000 per week in lost ticket revenues.
“We are fortunate that, during these trying times, our virtual platform enables us to spread happiness, share our work and generate much-needed funds for our organization,” said WBTT’s Executive Director Julie Leach. “We are looking forward to expanding our virtual programming in the coming weeks, with artist interviews, arts instruction and much more.”
Access to the show online costs $15 per household (including $2 processing fee). Visit westcoastblacktheatre.org/performances/wbtt-on-demand for details and a link to purchase tickets to watch the video while it’s available.
About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. is the only professional black theater company on Florida’s West Coast. Its mission is to produce professional theater that promotes and celebrates the African American experience, to attract diverse audiences, to support and develop African American artists, and to build the self-esteem of African American youth. For more information, visit the website at westcoastblacktheatre.org or call 941-366-1505.