SARASOTA, FL – 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.
The collaboration will launch with an invitation-only master class presented by Golden Globe winner and Emmy Awards nominee Dylan McDermott (“Law & Order: Organized Crime,” “American Horror Story,” “The Practice,” “In the Line of Fire,” “Steel Magnolias”). McDermott, who has worked extensively in film, television and the theater, is scheduled to appear at WBTT (1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota) on Sunday, November 14.
The next master class will feature Golden Globe winner and Emmy Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards nominee Ving Rhames (“Pulp Fiction,” “Con Air,” “Dawn of the Dead,” HBO’s “Don King: Only in America” and a recurring role in the “Mission: Impossible” film series) in February 2022, date TBD.
Not only will these – and future – speakers provide expertise benefiting area artists, these engagements may offer the possibility of collaboration on projects that they would develop for Sarasota. As the program grows, additional classes will be provided to accelerate the skills of local content creators so that more projects might come to the area.
“WBTT truly embodies the spirit of artistic collaboration and has done so much to bolster the arts in Sarasota; we are honored to be working with the organization to reinforce its mission while helping attract and originate live and filmed productions in Sarasota County,” said David Shapiro, owner of Semkhor. “Both Dylan and Ving are aware of the great work WBTT is doing and are coming specifically to bring wider attention to its work and support its continued growth.”
Semkhor is dedicated to working with nonprofits, educational institutions and the local film community to create and present programs that provide in-depth training for content creators while developing projects that can be produced in Sarasota. The FOUNDERS+ and Semkhor are working together to provide assistance to individuals and groups that can help create a sustainable digital arts industry in the region.
“WBTT is proud to be at the forefront of bringing world-class projects to the community while providing meaningful work to a diverse range of artists,” said WBTT Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. “We are thrilled to be able to bring such well-known experts in the field to Sarasota to lift up area artists while working to attract projects that will benefit our local economy.”
For more information or to inquire about how to get involved in this exciting new collaboration, call Julie Leach at 941-404-7728.
The mission of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is to produce professional theatre that promotes and celebrates African American history and experience, engages a broad base of patrons and audiences, supports the development of a dynamic group of aspiring artists, and builds self-esteem in youth of color. For more information, visit westcoastblacktheatre.org.
SEMKHOR is a media and technology company focused on digital content development, production and distribution. It provides consulting services centered on integrating the entertainment industry into a wide range of commercial and academic projects. It brings together a top-tier talent network, extensive knowledge of the internet and remote collaboration, comprehensive production & VFX capabilities, with the ability to forge commercial, community, government, and academic alliances. It was a key player in developing the 38,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art soundstage and post-production facility at Ringling College of Art and Design. For more information, visit semkhorstudios.com, semkhor.io, Semkhorcontentacademy.com, or follow on Instagram.
Led by Katherine Harris, FOUNDERS+ is a group of visionaries from our community who wish to integrate a thriving new digital arts industry into the region – one that will be successful, exciting, and attract new businesses to our coast as well as provide work for talented, local artists. The support of FOUNDERS+, which will engage expert artists and content creators to present master classes as well as encourage them to develop projects in Sarasota County, will help to sustain the efforts of the County and City, local EDC, nonprofits and higher education efforts to nurture this new industry sector and diversify our economy.