SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is poised to open its second show of the 2021-2022 season: its 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 can perform them. The show runs from December 1-30.
The original musical revue – created, adapted and directed by WBTT Founder/Artistic Director Nate Jacobs – 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!” are a number of WBTT regulars, including Michael Mendez, Raleigh Mosely II, Leon S. Pitts II, Derric Gobourne, Stage of Discovery student and rising star Samuel “Sammy” Waite, and more as well as artists new to WBTT’s stage. Additional students from the Stage of Discovery summer musical theatre intensive program will also be featured.
“We truly consider it a gift to be back in our beautiful, brand-new theater this season,” said WBTT Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. “We look forward to presenting this production and invite everyone to help us unwrap the present of joyful, seasonal music with WBTT!”
Donald Frison is the choreographer. Music director is Matthew McKinnon, who also plays bass. The rest of the band is Courtland Green, piano; Amber Robinson, auxiliary keys; Brad Foutch, guitar; and Michael Andrews, drums. Juanita Munford is stage manager, Travis Ray is assistant stage manager, Adrienne Pitts is costume designer, Donna and Mark Buckalter are set designers, Michael Pasquini is lighting designer, and Annette Breazeale is property master.
In accordance with CDC guidelines, masks will be required for all patrons as well as a recent negative test (or proof of vaccination, if the patron prefers); due to pleasant weather and reduced incidence of COVID-19 in the community, concessions will be available before the show outside in WBTT’s courtyard. Additionally, WBTT has numerous other measures in place, including deep cleaning and other COVID-19 protocols to help ensure the safety of its patrons, performers and staff while complying with current Florida law. Visit WBTT’s website and click on “COVID-19 Safety” for more.
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 24-25. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit westcoastblacktheatre.org or call the Box Office at 941-366-1505.
About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
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.