SARASOTA, FL – For the seventh summer, actors, dancers and singers ages 13-18 are taking the stage with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. WBTT is proud to present “Stage of Discovery,” an intensive, five-week summer musical theatre program that is offered at no cost to participants.
The teens are under the direction of WBTT founder/artistic director Nate Jacobs and education director/artistic associate Jim Weaver. WBTT staff and guest instructors – including choreographers, musicians, actors and vocal coaches – offer lessons in dance, acting, singing and improvisation, and provide behind-the-scenes experience with set and costume design.
The camp takes place 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on weekdays at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s Education & Outreach Center and in its theater building. There is an optional post-camp theatre arts program, led by WBTT’s prop master Annette Breazeale, that offers further exploration in the visual arts and prop making.
“Many of these young people, while naturally talented, have never had any formal theater experience. We work them rigorously – while having lots of fun – to enhance their individual talents and give them a basic understanding of the art of theatre,” said Jacobs. “While WBTT is dedicated to producing the finest dramatic and musical theater, my dream – my true calling and purpose for founding this organization – has always been to help young aspiring artists who may not otherwise have the opportunity to develop their talents and achieve success.”
The Stage of Discovery program is free to students, thanks to support from the community. Founding Sponsor is the Robert E. Dods Family Foundation (in honor of Mike & Karen Gardiner). Presenting Sponsors are the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation; Carol Beeler (in memory of Tom Beeler); the John J. Clopine Fund of The Community Foundation of Sarasota County; Gulf Coast Community Foundation; and Lee & Lydia Rainer, Rainer’s Grace Donor Fund.
The program will culminate with two public performances of an original musical revue, “We Dream,” in The Donelly Theatre at WBTT (1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota) on Saturday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 17 at 2 p.m. The show will include poetry, monologues, and singing and dancing to numbers including “Everyday People,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Waiting On the World to Change,” “Respect Yourself,” and many more. “We Dream” was created, adapted and directed by Weaver; live band will be led by music director Matthew McKinnon, with vocal arrangements by Jacobs.
“The overall theme of ‘We Dream’ is about our younger generations looking for and anticipating the time when acceptance and understanding of each other – with all our differences – will finally be here,” said Weaver.
Tickets for “We Dream,” which are $27/adults, $17/students and active military (with valid ID), are now on sale; 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. Visit westcoastblacktheatre.org.