The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

A construction capital campaign close to its goal is 'Heartbeats Away'

REALTALK interview with Nate Jacobs of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
A 2016 interview with Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe in REALTALK™ #101 ends with a song and dance.

On the last day of 2018 I highlighted some of the new construction projects in Sarasota and the surrounding keys. In that REALTALKplus™ article the capital campaigns of several non-profits were included. The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is one of them. Their programs have expanded beyond the walls of its current building that has blossomed the careers of many actors.

The educational and theatrical programs provided by the WBTT have been ongoing for 19 years. During that time Artistic Director and Founder Nate Jacobs has provided quality performances, while drawing crowds from all nationalities and bridging any divide in the community. Our desire for the cultural arts make us all one in Sarasota.

The 2018-19 campaign is critical for the theatre to expand to the next level. To support the enthusiasm Nate Jacobs has brought back the most requested shows and put them together as their “Command Season”. Performances include tributes to the great artists such as the wonderfully talented Aretha Franklin. The Prince of Soul tribute to singer, song-writer and Motown producer Marvin Gaye that continues through Sunday was written and adapted for the stage by Nate Jacobs. A list of their musicals and plays this year reads like an anthology of great stage productions.

The “Heart & Soul Campaign” for a building makeover is climbing to its goal of $8 million, of which $6.5 million has been raised through charitable donations. Every gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to a maximum $200,000 so your donation doubles in size. Naming rights are still available to their newly renovated Education & Outreach Building.

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe building
The remodeling of the WBTT Education & Outreach building in Sarasota was completed in April. The MainStage theater and seating on the Orange Avenue complex is about to be remodeled, beginning in May.

The planned theater will transform the existing building into an entirely new exciting first-class venue. When you first walk in your new experience will begin with a larger remodeled lobby. Seats will be expanded to 200 and remodeled with comfortable theater-style furniture. Your new experience continues with a redesigned MainStage, new lighting and sound system. Larger restrooms are planned for your convenience. Behind the scenes there will be upgraded dressing rooms, with new costume and prop areas. A second stage will be used for rehearsals and for student learning.

Education and outreach has been one of the founding principles of WBTT. The Stage of Discovery is a summer intensive program offered free to students ages 13 to 18. Not only will students develop their artistic skills taught by experienced professionals, they are challenged to become a greater person in society. Funding for this worthwhile program continues through charitable donations. The community continues its social growth through these gifts.

Special productions celebrating legacies and showcasing upcoming artists often appear on the WBTT schedule. On January 21 the troupe will present, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Celebrating his Legacy in the Spoken Word and Song, at the VPA Theatre in Booker High School. The Kid is Alright, an evening with Maicy Powell will highlight this young artist’s career on February 4 in the theatre where she began her talented story.

Black Nativity performed by the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
An annual favorite request of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is the Black Nativity, two-act musical. The holiday show written by Langston Hughes was expanded to more days in December and moved to the Sarasota Opera House to accommodate more guests.

One of the more lasting impressions on the community is the Black Nativity, a Langston Hughes’ Broadway adaptation by Nate Jacobs. Community support for this holiday-time performance has escalated where this year extra shows were added. The current WBTT stage was undersized for demand that a move to the Sarasota Opera House was needed to include a larger stage and more seating capacity. Sold out shows continued through its five days in December.

Delight in upcoming shows, The Amen Corner by James Baldwin beginning January 23, Love Sung in the Key of Aretha, with its first date on March 13. When these two theatrical runs complete, the seats will be removed and the building will begin its transformation into a first-class theater. Construction is expected to begin in May of this year. The dream of Nate Jacobs will continue to thrive and the city will be better for it. Everything of good in life comes with a little patience.

The first listing of 2019 at $4,040,000 on Bird Key
First 2019 Listing - 212 Bird Key Drive, Sarasota

When the Pineapple dropped in downtown Sarasota at Midnight last Monday I completed another county record with $106,112,445 in volume sales. This is the ninth time in eleven years I was the top-producing single agent in Sarasota. The average sale price was $1,493,853 and last week I highlighted some of the most significant properties sold in 2018. I draw your attention to my first listing of 2019, a $4.04 million estate at 212 Bird Key Drive. This is a unique new waterfront home that boasts an incredible garage with space up to 11 cars. Even that can be expanded with space for a lift at its center and a sturdy second floor. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
212 Bird Key Drive $4,040,000 Video Photo Slideshow

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing