Expanding Opportunities At Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe


SARASOTA- Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Broke Ground on their new renovation today, the first step in providing even more opportunities for kids and community members.

Campers at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe are getting their performance ready. This time next year, they’ll be rehearsing in brand new studios.

“With the renovation it will give us comfortable studios with air conditioning,” Nate Jacobs said. “Where these kids can have a better experience, and more focused environment where we can do even more training and development like we like to.”

WBTT Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs says Education is one of their most important missions.

“If we don’t perpetuate our stories,” Jacobs said. “If we don’t take care of propagating that information throughout generations then the stories are not told.”

Right now, summer camp is mainly for teenagers, but the renovations can help expand the program.

“I don’t want to miss the kids,” Jacobs said. “Because in those vital years, 3 and 4 years old when they’re most impressionable is when you want to touch their lives.”

The First phase of the $6 million dollar planned renovation will also put administrative offices and a box office in the Binz building.

“Between the two buildings we’re going to have a large courtyard,” WBTT Executive Director Julie Leach said. “That will be the main entrance to both buildings now, and that will be great for intermission time, a lovely courtyard to go out and enjoy yourselves.”

The First part of the renovation will be primarily in the front building, but the second part will deal with the theater itself.

“Phase two is the interior of the theater and we know theatre patrons will be very excited about that so come and help us.”

They are still $2 million dollars away from their total fundraising goal.

“What I am living today is what I saw 18 years ago,” Jacobs said. “And my mind is like oh my God it’s actually happening, dreams really do come true.”

Dreams coming true with a lot of hard work.

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is still collecting money to complete their renovations, for more information on donating visit their website or call 941-366-1505.

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Samantha Sonner
Multimedia Journalist Samantha Sonner comes to the Suncoast from Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she worked as a reporter and host for KRWG TV/FM reporting on local politics, immigration, and border issues. Samantha grew up on Long Island, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Broadcast and Digital Journalism from Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she worked at WAER, the campus NPR station and interned at television stations in Central New York. Samantha is excited for the Florida Sunshine, and to be living so close to fantastic beaches. Feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter for story updates and news, or to send her story tips and ideas. You can also email her at samantha.sonner@snntv.com.