Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe concludes 2016 Young Artist Program
Final offering of the season will feature Alyssa White in ‘A Tribute to Love’
SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) will conclude its third annual Young Artist Program, through which Troupe members are able to showcase their talents with one-night, one-person shows, with the final performance of the season. The community is invited to enjoy, “A Tribute to Love with Alyssa White,” which takes place Monday, May 23 at 7:30pm. Join this WBTT company member as she takes the audience through love, pain, happiness and gratitude, and her own life journey, through song.
Previously this season, WBTT artists Neyce Pierre and Ariel Blue presented sold-out shows; Blue added a second date to meet overwhelming demand.
White started singing at age 4 and debuted with WBTT at the tender age of 11. In May 2011, she won first place two consecutive weeks at NYC’s Apollo Theatre’s amateur night, and also appeared in its Best of the Best show. She has performed with WBTT in ‘50s Jukebox Revue, Love Sung in the Key of Aretha, Dynamic Duets of the ‘70s and Bubbling Brown Sugar. She was also a featured performer in the WBTT-Jazz Club of Sarasota partnership “Jazzlinks,” which is bringing history classes to life for area 11th graders. White was a featured singer at Planned Parenthood of Southwest Florida’s recent “50 Years Strong” gala and is proud to have had the honor of singing for First Lady Michelle Obama during a visit to Sarasota.
Tickets are $25/general admission, $100/sponsor ticket with reserved preferred seating. Call the box office at (941) 366-1505 or purchase tickets online at westcoastblacktheatre.org.
The organization designed the Young Artist Program to support, develop and showcase the talent of young, aspiring African-American artists. The Young Artist Program offers company members the opportunity to develop and present an original production. Artists who are interested must submit a proposal, which is reviewed by the organization’s professional and volunteer leadership. Once a proposal is approved, the performer works with artistic director Nate Jacobs to advise and assist him or her with developing and directing their presentation. All proceeds from the show are given to the presenting artist to be used for further artistic and professional development.
“This is just one way that our organization furthers its mission of developing young artists,” Jacobs said. “We feel strongly about investing in the performers who work with us in order to further their performance and career opportunities.”
Since its inception, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has mentored and inspired many African-American youth through participation in the company’s productions. Many of the aspiring professional artists trained in the organization’s performing arts program have gone on to work with regional and national companies. The company has provided a springboard for many national careers including Apphia Campbell and Teresa Stanley, a featured cast member on Broadway in The Color Purple and Rock of Ages. In addition to White’s success with the Apollo Theater, another of WBTT’s youngest members, Christopher Eisenberg, has achieved national acclaim: he made it to the top 48 on a season of “America’s Got Talent.”
“What’s exciting about the Young Artist Program is that it gives artists who may have only experienced ensemble work the opportunity to move into the spotlight,” said WBTT executive director Julie Leach. “A one-person show is rigorous for any performer; after successfully executing a Young Artist performance, we expect our artists to be equipped with the tools they need to take their careers to the next level.”
PHOTO ID: Alyssa White will present her one-woman show, ‘A Tribute to Love,’ during her May 23 Young Artist showcase
About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe:
The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. is the only professional black theater company on Florida’s West Coast. The mission is to produce plays that promote and celebrate the African-American experience, attract diverse audiences, while using its productions as a vehicle for supporting African-American artists and building the self-esteem of African-American youth. For more information on WBTT, visit the website at westcoastblacktheatre.org or call (941) 366-1505.