Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe presents 2016 Young Artist Program; One-woman artist showcases will feature popular WBTT songstresses Ariel Blue and Neyce Pierre

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Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe presents 2016 Young Artist Program
One-woman artist showcases will feature popular WBTT songstresses Ariel Blue and Neyce Pierre
SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to announce its third annual Young Artist Program, through which Troupe members are able to showcase their talents with one-night, one-person shows. This year’s performances will feature powerful and popular local female artists Ariel Blue and Neyce Pierre.
The first show of the season, The Power of the Voice with Ariel Blue, took place on March 14 but, since it sold out so quickly, a second show was added on Sunday, April 10 at 7:30pm. Join this WBTT company member as she presents an evening of soul, blues and laughter in her cabaret-style showcase, accompanied by a dynamic blues guitarist.
Blue is a well-known troupe member who has worked consistently with WBTT since her breakout role in Ain’t Misbehavin’ five years ago. Audiences loved her in WBTT’s It Ain’t Nothing But the Blues, ‘50s Jukebox Revue, Blackbird, Love Sung in the Key of Aretha, Little Shop of Horrors, Jazz Hot Mamas and, most recently, A Motown Christmas as well as in other area theatres in All Shook Up, Avenue Q and Beehive: The Musical. She has also performed in the Connelli Circus overseas. Blue is a graduate of Stetson University.
Audiences can enjoy A Night with Neyce, featuring Neyce Pierre, on Monday, April 4 at 7:30pm. Dubbed “the girl with the golden voice,” Pierre will present an exciting evening showcasing her life and experiences through song.
Pierre was born and raised in Columbus, Ga. She sang in front of her first audience in church at the age of 3; as a teenager, she began singing in a local gospel group. Her debut with WBTT was in the popular production of Dreamgirls; she also wowed audiences in last season’s Jazz Hot Mamas. She was most recently seen in this season’s production of The Color Purple, where she received rave reviews for her spellbinding performance as Shug Avery.
Shows take place at the WBTT theater, located at 1646 10th Way in Sarasota. Tickets are $25 general admission; VIP tickets, which include reserved preferred seating, are $100. 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. The two youngest company members, teenagers Christopher Eisenberg and Alyssa White, have achieved national acclaim: Christopher made it to the top 48 on “America’s Got Talent” and Alyssa was selected to perform in the Harlem Apollo Theater’s “Best of the Best” show in 2011.
“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.”
Neyce Pierre will present her one-woman show, “A Night with Neyce,” during her April 4 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.
WBTT Young Artist Showcase featuring Ariel Blue
Ariel Blue’s first Young Artist showcase, “The Power of the Voice,” sold out so quickly, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe added a second show. Blue will reprise “The Power of the Voice” on Sunday, April 10 at 7:30pm. Join this WBTT company member as she presents an evening of soul, blues and laughter in her cabaret-style showcase, accompanied by a dynamic blues guitarist. Blue is a well-known troupe member who has worked consistently with WBTT since her breakout role in Ain’t Misbehavin’ five years ago. Audiences loved her in WBTT’s It Ain’t Nothing But the Blues, ‘50s Jukebox Revue, Blackbird, Love Sung in the Key of Aretha, Little Shop of Horrors, Jazz Hot Mamas and, most recently, A Motown Christmas as well as in other area theatres in All Shook Up, Avenue Q and Beehive: The Musical. She has also performed in the Connelli Circus overseas. Show takes place at the WBTT theater (1646 10th Way, Sarasota). Tickets are $25 general admission; VIP tickets, which include reserved preferred seating, are $100. Call the box office at (941) 366-1505 or purchase tickets online at westcoastblacktheatre.org. WBTT designed the Young Artist Program to support, develop and showcase the talent of young, aspiring African-American artists.
WBTT Young Artist Showcase featuring Neyce Pierre
Audiences can enjoy “A Night with Neyce,” featuring Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe artist Neyce Pierre, on Monday, April 4 at 7:30pm. Dubbed “the girl with the golden voice,” Pierre will present an exciting evening showcasing her life and experiences through song. Pierre was born and raised in Columbus, Ga. She sang in front of her first audience in church at the age of 3; as a teenager, she began singing in a local gospel group. Her debut with WBTT was in the popular production of Dreamgirls; she also wowed audiences in last season’s Jazz Hot Mamas. She was most recently seen in this season’s production of The Color Purple, where she received rave reviews for her spellbinding performance as Shug Avery. Show takes place at the WBTT theater (1646 10th Way, Sarasota). Tickets are $25 general admission; VIP tickets, which include reserved preferred seating, are $100. Call the box office at (941) 366-1505 or purchase tickets online at westcoastblacktheatre.org. WBTT designed the Young Artist Program to support, develop and showcase the talent of young, aspiring African-American artists.
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