Musician, teacher, mentor honored during Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe show opening
On opening night for Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s current production, “Cotton Club Cabaret,” the show’s music director/arranger/pianist LaTerry Butler was presented with the “Agent of Success” award. He was recognized to show thanks for and appreciation of his contributions to WBTT and to the development of numerous local up-and-coming African American artists.
“I have known and worked with LaTerry for nearly three decades and his impact on our young performers and our company can not be overstated,” said WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs. “As a teacher, he has helped many young artists to refine their talents and learn just what it takes to become a professional. As an arranger and musical director, he has been invaluable in helping a number of our musical revues reach their ultimate potential. I am so grateful to have someone of LaTerry’s caliber as a professional resource, and as a personal friend.”
Butler made his Sarasota debut at Florida Studio Theatre in 1986, when he was the the musical director for a three-month run of “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” He met Nate Jacobs shortly after arriving in Sarasota and began mentoring some of the students at the Westcoast School for Human Development – where Jacobs was teaching – soon thereafter. Some of those students have become WBTT’s core artists. For WBTT’s first five years, Butler worked with the company, serving as its first full-time music director.
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.