Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe: The Color Purple, October 14-November 21, 2015

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Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe: The Color Purple

October 14-November 21, 2015

1646 10th Way, Sarasota, FL  34236

Tickets: $38, $27/students, active military (with valid ID)

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe opens its 2015-2016 season with The Color Purple. This inspiring musical tells the story of an unforgettable woman who triumphs over adversity and discovers her unique voice in the world. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker (and the popular 1985 Steven Spielberg film), the play chronicles Celie’s 40-year evolution from near-enslavement to enlightenment through heartfelt letters to God and her long-lost missionary sister. With a jubilant score of roof-raising gospel, jazz, and throaty blues, The Color Purple is the tale of an every-woman triumphing over adversity, and a testament to the power of hope. Shows are 8pm Tuesday-Saturday with 2pm matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $38/adults, $27 students or active military with valid ID. Call the Box Office at 941-366-1505 or go to westcoastblacktheatre.org.

James Harkness (Director) is making his WBTT directorial debut with The Color Purple, a show in which he has been involved previously as an actor and choreographer. Harkness is an accomplished artist who has worked across the platforms of stage and film. He has regularly appeared on Broadway in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and most recently performed alongside Betty Buckley in Grey Gardens The Musical. His stage credits include Aida, Guys and Dolls, Chicago, Dreamgirls and Smokey Joe’s Café. Film credits include The Maids Room and The Mend. He has earned numerous creative credits as a choreographer.

Apphia Campbell (Celie) is a singer, playwright and actress. She grew up studying music and drama with WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs from the age of 4, and was a founding member of the WBTT. In 2012, she formed “Play The Spotlight Theatre Company,” which focuses on new works and musical pieces. She broke out in 2013 with her critically acclaimed original production Black is the Color of My Voice, which played to sold-out performances in Shanghai and later traveled to New York, where it also received positive reviews. It was also accepted for two years in a row (2014 and 2015) to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She continued to push, and produced a new Christmas show called, Holiday Hitch, which earned positive reviews and played to big houses. She made a triumphant return to Sarasota and WBTT in 2014 for a two-week run of Black is the Color of My Voice.

Cecil E. Washington Jr. (Mister) was born and raised in Birmingham, Ala. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from ASU and a certificate from The NY School for Film and Television. Some of his past theatre credits include: Play to Win: The Jackie Robinson Musical (Jackie Robinson), West Side Story (Tony), Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Uncle Tom), Rent (Benjamin “Benny” Coffin III), Five Guys Named Moe (Nomax), Passing Strange (Terry/Hugo/Christpohe), The Color Purple Musical (Mister), Superior Donuts (Officer James) with City Equity Theatre and numerous others. He has also appeared on Law & Order and various independent films.


Apphia Campbell – Celie

Cecil Washington, Jr.  – Mister

DeVon Buchanan – Dance Captain

Tarra Conner jones – Church Soloist/Church Lady (Darlene)

Khadijah Rolle – Nettie

Joel Patrick King – Harpo

Earley Dean – Grady

Neyce Pierre – Shug

Xylina Stamper – Squeak

Martin Taylor – Ole Mister/Preacher

Demetria “Dee” Selmore – Sophia

Tierra A. Walker – Church Lady (Doris)

Deidra Grace Chiverton – Church Lady (Jarene)

Jeffery Cason – Pa/Male Dance Ensemble

Chakara Rosa, Kayla Aimable – Female Dance Ensemble


Artistic Director – Nate Jacobs

Director – James Harkness

Production Manager – James Dodge, II

Music Director – John Bronston

Resident Technical Director – Shane Streight

Lighting Designer/Resident Lighting Designer – Michael Pasquini

Stage Manager – Juanita Munford

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