Tickets now on sale for WBTT's 'Stage of Discovery' student show

Categories: Stories of Impact, Arts, BELONGING AND CULTURE: Cultural Development & the Arts,

Local teens who are enjoying the free summer musical theater program to perform 'FAME The Musical'

For the eighth summer, aspiring actors, dancers and singers ages 13-18 are taking the stage with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. WBTT is proud to present "Stage of Discovery," an intensive, five-week summer musical theatre program that is offered at no cost to participants; the program will culminate with two public performances of “FAME The Musical” in mid-July.

The teens are under the direction of WBTT Founder/Artistic Director Nate Jacobs and Education Director/Artistic Associate Jim Weaver. WBTT staff and guest instructors – including choreographers, musicians, actors and vocal coaches – offer lessons in dance, acting, singing and improvisation, and provide behind-the-scenes experience with set and costume design. Students are also enjoying the “creative lab” headed up by WBTT’s Resident Property Artisan Manager, Annette Breazeale.

"It is our honor and pleasure to provide our young participants with a rigorous – and fun – formal theater experience; many of these students have never had access to this level of training previously," said Jacobs. "While WBTT is dedicated to producing the finest dramatic and musical theater, my dream – my true calling and purpose for founding this organization – has always been to help young, aspiring artists who may not otherwise have the opportunity to develop their talents and achieve success."

The Stage of Discovery program is free to students, thanks to support from the community. Founding Sponsor is the Robert E. Dods Family Foundation. Presenting Sponsors are: Carol Beeler (in memory of Tom Beeler); The Community Foundation of Sarasota County; Sy Goldblatt; Gulf Coast Community Foundation; Lee & Lydia Rainer, Rainer’s Grace Donor Fund; and Pat Singletary.

“FAME The Musical” is a stage musical based on the 1980 musical film of the same name. It follows the lives of students at New York's High School for The Performing Arts as they navigate their way through classes, auditions, and life's highs and lows. This bittersweet but uplifting story explores the issues that confront many young people today, with an almost entirely new score (except for the title Academy Award-winning song, "Fame”).

Weaver is the director, WBTT Resident Choreographer Donald Frison is handling the choreography, and Resident Music Director Matthew McKinnon is the show’s music director.

Performances take place in The Donelly Theatre at WBTT (1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota) on Saturday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets, which are $27/adults, $17/active military and students age 25 and under, are now on sale; visit or call the Box Office at 941-366-1505.