The Westcoast Black Theatre · Sarasota, Florida

Raleigh Mosely II as Jimmy Early, in WBTT’s production of ‘Dreamgirls’; Photo by Sorcha Augustine.

The Westcoast is an award-winning, non-profit organization that celebrates the African-American experience through the performing arts. Live performances are produced throughout the year in a variety of genres including musicals, plays, and concerts. The theater offers educational programs for students of all ages, including theater camps, workshops, and student matinees. And, as a member of the Actors’ Equity Association, auditions are held yearly, but resumes are welcome throughout the year.

The venue is small yet intimate; an advantage that offers great sight lines to the stage and a personal closeness to the actors. The performances are incredible thanks to an ensemble of professional actors, singers, and dancers, many of whom have performed on Broadway and in other major productions. Young aspiring performers and experienced guest artists from around the country create the perfect synergy.

Nate Jacobs. Photo by Sorcha Augustine

Nate Jacobs is the artistic director of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe; he founded the theater in 1999 with five founding members: Apphia Campbell, Jnana Wilson Cooper, Henry Porter II, his sister Tsadok Porter, and Teresa Stanley. Nate’s immense talent, credentials, and accolades as an actor, singer, director, and playwright are the driving force for the theater’s success today. Local support in Sarasota and across the country continues to grow due to his perseverance, collaborative skills and fundraising acumen.


‘The Dreams’ are (from l-r) Kyla Bolling, Shena Brown, Caila Carter and Maya Cuevas. Photo by Sorcha Augustine

Dreamgirls is a hit Broadway musical that tells the rags-to-riches story of an up-and-coming 1960s Motown female group, and the triumphs and tribulations that come with fame and fortune. The stage comes alive at the Westcoast as the show unfolds with a storyline infused with drama and lots of fun!

I had the pleasure of attending Dreamgirls at the Westcoast. What a delightful opportunity to experience a stellar cast – including my favorites, Raleigh Mosely II who portrays Jimmy Early and the ever-talented, super powerhouse Shena Brown as Effie White.

Charles Radlauer, Nancy Radlauer, Shena Brown, Patsy Roer, Allan Roer


Plan to attend an event at The Westcoast Black Theatre when visiting Sarasota – tickets are reasonably-priced and the performances are fabulous! Thank you to my friends the Roer, season ticket holders!

Visit: 1012 N Orange Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236, Sarasota, FL.; 941-366-1505