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WBTT founding member Teresa Stanley, who has gone on to star on Broadway, with students from the Westcoast School for Human Development, who attended a "Jazzlinks" program.

 

Fans of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s many energetic, upbeat musical productions may have asked themselves, “How do they do that?” This summer, aspiring actors, dancers and singers between the ages of 13 and 18 will find out when they take part in WBBT’s first theater-intensive summer program, Stage of Discovery.

From July 20 through Aug. 15, the teens accepted into the program will be under the direction of WBTT founder, artistic director and frequent performer Nate Jacobs, along with professional creative coaches. The program will culminate with a public performance of an original musical.

Best of all, perhaps, the program, offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday, is free, thanks to the support of the Robert E. Dods Family Foundation. (There is a cost for those requiring the aftercare program from 2 to 5 p.m.)

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Alyssa White is one of WBTT's youngest company members, shown here portraying Billie Holiday during a "Jazzlinks" performance at the theater. Photo by Don Daly Photo

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Christopher Eisenberg, center, another of WBBT's younger members, is shown in a performance of Soul Crooners. Photo by Don Daly Photo

 

WBTT has always provided mentoring and inspiration for youngsters through participation in the company's productions. Many of the aspiring professionals trained through the organization have gone on to work with regional and national companies.

A mandatory audition for those interested in potentially becoming part of the next generation of WBTT musical performers--and beyond--takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at the theater (1646 10th Way). For more info and to schedule an appointment, call Joey James, (941) 366-1505, ext. 108, or email jjames@westcoastblacktheatre.org.

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