Skip to main content

Westcoast Black Theater Troupe will present the eighth year of its annual Young Artist Program, through which troupe members can showcase their talents with self-produced individual performances.

The first showcase of the Young Artists program for the 2021-2022 season, featuring 18-year-old student Astrid Victoria (known to OEW audiences as Astrid McIntyre) is titled “Love Language: An Evening with Astrid Victoria “. Two performances will take place on Friday and Saturday August 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m.

In “Love Language”, which she describes as “a celebration of inspiration and retrospection”, Victoria will share her great love for music through a selection of songs which she describes as an integral part of her development in as an artist. She will also showcase how her favorite creators influenced her own composition, with a small collection of original songs.

Alongside Victoria, singers Michael Mendez and Canela Vasquez; the group will consist of James “Jay” Dodge II, bass, Matthew McKinnon, keyboards, Brad Foutch, guitar, and Mike Andrews, drums.

The Young Artists Program showcases are held at the WBTO Theater, located at 1012 N. Orange Ave. in Sarasota. Public capacity will be capped at 50% and masks are required to protect the health and safety of clients and performers. Tickets cost $ 25 for general admission; Sponsor tickets, which include preferred reserved seating and poster recognition, are $ 100 (ticket fees are added at time of purchase). Call the box office at 941-366-1505 or purchase tickets online at

Victoria has been attending the OEW Stage of Discovery Summer Musical Theater Camp for the past five years. She has also participated in the celebration of the 20th anniversary of OEW, the opening of the theater in 2020, the April Fool’s Day 2021 and several performances of Jukebox Revue. During her years at the Manatee School for the Arts, she performed in the Jazz Choir and appeared in several musical theater productions; other community engagements have included Praise & Worship and Youth Leader for The Altar Church and four years with the Sarasota Youth Opera.

“Through the Stage of Discovery program and every event I have had the pleasure of attending, I have felt great support and have been encouraged to step out of my comfort zone as an artist,” said Victoria. “WBTT has provided me with an atmosphere that encourages creativity and the ability to share my love for music and performance with other students as well as with community members and leaders. “

In the fall, Victoria will begin her studies in Music Business at Southeastern University in Lakeland. One day, she hopes to support the creative dreams of other artists by owning and running her own recording and production company.

The WBTT Young Artists Program, part of its educational programming, was created to support, develop and showcase the talents of aspiring young artists of color. The Young Artist Program offers company members the opportunity to develop and present an original production. All proceeds from the show are donated to the presenting artist to be used for further artistic and professional development.

“My main goal, my calling, in founding WBTT was to guide and help develop the creative talents of aspiring artists like Astrid,” said WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs, who helps performers develop and lead their presentations. “During the years that she attended WBTT, Astrid made great strides in not only further developing her already impressive vocal skills, but also performing and dancing. I think audiences will leave our theater in awe of Astrid both as an artist and as a well-rounded, engaging and hardworking young adult. “

Since its inception, the Westcoast Black Theater Troupe has mentored and inspired many young African Americans through their participation in the company’s productions and, most recently, Stage of Discovery and other youth opportunities. Many aspiring professional artists trained under the organization’s performing arts program have continued to work with regional and national companies and have even achieved success with major record labels.

“The Young Artists Program is just one way for our organization to advance its mission of developing young artists,” said WBTT Executive Director Julie Leach. “Through these showcases, artists are immersed in all facets of production, from script writing and song selection to costumes, choreography, promotions and more. We are committed to investing in performers who work with us to further their careers. Opportunities. “

For more information on the OEW, visit