MAC provides opportunities for MHS students

Rachel Edie, Business Manager

From its beginning with the conversion of three different arts groups back in the late 1990s, the Manhattan Arts Center has flourished as a company that welcomes all, including Manhattan High Students. Originally there were three organizations, Manhattan Civic Theater, Manhattan Arts Council and the Manhattan Arts Center. When they merged, the team bought a facility on Poyntz Avenue. and after months of renovations made with a grant by the City of Manhattan, it was ready to be opened to the public. 

Since its humble beginnings, it has expanded to a performance hall, a clay and art studio, two galleries, a set design studio, dressing rooms and multiple offices. They have multiple shows, exhibits and classes every month. 

Their self-proclaimed mission is “Arts for All.” It was started as a way to increase inclusion in the area. Their mission has certainly increased high school involvement. Students both involved in Manhattan High theater, and not involved, find some opportunity for themselves there. With their wide array of classes, it attracts younger, and older, students. 

“[The theater program there is] not that much different except for some musicals or plays call for only adults to tryout or just kids or adults and kids to tryout,” sophomore Sophia Evangelidis said. “Our stages are different. But for the most part the energy and atmosphere is the same.”

Evangelidis has been part of the plays since 2015 and auditions for the bigger plays, which come around once or twice a year. 

They accept all ages there, due to their mission. Some plays or acts call for specific age groups, but there is always something going on. 

“They have poetry, violin, [and]  some kids camp things for young actors,” senior Maddy Wolfe said. 

Along with Evangelidis, Wolfe has been a part of the scene around there for plenty of time now. She started as a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz around seven years ago after her mom asked her to try it out. Since then, Wolfe has taken part in multiple other roles both there and at MHS. 

“I love acting so any chance I can get to do it I will,” Wolfe said. “The cast becomes a family.”

Their very inclusive atmosphere brings Wolfe’s comment to a front, especially considering their mission, which for Wolfe rings true, “Arts for All”.