Newman student starting special needs theatre club

By: Tejay Cleland, Editor-In-Chief

Sophomore Evert Hastie has been a member of Breakthrough, a social service organization based in Wichita that serves the special needs community, since 2007. Now, Hastie is starting a theatre program within Breakthrough for members to participate in.

Breakthrough hosts events regularly for its members, and now it’s offering participants a chance to get involved with theatre production.

Hastie said he recently declared as a theater minor but has always had a love for the stage. This led him to wanting to start back up Breakthrough’s theater program.

“They’ve had it but it’s kind of (gone) by the wayside,” he said. “Now that I’m a theater minor here, I want to try to get back going.”

Hastie plans to put on and act in “Some Kind of Love Story,” a play written by Arthur Miller. He said Newman Theater Professor Mark Mannette helped him select the play, and he plans for it to be ready in February.

The search for a cast could start soon, Hastie said.

“The show is still in its infancy stages,” he said.

Hastie said that he is drawn to the theatre because of how it helps him cope with his mental illness and that he wants to share that feeling, he said.

“The theatre is a personal medicine,” Hastie said. “It’s like music or reading or whatever you do to help you cope when you’re having a bad day.”

Hastie said he has reached out to multiple Newman theater students as well as Mannette for advice about the program.

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