On Friday, Oct. 4, the first epic Coffeehouse of the year was held in the library. Students from the Upper School gathered to listen to their peers showcase their talents.
The performances included spoken word poetry by senior Alyssa Pilecki and junior Evan Banning, an interpretive reading by junior Christina Lu, the reading of a play that she wrote by junior Snehaa Ram, as well as solos and duets from many talented students. A memorable performance was when juniors Henry Krieble and Eden Nenshati and senior James Ravalese performed the popular “Take Me Home Country Roads” inviting the audience to sing along.
The emcees of this event were senior Ishaa Sohail and junior Emma Henry whose playful banter and charming tales made the evening more enjoyable. With the use of a spinner, people took turns spinning to land on categories like teacher tales, sibling stories, fun times in Tobati, middle school memories, and teenage trauma.
Some students shared their own stories, all of which were hilarious and entertaining. “I wanted to use a spinner so it would appear as though there was some context to the random stories I would be telling between acts,” said Emma. “I opened up the storytelling to the audience and I was surprised with how many people wanted to tell a story off the cuff. I’m really glad I brought the spinner because it was really fun hearing everyone’s stories.”
The plans for the event started early on in the year to decide on locations, decorations, and snacks. Although the set up was difficult, the outcome was well worth it. The library was dimly lit with fairy lights that surrounded the stage area that had a keyboard and a couple of chairs. The audience was arranged in rows facing the stage. Overall, the library had a very intimate feel that really contributed to the experience of Coffeehouse. “I think Coffeehouses are very magical,” said senior Juanita Asapokhai. “I was expecting the intimacy that comes from the room and the support from audience members for people who are performing.”
Everyone who performed had a tremendous amount of skill and courage. To perform, some people stepped outside their comfort zones and were pleased with the results. “I am someone who isn’t very comfortable performing in front of other people,” said junior Sneeha Ram who sang “Alive” by Khalid. “It was cool to try performing by myself, especially since I know that everyone can appreciate new performers, and they are only there to support you.”
Not only does epic run a Coffeehouse in the fall, but there are also plans for the spring coffeehouse where there might be exciting changes. “Ishaa and I are ready to MC the next Coffeehouse if we get asked back, and I plan to make another spinner with new categories,” Emma said. “The interaction we had with the audience was phenomenal and I want to have that same energy next time.”
If you are looking for other ways to showcase your creativity, submit to epic (deadline Nov. 3), and you will be featured in their magazine. Epic does many things to help students showcase their talents that might not otherwise be appreciated. “It’s just so cool to see people who you know show their talent because they have so much of it,” said Snehaa. The epic Coffeehouse is an integral part of the KO community because it benefits both the performers, who get the opportunity to share their talents and connect with their peers, as well as the audience, who simply kick back, relax, and enjoy the night.
“It was great to see the KO students and staff come together and share parts of their lives that we, as a community, might not necessarily know about,” said junior Ian Givens.