As the sun began to set, upper school students and teachers settled into the couches and armchairs of the Writing and Research Center last Thursday evening. Twinkly string lights adorned the space, and the scent of hot cocoa was in the air. Next to the stage that had been constructed in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows, Winston L. ’23 prepared to emcee the fall Coffeehouse while a student performer went through a soundcheck.
Founded in November 2018, Coffeehouse is an intimate twice yearly upper school event that serves as a fine and performing arts showcase for students and faculty. Previous acts have included stand-up comedy sketches, instrumental and vocal performances of both original and cover songs, creative writing readings, short plays, and even a reading of the first five minutes of Bee Movie. The evening concludes with an open mic, where audience members are invited to take to the stage.
Lucie L. ’23, the student council arts representative who helped plan the event in collaboration with students on The Nueva Current newspaper staff, described the evening as “magical.”
“Each performance was phenomenal,” Lucie said. “People came up to me all day with excitement for how superb the performances were.”
Coffeehouse was originally intended to be one night only, taking place in the fall. But after the community’s enthusiastic response to the inaugural event, the Coffeehouse Team decided to host a spring event as well.
“Since we intend for the fall and spring Coffeehouses to maintain distinct vibes, the fall event is in the WRC, with cozy decor, hot chocolate, and an upper school focus, while we hope to host the spring Coffeehouse on the Rosenberg Lawn,” Lucie explained. “The spring Coffeehouse may more closely resemble a blend between an outdoor picnic and musical festival. We look forward to the spring event, when students and families from all divisions are invited to attend!”
Attendees and performers have shared that what makes each Coffeehouse event so special is how supportive the audience is of each of the performers. Many first-time performers have noted that it is the spirit of enthusiasm and encouragement that has pushed them to take the stage.
“This Coffeehouse felt like a true community revival,” said Jen Paull, Humanities Director and WRC Director.
While capacity in the WRC was limited due to COVID safety precautions, the Nov. 4 event was livestreamed on our Instagram page to parents and Nueva alumni who tuned in from as far as the east coast to watch.
Watch the video below to see all of the performances!