Transforming the Jasper Lounge into a Coffeehouse

by ALEXA DAWID, Contributor

Acoustics, poems, comedy and doughnuts are only a few of the highlights of Coffeehouse, an event which invites artists of all genres and levels of experience to perform in a laid-back setting.

The most recent of these events occurred on March 27 in the Jasper Hall Lounge. Some notable performances included Adam Granger’s hard-rock rendition of Pink’s hit song “So What” and Eduard Winner’s original song. Additionally, co-host Alex Constantine charmed the audience with this three-man band.

“I just get this adrenaline rush [performing]. I played sports my entire life, but since I’m not on a team at college, I haven’t been able to make much time for sports. The rush I get from performing, or just screaming a song, or strumming really hard on a guitar, well it’s the same rush I used to get when I was playing baseball and running cross country,” said Constantine.

The set-up is relaxed and welcoming. Spectators are free to come and go as they please; they can sit at tables with their friends to do homework or quietly chat. Any student who wishes to perform can simply add their name to the sign-up sheet for a five-minute slot. Then the stage is theirs.

Audience member Bella Chiorazzi was captivated and impressed by the Coffeehouse performers.

“I came to the event because I saw it advertised and my friends and I thought it would be a fun experience. Its really low-key and soothing. This is my first time attending but I’ll definitely be back,” Chiorazzi said.

For the past ten years, Coffeehouse has been an extension of Manhattan Magazine, a way for students to publically present their poetry and short story submissions. It has continued to grow into a full-blown open mic night where students can perform anything they want.

The event is co-hosted by Constantine and Erin Plitt who both stress the importance of confidence and progress. They encourage all MC students to break out of their shells and perform.

“We really put on Coffee House to give performers the opportunity to explore and become more comfortable in their art. I have see so many performers gain so much confidence and style over the years and that’s what I hope for the most,” Plitt said.

The duo plans on building the event even more in the future. Constantine and Plitt aim to hold as many Coffeehouse events as they can so that they can allow Manhattan students to express themselves in an open, central location, where other MC students can pass by, sit and watch or join in.

They also began devising ways to make Coffeehouse worth it for commuters to participate in as they know it is a late night event and many commuters have a long commute ahead of them.

“Erin and I really want Coffeehouse to be an event that everyone looks forward to. A safe space where all Manhattan College students can artistically express themselves,” Constantine said.

The next Coffeehouse is scheduled for April 20 at 8 p.m. on the quad.