Coffee House
(Left to right) Different Stages President Rob Petrarca, joined by alumni Angela Lisi and Jennifer Dobies. (Photo by William Biersack)

by William Biersack

Every month or two, several Student Government Association (SGA) clubs band together and co-sponsor an event that celebrates social relations between students, as well as freedom of expression. The event, called the “Coffee House,” is designed after amateur open mic nights where participants can come up on stage and openly perform any songs, acts, or dramatic readings that they have prepared.

The Mount Saint Mary College drama club, Different Stages, began a trend last year of hosting these events to provide an opportunity for students to get up and express themselves, as well as enjoying other acts over a cup of coffee and snacks.


The Mount Messenger was curious about where the inspiration for these events came from, so we talked to the current president of Different Stages, senior Rob Petrarca, and this is what he had to say:

“The idea behind the Coffee House came from my high school, actually. The drama club in  Morris Catholic High School would put on these once-a-month performance showcases called ‘Coffee Houses.’ You’d prepare something and towards the end of the month there would be a Coffee House. It was just a way for students to showcase their talents. I thought that would be an excellent thing to transfer to a college setting at the Mount because you have an even broader student body, you have talent that is obviously there, and it deserves to be showcased.”

Soon after the first Coffee House took place, many more students took notice and signed up to share their own unique talents. Last fall, Different Stages was able to have an acoustic set performed by “Welcome to Greenhaven,” a local band based out of Dover, New York.

As the need for fresh faces and talent became known, Different Stages reached out to other clubs on campus and opened up the Coffee House events for co-sponsorships. The cooperation between clubs soon became a regular occurrence, and the event’s reach began to spread. Since that time and continuing on until now, Different Stages collaborates with Christian Fellowship and Literary Society to host an event that still captivates the student population at the Mount.

To see what the fuss is all about, the SGA Clubs will be hosting the next Coffee House on Saturday, November 23rd. Keep a look out for signup sheets and posters for more details.