Shoreham-Wading River High School's Online News Source

The Pause

Shoreham-Wading River High School's Online News Source

The Pause

Shoreham-Wading River High School's Online News Source

The Pause

Students Showcase Talents at Coffee House 2023

The crowd cheered with excitement as the lights went out and the audio for “Torre in the

Hallway” began, starting the annual Shoreham-Wading River Coffee House show of 2023. The auditorium filled with laughter as clips of Torre Cintorino interviewing students in the high school’s hallway projected across the screen that hangs in front of the dark blue curtains.

Cintorino has been committing to his iconic act for the past two years, and now, a third and final time in his senior year.

“I wanted to host Coffee House after I saw how well people responded to Torre in the Hallway,’” he said. “Making people laugh is what I love doing.”

There is a lot of time and effort put into the “Torre in the Hallway” video. Cintorino spends his personal time going through hours of footage to edit into a video that is only a few minutes long.

“Editing the videos I make consists of me sitting in my room in pitch black, sleep deprived and half dead going over milliseconds to make sure text and audio files appear correct on the screen.”

However, the spontaneous questions he asks students and teachers aren’t so well prepared.

“When it comes to ‘Torre in the Hallway’ questions,  it’s all off the top of my head and in the moment, often leaving me semi-speechless,” Cintorino said.

SWR was lucky enough to have Cintorino, along with senior Emily Murray, hosting Coffee House this school year. The two students have been involved in Shoreham-Wading River’s music and theater departments throughout their high school careers.

Unlike Cintorino, Murray had not participated in Coffee House in previous years.

“As a senior, I realized I had never participated in Coffee House in all my years of high school,” Murray said. “This year I wanted to push myself and not graduate with any regrets of not putting myself out there more.”

Starting in 2017, Ms. Ashley O’Conner has been involved in the production of Coffee House. Ms. O’Conner is a music teacher at the high school and works alongside art teacher, Ms. Samantha Shepard, to organize the yearly event. Ms. Shepard has had experience with Coffee House in the past as well.

“This year is my 3rd year being involved with Coffee House” Ms. Shepard said.

As opposed to Ms. O’Conner, Ms. Shepard is less exposed to aspects of the music department throughout her work days.

“Although I teach under the Fine and Performing Arts umbrella,” Ms. Shepard said, “I only work with students on the fine art side.”

An important factor of the Coffee House show is that it is filled with scripted comedy skits performed by the hosts. Both Cintorino and Murray work collaboratively in creating skits that their peers will enjoy.

A common factor is that the two gain inspiration for their scripts by asking classmates what they would like to see.

“When it comes to the acts in Coffee House I work extremely closely with my co-host, Emily, sifting through trash ideas until we find something funny the entire school will relate to,” Cintorino said.

Additionally, Murray notes that she found  inspiration from watching Saturday Night Live skits, as well as asking her peers, in order to come up with ideas she could use.

“I mainly get inspiration from Saturday Night Live but Torre and I also asked our classmates and teachers what they would like to see more of in Coffee House this year” Murray said.

An aspect of the show that creates difficulty is if the show is running too close to dismissal time.

“The most difficult aspect of Coffee House is making sure we stay on time throughout the show,” Mrs. O’Conner said.  “If an act runs longer than expected, we have to make quick adjustments to the schedule to make sure the show still ends on time.”

In spite of some difficulties, Coffee House is a highlight of every school year. The show is an opportunity that any student can choose to participate in.

“Not only is there so much talent, but also people stepping out of their comfort zones and showcasing all sorts of acts such as comedy, dance, singing, instruments and so much more,” Murray said. “I love that Coffee House allows students to have total creative liberty and be themselves on stage.”

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