Ms. Sims’s Honors English 1 Class at Lincoln Academy (pictured here with an earlier project) will present the Seventh Annual “Bard Coffee House: An Evening for Short Stories” on Wednesday, March 27 at 7 pm in the Lincoln Academy Dining Commons.

By Marina McManus

William Shakespeare’s appearance in a high school English class is a common event, but his greater purpose is in the inspiration he gives to young minds. The Lincoln Academy Bard Coffee House is an event named after Mr. Shakespeare to celebrate literary tradition. The Coffee House is hosted by the ninth grade Honors English class, with the assistance and instruction of their teacher, Ms. Patti Sims. Students in the class will read from their original short stories on the 27th of March in the 7th Annual Bard Coffee House: an Evening of Short Stories. The event will take place in the Dining Commons at Lincoln Academy, beginning at 7 pm.

Each of the students in the class will read an excerpt of their story to their peers, friends, family and community. According to Ms. Sims, students are looking forward to sharing their work, despite the inevitable nerves associated with reading their own stories aloud. Besides the lengthy process of composing and editing their short stories, the students in the class are also collaborating to prepare this event.

As part of the final class project that is the Bard Coffee House, all students in the class are required to play a part in creating a unique evening. This year, the students want to showcase their work and enjoy an evening that is more professional and more importantly, artistic than past events.

Creating “sophisticated and elegant themes” in the Dining Commons will be Casey Nelson and her set up crew. However, Nelson and her crew are just the beginning in producing the evening. Alton Coolidge’s team will provide a variety of refreshments to compliment the evening. Other committee chairs include Addie Brinkler in Programs/Invitation, Jazmine Balducci in the creation of the event banner, and William Sherrill in charge of clean-up after the readings.The Coffee House will be moderated and narrated by MC Andrew Lyndaker. Being student-driven is one of Ms. Sims’s primary goals for the evening.

In addition to the event planning, the editing of the individual pieces was also a group effort. All the students are collaborating and coming together to create pieces of writing they can be proud of. Alton Coolidge says the Coffee House will be “about taking the stories and ideas of the young generation, and letting them be seen by anyone who wishes.” He will be reading an excerpt from his story “My Cousin From America.” There are many other stories to look forward to as well, including Jazmine Balducci’s powerful “Drunk Words Are Sober Thoughts,” Addie Brinkler’s dramatic “Involuntary Manslaughter,” and the featured story, the only piece to be read in full, Marina McManus’s “An Ailing Seaside.” All stories will be available to read by the end of the evening, as it is likely more than one tale will grab the attention of audience members.

Casey Nelson suspects the occasion “will go well, knowing the students in the class.” With high expectations, the freshman Honors English class of Lincoln Academy will proudly present the 2019 Bard Coffee House on the 27th of March, hoping that many community members will be present to listen to the works.

Marina McManus is a Lincoln Academy ninth grader and a member of Ms. Sims Honors English 1 class.