“Hilarity on the Hill”: Kenyon-Princeton Connections

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Tonight at 8:30 in Rosse Hall, the Fools on the Hill will be performing alongside the Princeton Triangle Club in an unprecedented joint-performance of improv and musical sketch comedy. There will also be a reception in Peirce Pub from 9:30 to 10:30 afterward.

And yet, in spite of the event’s concise description, it brings up a lot of questions that are best summarized by Simon Golovscenko’s comment on the Facebook Event page: “What do the triangles mean? What kind of music? Is this an improv thing? Is this a big deal (I want it to be)?”

According to Prof. Tom Stamp, who has been coordinating this event alongside Prof. Sanders in the Music department, “Hilarity on the Hill” is kind of a big deal. “Triangle is an old and storied student troupe that has never before visited Gambier, which is probably the smallest town in which the group has ever performed on tour…the idea originated with a Kenyon alumnus, Rich Brean ’70, who’s the president of the Princeton Club of Pittsburgh.”

“Four Kenyon presidents — Charles Pettit McIlvaine, William Budd Bodine, Philip H. Jordan Jr., and S. Georgia Nugent — have been Princeton graduates.” Prof. Sanders is an alum of the Triangle Club himself, along with Allen Jackson P’15, and Stamp was previously employed by the Princeton University Press.

Being the “Keeper of Kenyoniana,” Stamp also provided some historical connections between the colleges: “Both institutions have beautiful and historic campuses with architectural similarities, enough that the Kenyon campus was considered as a stand-in for Princeton’s in the movie “I.Q.”  And, although it’s more of a coincidence than a tie, both Kenyon and Princeton first admitted women in 1969.”

Stamp and Sanders have been working over the past few weeks in anticipation of the Triangle Club’s visit to campus, which included not only coordinating with the Kenyon Fools, but also finding 30+ beds and couches for the Triangle Club cast members to sleep on for the night.

So, to answer Simon’s question: The triangles have to do with the Princeton Triangle Club, Princeton’s 124 year old music sketch comedy group. This video of one of the group’s past sketches should give you a good sense.

The event promises to be a never-before-seen fusion of improv and musical comedy, and it all begins at 8:30 pm in Rosse.


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