The Purinton Primer: On The Faithful Shepherdess and H.P. Lovecraft

This is it—my last column for the Thrill. It’s been a great year and, together, we’ve discussed a great many topics. During finals week last semester, I wrote about the types of exams actors take, but this time around, I want to do something more poignant. After all, this is an emotional time for me. On top of this being my last Thrill post, I’ve been going through a lot of lasts recently—last class at Kenyon, last English paper at Kenyon, last concert attended at Kenyon, etc., etc. Therefore, if you’ll let me, I’d like to write about something that I’m really excited about. I honestly can’t imagine another topic that I’d rather discuss. It’s a fascinating discussion, and I think you’ll enjoy it. What is this topic, you ask? What else other than…(drumroll please)… elements of the pastoral in the plays of Jacobean playwright John Fletcher!

I hope you’re excited.

Ben Stein is!

Continue reading

The Purinton Primer: Your Mom’s So Deceitful, She Married Your Uncle Who Killed Your Father!

Ed.: Thought I'd offer my two cents on Shakespeare.

It’s the last week of classes and the campus has that general feeling of pent-up stress that only finals week can bring. Like any good drama major, my catharsis of choice is quoting Shakespeare.

It is well-known that Shakespeare is the master of wordplay and most people know he had a special knack for coming up with insults. Shakespearean insults are perfect — they insult the person to whom you’re speaking and make you seem smarter in the process. More importantly, they’re really fun to yell at the top of your lungs when you’re stressed. Below, I have my 10 personal favorites of Shakespeare’s many, many insults, but really they’re all good and I encourage people to leave their own favorites in the comments section.

Side note: if Shakespeare’s not your thing but you still want to scream theatrical allusions, “Stellaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” is always a good choice.


10) IT’S A TIE!

“Clod of wayward marl”—Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing


“A fusty nut with no kernel” —Thersites in Troilus and Cressida

Some of the best Shakespearean insults are the ones that sound really cool. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what a marl is, but there’s something about how “clod of wayward marl” slips off the tongue that just makes it a satisfying insult. Similarly, I have no idea what a fusty nut is, but one can assume that they normally have kernels. Thus, for Thersites to imply that Achilles is a fusty nut with no kernel, well, that’s clearly hurtful. I must say that the fusty nut insult might have placed higher if not for the fact that it comes from Troilus and Cressida, a play best known for being slightly more famous than King John and slightly less famous than the play within a play in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Read more Shakespearean musings after the jump. Continue reading

The Purinton Primer: Fairy Tales

Every few years, our entertainment culture seems to get stuck in a certain fad. A few years ago, it was vampires. Before that, it was wizards.

And, if you’re Robert Pattinson, you managed to take advantage of both of these fads.

Currently, the fad seems to be a somewhat perplexing choice: fairy tales. With the television shows Once Upon a Time and Grimm both prominently featuring fairy tales and two new movies based on Snow White being released, it’s not going to be long before the rise of fairy tales also invades the theatrical world.

Stephen Sondheim was many years too early. This might make him sad, but he can take comfort in the fact that he’s a beloved genius.

While studying for comps and attempting to familiarize myself with the styles of several well-known playwrights, I began to wonder how some playwrights would approach the task of adapting classic fairy tales. Below are 11 incredibly real possibilities.

See them after the jump. Continue reading

The Purinton Primer: In Which Miles Gets Emotional and Reminiscent

Regular Purinton Primer readers are well aware of the usual nature of these posts. In return, dear readers, for tuning in every other week to read my little column, I try to make this blog as funny as I can. But, for one week only, that’s changing. This post is serious, you guys. It’s about to get real.

No one is more disappointed than this guy.

Get serious after the jump.  Continue reading

The Purinton Primer: My Day with Jay Gatsby

Like any good drama major, I am a theater addict. Not only am I lucky enough to attend a school where there is basically a show every single weekend, but I also intently follow the theatrical goings-on across the country and especially in my hometown of New York. At lunch, it’s fairly common to see me in Peirce poring over The New York Times arts section and excitedly screaming at my friends things like “Guys! Can you believe that Drood is being revived with Chita Rivera playing Princess Puffer?! Aren’t you soooooooo excited?”

As you can see, my friends can’t believe it either.

Any break from Kenyon is an opportunity for me to attend as much theater as my parents are willing to pay for I can. This spring break was no exception, and my days were filled with theater. Notable productions that I saw over the break included a really fantastic play about a hand puppet who is possessed by the devil and a show that I have been wanting to see since I read about it one fateful day in the Times: a show entitled Gatz at the Public Theater. Continue reading