The naming of playwrights

sam's 01:03:15 01

Happy 2015, everybody.  I’m not a huge proponent of new years’ resolutions, but I’m pleased as punch to begin my second year of blogging about playwriting, novel writing, and the Philadelphia theater scene in general.

Last week, Sam McKinlay rang in a new year of living room readings with a screenplay by local writer, Kathy Anderson, who is not to be confused with local playwright, Kathy Anderson (who is a colleague of mine, and wrote such kickass plays as The Meatpackers Book Club and Incoming [both produced by Philadelphia Theater Workshop]).  This Kathy Anderson is a recent re-arrival, after having spent a number of years on the west coast.  Despite also being a playwright, I get the impression that she’s focusing more on screenwriting.  Still, I see a lot of misunderstandings occurring in the near future, similar to what happens between local playwrights David Strattan White and David Lee White.  I remember some occasional annoyance, as a young lad, with having a bizarre, bastardized-Ukrainian name like “Wardigo,” but this gives me a new appreciation for my relative uniqueness.  No one would ever confuse me with that other Nick Wardigo who may or may not have tried to steal a cow.  Also, I was able to score “wardigo.com”

sam's 01:03:15 03

Not that it’s my role to suggest a solution to a problem that only exists in my own mind, but I think these two talented ladies should go with nicknames.  Tennessee Willams was born Thomas, and while I’m not a scholar of his life, I suspect he went with “Tennessee” because there were half a dozen Tom Williamses in the business, and he was sick of being confused with the guy who wrote musicals about cockfighting.

How about “Lightning Anderson?”  Or “Blackjack?”  Or “Haberdasher?”  “Haberdasher Anderson” is cool to say.  I don’t know if that would translate into more literary managers reading your stuff, but I guarantee they’ll be more likely to remember your name.

sam's 01:03:15 04

I’ve talked at great length about what I love about living room readings, so I’ll just say here that I made a damn fine pot of pork-and-sauerkraut.  Also, mashed potatoes from scratch, because Aurora told me it was uncouth to serve pork-and-sauerkraut without mashed potatoes.  She keeps me from committing all sorts of etiquette faux pas.  Thanks, babe.

And thanks again to Sam for letting us invade her home, and special thanks to Blackjack Anderson for letting us hear and critique her intriguing script.

sam 01:03:15 02

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