Higher Education: What’s In A Name

Barbara Jwanouskos is back and better than before.

I am now back in the Bay Area and I am now done with school. So, this blog needs a new name. Over the past year, I’ve tried to describe my experiences as a theater artist in school and what some of the challenges that come up have sparked moments of learning and understanding.

I have mixed feelings about school. On the one hand, I love learning in a formalized classroom with peers and with the mentorship of an instructor. And on the other hand, I feel like some of the lessons that have been most imprinted upon me have been from experiences of navigating through the real world. Maybe the name for this blog series, then, should reflect the ways in which learning is a process that never ends.

As a writer, I know that a well-written title lends weight to a piece and helps to suggest what an audience member might experience. But man, coming up with titles for things is hard…

Some people have a knack for it, like Madeline George’s “The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence”. Not only is this an intriguing title for a play, but it also just looks cool with those parentheses. Plus, “curious” and “intelligence” are fun sounding words that imply mystery, secrets, and power structures. Then there are titles where you sort of scratch your head and say, “why the hell is it called that?”

Perhaps a good title should be a stand-in metaphor for what the thing is going to be about. I’m totally jealous of Marissa Skudlarek’s blog title, “Hi-Ho: The Glamorous Life” because it’s clever and implies what Marissa likes to write about as well as her personality – and it has an allusion to Sondheim. I’m hoping for a smidge of that in something of my own.

I also sort of subscribe to what Blake Snyder (author of the Save the Cat! screenwriting books) has to say about titles, which is that it’s the one piece of marketing for your play that *potentially* may not change. You really have an opportunity to draw people in with an engaging title.

Ahhh! The pressure!

Well, in the meantime, I’ll be making a never ending list of possible titles and hopefully I’ll be able to come up with a brilliant one by the next time this blog series rolls around.

Til then…

Feel free to add your suggestions too! The more, the merrier.

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4 comments on “Higher Education: What’s In A Name

  1. How ’bout “Trading Barbs” ?

  2. wleschber says:

    I feel ya. You want something short -ish but memorable and catchy but meaningful and unique but content related…gahhhhh. I’m still trying to find one I like. Overall and bi-weekly. ;)

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