What’s It Called?

Cat WriterI’m working on a new play: a four-hander about three sisters gathering to bury their mother. It’s a black comedy with satiric undertones. While I’ve written about one-third of the script, and have a loose outline for the rest, the title is not coming to me easily. Titling a play is tricky. Will it fit on the marquee? Does it intrigue without giving everything away? And does that matter? (Consider “Death of a Salesman.”)

Here are some possibilities suggested by other writers:

As short as possible.

Contains a number.

Possibly alliterative but not a rhyme.

Named after the central character.

A question.

Hmmm. Not much there. I like Tennessee Williams’ titles the best: especially the metaphoric ones. I like “Doubt” as a title. I also lean toward double meanings. “Extraordinary Rendition” could be the remarkable performance of a song, no?

I find that writing this post has helped me get thinking along the right lines. In the end, I may have to call it “Not the Playwright’s Family.” You know, just to be crystal clear.

(P.S. Gratuitous cat photo has actually nothing to do with titles.)


  1. Pat–I’d love to subscribe to your blog, but I don’t see a place to do that. Can I?

    • Patricia Milton says:

      Hi Laura,
      Well, I don’t think I have that capability.
      I’ll talk to the guy who built it and see what’s up,