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Jane Anderson, a prolific and award-winning writer has turned her keen but compassionate eye on a number of topics that do not immediately scream “comedy!” But her ability to see the humor and the humanness of situations involving pain or struggle has been an important component of her success. “I think that an audience is much more open to a message if they’re allowed to laugh first, and for me the more serious the topic, the more you have to take a left hand route around it.”

Anderson’s projects have included a variety of serious to the point of prickly topics: the economics, ethics and emotions of adoption, (“The Baby Dance” ), mothers who kill their children’s rivals (“ The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader -Murdering Mom”), and practicing random acts of kindness even if it means the loss of large amounts of cash, (“It Could Happen to You”). “What I find funny is the human condition and the wonderful frailty that we display when we’re under pressure that’s enduring and quite beautiful… and also very funny.”

Ten minutes of “previews” at your local theater should confirm that Hollywood does not necessarily encourage intellectual or moral debate. So how does a writer summon the courage to eschew the tried and true car crash/action genre? “I don’t consider it courage. It’s just what I have to write. For me it would be courageous to write something I don’t believe in.”

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 15 - September 2018
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