The play, adapted by N.G. McClearnan, follows the familiar story of Huck and Jim on a raft, even as it peers into Huck's internal struggle between right and wrong. Playwright McClearnan said she eliminated all but a few references to Tom Sawyer in the book because he "certainly was not a good boy."
"In fact," she said, "he was a big jerk."
While not evil, Sawyer causes problems for the freed slave, Jim, and jeopardizes more than a few people in his field of influence. So, for McClearnan, Tom's out and Huck's in.
The article is referring to my essay What about Lil Lizabeth?
Apparently the "as long as they spell my name right" quote is of unknown provenance...