RODEO (SCREENPLAY)

A wealthy, widowed New York socialite enters the unfamiliar world of rodeo, determined to “rescue” her wayward daughter who has fallen for a young bull rider. But plans go comically awry.  Eventually rodeo and unlikely romance win the day.

A wealthy, widowed New York socialite enters the unfamiliar world of rodeo, determined to “rescue” her wayward daughter who has fallen for a young bull rider. But plans go comically awry.  Eventually rodeo and unlikely romance win the day.

Rodeo is, like the Renaissance writer Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fayre, a comedy in which the place itself, the rodeo, becomes a dominant character: some come to enjoy the rodeo, others to judge it and its inhabitants.   All are eventually affected by it.

 

Mrs. W, on a quest to rescue her daughter ,Harper, is accompanied by Reverend Busy, her “protector,” a braggart prone to malapropisms, and Busy’s nephew, Harrison, Harper’s unwilling intended.  Their plans are thwarted by Coyote McGraw, a rodeo clown and general mischief maker who soon has these city folks entangled in his web.  Coyote convinces Busy that Charlene, a young woman who dresses as a male, “Charlie,” while the rodeo is in town, is Cody McGraw the  young man they seek!  When Harrison sees Charlene, the female, version riding the barrels, he is enchanted.  But his uncle, Busy, is already suspicious that Charlene and Charlie are the same person.

 

Coyote convinces Mrs. W that, given her expensive attire, she’ll be taken for a rustler.  He suggests she dress in more appropriate rodeo attire.  Next time we see her, with Coyote’s assistance, she is dressed as a rodeo clown!

 

Enter Bullwhip Betty, rough and tough and seeking a man.  She finds Busy alone and agrees to help him find his lost companions.

 

Soon there is total confusion! Mrs. W, dressed as a rodeo clown, is rescued from the arena by Doyle McGraw, Cody’s father who figures out Mrs. W is a woman, not a man.

Meanwhile, Busy, thinking Charlene and Charlie are the same person—which they are—determines that the two-in-one are really a man who dresses as a woman. Wrong! Bullwhip Betty tries to correct him, but he’s determined!

Finally, the entanglements of New York society and the rodeo resolve themselves.  Cody and Harper; Harrison and Charlene; and, Mrs. W and Doyle all find love at the rodeo.

BULLWHIP BETTY: Folks ‘round here call me Bullwhip Betty.  Flick a cigarette out of man’s mouth at ten paces, and a cell phone from his pocket at twenty, or the belt off his britches if I’m real close.  Don’t let my way of speakin’ trouble you, sir.  Underneath you’ll find an ace-high lady.  A soft, loving woman.  Very soft, loving woman, if you catch my drift.

--Bridge Fest.  Official Selection, 2020.

--Austin Comedy Festival.  FINALIST,, 2020.

--Houston Comedy Festival.  FINALIST, 2020.

--Portland Comedy Festival.  FINALIST, 2020.

--Semi-finalist.  Filmmatic Comedy Screenplay Award, 2020

 

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