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 Category:  General Script
  Posted: January 12, 2020      Views: 84
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Have English B.A. with Creative Writing Emphasis from the University of Utah. Came back to after 6 years gone to practice more genres of writing and get writing prompt ideas. I have written over 1500 poems, twenty songs, and sixteen scr - more...

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Chapter 1 of the book The Legend of John Shane
Character list and Scene 1 of Tale of the Rustlers' Trace
"A1S1 The Legend of John Shane" by CrystieCookie999


Ellie Chatsworth                Town Gossip/Narrator, age 25-60.

Ida Simpson                       Town Gossip/Narrator, younger than Ellie.

John Shane                        The Hero, 25-35. Slight John Wayne accent on occasion, faithful horse is named Sterling.

Shorty                                 John's witty sidekick, 25-35.

MaryAnn Claussen             The Heroine, orphan, inherited farm, 18-25.

Mr. Cole Black                     The Principal Villain, banker after MaryAnn's land & hand in marriage, 30-45.

Martin "Big Marty" Lewis    Hired Gun, wears long duster coat, 25-45.

Four Outlaws -- Hired by Mr. Black Ages 18-50
Sam "The Rattlesnake" Sweatt    As lowdown as a snake, but not as bright.
One-Eyed Willie                             She's tough and feisty, wears an eye-patch, close to Shorty's age.
Ivan "The Famous" Starvski         He has a slight Russian accent.
Sneaky Pete Wilcox                       He'll sneak a peek into anything illegal.

Sheriff Richard Moore                   Pragmatic and to the point, 30-50.

Reverend Cardall                           An understanding man, especially when Big Marty's gun is making a point, 40-60.

Act I
Scene 1
Outskirts of Logan, Utah, circa 1897.

Town Gossips/Narrators ELLIE CHATSWORTH and IDA SIMPSON enter from opposite sides of the stage, ELLIE entering from Stage Right, and IDA from Stage Left. Both are dressed in long dresses and shawls, with their hair pulled up pioneer style, and both are carrying a basket. ELLIE's basket is filled with some plastic eggs, covered with a cloth. IDA's basket may contain a foam rubber or wax loaf of bread -- long French style, wrapped in a cloth.

(Still distant from IDA on other side of stage. Shades her eyes with free hand.) Ida Simpson, is that you? Fancy meetin' you here! This is a marvelous surprise!

(Chatty and conversational.) Why, Ellie, I was just on my way to bring you a loaf of fresh-baked bread here (uncovers top layer of cloth from bread, then re-covers it) ...when I said to myself, "Say, wasn't there somethin' important goin' on tonight?" But after I thought, and thought, and thought, I still couldn't remember what it was!

Well, Ida, you've sure come to the right person. (A little smugly.) I always know what's goin' on here in Cache Valley. It's what I'm famous for. Ellie Chatsworth -- the woman with the inside information on everyone and every event worth mentioning. (Pauses to grin at audience.)

(Expectant.) Yes, Ellie? So what is goin' on here?

(Opens her mouth, then looks doubtful, bites her finger, then musters a big smile.) Uh, er, uh. Hold on. (Uncovers eggs in basket, opens one plastic egg, removes small folded piece of paper, unfolds paper, and acts as if she is reading the paper aloud.) Don't forget...(turns paper over) melodrama tonight! (To IDA.) That's it, Ida, there is a genu-ine western melodrama tonight! (Leaves paper in basket with egg.)

(Delighted.) A melodrama! Right here! Now that is the highlight of my week! No, of the month! And look at all of these people here in the audience (waves hand across expanse of audience), who have turned up just to see this amazing melodrama. It's too good to be true! I am plumb speechless. (Stops to scratch head.) Uh, Ellie?

Yes, Ida? What is it?


What's a melodrama?

Oh, Ida. Don't you remember how a melodrama works? My goodness, let me explain it. See, we have a hero, right?

All right! I love a hero! Especially if you use smokehouse-cured slices of roast beef and some extra slices of aged cheddar cheese on top. I knew there was a reason I wanted to bring you this bread. (Pats bread in basket.)

No, not a hero sandwich! I mean a real hero. Tall, and good-lookin', and he's out to right wrongs and catch the bad guys. He's the one everybody is gonna applaud and cheer for, and his name is John Shane!

(JOHN enters from Stage Right, waves, and stands.)

Hurray! So, we have a man named Shane.

Yes, and ladies (addressing AUDIENCE), ain't he a looker?

Well, he's good-lookin' all right. But since I already got me a husband, it don't matter to me if a man's rich or poor.

Hey, Ida. I am impressed. You sure have some strong values.

(Beams.) That's right. It don't matter to me if he's rich or poor...just as long as he has money.

Oh, never mind. Now we need a damsel in distress.

Why does she have to wear your dress? Won't her own dress do?

No, it's not a damsel in "this" dress. It's "distress," as in "a whole lot of trouble."

Oh, I see. So that's why John is here!

Correct. And the name of the damsel he's going to save is MaryAnn.

Uh, she's marryin' who?

No. That's her name. MARY-ANN!

(MARYANN also enters from Stage Right, waves at audience, blows a kiss, and smiles flirtatiously at JOHN, then stands.)

Okay. John. MaryAnn. I'm followin' you so far. (To AUDIENCE.) So everyone, when we see John or MaryAnn, we got to cheer and clap real loud! Let's practice! I say JOHN, and you all? (Wait for response, making sure it is loud.) Good! Now I say MARYANN, and what do you do? (Wait for AUDIENCE response.)

Yes, that's right. And then we have a villain, or in this case, we have two main villains. They are Cole Black and Big Marty Lewis. And when you see them, you boo and hiss!

(COLE and BIG MARTY enter from Stage Left, smirk or frown, and stand while AUDIENCE responds.)

(Looks at COLE and BIG MARTY, then back to AUDIENCE.) Two villains! Well, that doesn't seem fair. I think John needs some more help.

You're right, Ida. That's why John has a sidekick. His name is Shorty.

Well, that's all right. My name is a shorty, too. It's only three letters long, I D A, but my mother said--

(Exasperated.) No, no, no! That's really his name! It's just Shorty!

Oh, I understand now! So we cheer for Shorty, too?

Yes. How about a cheer for Shorty?

(SHORTY enters from Stage Right and stands in front of JOHN and MARYANN. JOHN taps SHORTY on the shoulder, who moves to
the side of both of them so they can be seen. Wait for AUDIENCE response.)

(SAM, WILLIE, IVAN, and PETE enter from Stage Left, pushing each other and acting unruly.)

(Elbows the others to be still, then points to ELLIE). Hey, you! How about us? You forgot our names.

(Sniffles loudly, then wipes her nose with her sleeve.) Yeah. What's the matter? Do ya think you're too good for the likes of us?

(Intimidated, pulls on ELLIE's sleeve.) Uh, Ellie, I think you better introduce these, uh, fine folk, too.

(Slightly less intimidated.) Yeah, I think I better, too. All right, folks, this here is Sam "The Rattlesnake" Sweatt.

(Waves enthusiastically to AUDIENCE.) Hi y'all. (Whips out gun but keeps it directed at a low angle toward the ground.) Now don't even think of leavin' early, see? I might wanna hold you up later. (Replaces gun in holster.)

Then we have this, er, vision of loveliness, One-Eyed Willie.

(Marches up to edge of stage, lifts her eye-patch to squint out over audience, then replaces the eye-patch to grin, with one or two teeth blacked out.) Howdy!

Uh, and this is Ivan "The Famous" Starvski.

(IVAN nods head slightly. Remains standing with arms folded, aloof.)

And here is Sneaky Pete Wilcox.

(Tips hat to ELLIE, IDA, and AUDIENCE.) That's right, but I might have a different name come next month, so don't put too much stock in this one.

So here are the meanest, toughest, orn'riest bunch of outlaws you'll ever lay eyes on.

(Smiling.) Aw, go on. You're embarrassin' us. No more sweet talk, now.

Hey, I think we've got the idea! (To AUDIENCE.) How about we start this melodrama, folks? (Wait for response.)

Yes, it's the beginning of the Tale of the Rustlers' Trace. And now it's time for our opening number.

(Song) "The Legend of John Shane"

(ALL exit while waving or smirking at AUDIENCE.)

(Lights down.)


The script continues with A1S2 Legend of John Shane. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
The full title of this musical melodrama is "The Legend of John Shane: Tale of the Rustlers' Trace." There are 8 songs to go with it. I am on a bit of a John Wayne kick right now, and this is the script I have had sitting around since 2006. Cache is pronounced like 'cash.' Cache County and Cache Valley are about 100 miles north of Utah's capital city, Salt Lake City. Logan is the biggest city in that county, where Utah State University is located. It is the same university my paternal grandfather went to back around 1933. This script is aimed at a general audience. Terms like 'melodrama' are explained to the very young and first-timers.
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