Riding the Bull
“Please believe me when I tell you I wanted to be good”
In Riding the Bull, a love affair between a devout rodeo clown and a hell-raising rancher leads to Graceland, prophetic sex, and cows that rise from the dead, all in the little town of Godsburg, Texas.
When GL confronts Lyza over he suspected desecration of the statue of Jesus in the town square, he finds himself lured to her ranch, where he meets her playmate, Cyndi the cow, and her protector, Suerte the Bull. Seduced in spite of himself, GL is shocked to discover that Lyza calls out the winner of the next day’s rodeo when she climaxes.
The two quickly take advantage of this unique power, and as they make more and more money, GL decides to build his mother, a shut-in obsessed with Elvis, another Graceland. When Lyza suggests they hire a realistic Elvis impersonator to fulfill her deepest fantasies, she and GL take a road trip to Graceland.
Once there, they meet a man claiming to be Elvis himself. But when their prophetic sex gives Lyza a vision of God, she pulls away from the now materialistic GL. To win her back, he finds increasingly disturbing ways to convince Lyza her vision of God was false. In the end, GL squares off against Suerte (and God) to decide whether or not he will keep his mother’s dream of Elvis alive.
GL Mitchell, young, a rodeo clown, skinny.
Lyza Mary, same age, a ranch owner, fat.
Turn of the twenty-first century.
A few chairs. A plastic statue of Jesus. Maybe a mechanical bull.
Published as part of Indie Theater Now
Produced 2011 by New Amerikan Theatre in Seattle from July 22nd to August 13th. Directed by Richard Buckley, featuring Geb Brown as GL and Jen Anderson as Lyza.
Produced 2009 by Riot Actors of Washington as part of DC Fringe. Directed by Colin Hovde, featuring Jason McCool as GL and Kate Debelack as Lyza. Stage Managed by Ellen Houseknecht, with dramaturgy by Sarah Roquemore and live original music by Curtis Eller.
Produced 2007 by Flux Theatre Ensemble as part of NY International Fringe Festival. Directed by Kelly O’Donnell, featuring Will Ditterline as GL and Liz Dailey as Lyza. Stage managed by Heather Cohn and Jessica Felix, Set/Light Design by Jason Paradine, Costume Design by Liz Dailey, Sound Design by Matt Given.
Published 2005 in the New York Theater Review
Produced 2005 by Theater for the New City, NYC. Directed by Kelly O’Donnell, featuring Will Ditterline as GL and Liz Dailey as Lyza. Staged managed by Candice Holdorf, Set Design by Jason Paradine, LightingDesign by Rebecca Marzalek-Kelly and Jared Klein, Costume Design by Liz Dailey, Sound Design by Matt Given.
2005 Reading at Azuka Theatre Collective, Philadelphia
2005 April 3rd, Reading at the New Play House, MD
2002 Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Directed by Margo Whitcomb, with Rod Gnapp as GL and Amy Kossow as Lyza.