screenplays

ENTANGLEMENT (Techno-Thriller)

SYNOPSIS: A brilliant Classicist's research entangles him in one of the most important scientific discoveries in history: a mysterious ancient mechanism which, in the wrong hands, could lead to the world's destruction.

For complete script, please send email request.

COPPER WIRE (Sci-fi/Horror Thriller)

SYNOPSIS: When an American archaeological team unearths an ancient battery in a South American jungle, they unwittingly awaken a dormant bacteria which multiplies by feeding on human electricity. Can they short circuit the microscopic parasites before they’re all devoured?

ABSTRACT EXPRESSION (Psychological Thriller)

 

SYNOPSIS: Ray Steele is an unorthodox painter at a prestigious New York Art School. His unrequited love for Stacy--his best friend and classmate--is sending him into an emotional tailspin. 

Jaap Vorheis is the conservative President of a staid, dying Art Institution in Amsterdam. Against his better judgement, he has been convinced to find and feature a young, "sexy," American artist in an attempt to combat the Institution's stuffy reputation and generate revenue. 

The collision of their two worlds results in a series of startling events which no one could have predicted. ABSTRACT EXPRESSION is a story of sex and love, art and commerce, tradition and innovation, and the manner in which an aging epoch is slowly eclipsed by a newer one.

POPLAR BLUFF (Psychological Thriller)

SYNOPSIS: On a blistering hot day in a nondescript town, a black-clad stranger arrives on the afternoon bus. He is a struggling writer from New York City, and he has come to find the long-forgotten gravestone of his aunt, who died as a child under mysterious circumstances some fifty years earlier. What he discovers is as startling as it is disturbing, and affects his life in ways he could never have predicted.

 

POPLAR BLUFF is a story of loss, revenge, self-deception, and the never-ending, cyclical patterns of history--one told with crackling tension, unremitting suspense, and a relentless, deep sense of foreboding. The story--which contains both powerful visceral elements and strong political undertones--is topical and timeless, idiosyncratic and universal.

 

POPLAR BLUFF will simultaneously embrace, combine, and undermine the generic conventions of suspense, mystery, family drama, and psychological thriller.

SANDS OF EDEN (Historical Epic)

SYNOPSIS: A bio-pic about the extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell -- often called the "Female Lawrence of Arabia." Bell's masterful infiltration of the male dominated worlds of Victorian England and Middle Eastern sheikdoms -- while navigating the traumas of an ill-fated love affair -- propels her into one of the most fascinating and consequential roles of World War I.

plays

 

HATS CANES TRUNKS TRAINS

 

SYNOPSIS: HATS CANES TRUNKS TRAINS is the story of a traveling team of music-hall performers and their arrival in a sedate, insular, working-class town.

Sneed and Riley are a pair of weathered and tired performers who have spent their entire careers loyal to a third-rate burlesque troupe. Archibald and Sadie are a simple, honest, hard-working couple who are, for the first time, experiencing domestic turmoil. The imminent collision of their two worlds is told in suspenseful, allegorical terms with an air of foreboding permeating the multiple political, spiritual, and metaphysical metaphors.

HATS CANES TRUNKS TRAINS blends the comic with the macabre, music with an eerie stillness, hope with an impending doom; all with an unflinching respect for the ruthless power of language when employed as a weapon of oppression.

"...touching and beautifully honest." 

--Shelby Jiggets

POUND OF FLESH

 

SYNOPSIS: In the summer of 1945, the American poet Ezra Pound--one of the acknowledged leaders of English Modernism--was arrested in Italy and subsequently indicted for high treason against the United States for a series of pro-Axis broadcasts he delivered over Radio Rome during World War II--political rants which extolled the virtues of Fascism while viciously denigrating Roosevelt and Churchill. Pound of Flesh is a dramatization of Pound's emotionally charged confrontation with the young American soldier who is guarding him--an encounter which exposes Pound's brilliance, passion, generosity, and venom with equal force and conviction. Pound of Flesh was not conceived as a biographical account of Pound's life, but rather, as a dramatic arena in which particular tensions and questions might be examined and pondered. As Leo Tolstoy once wrote: "a drama is not designed to tell the entire story of a man's life, but to place him in a situation in which his entire being becomes clear by the way he unties the knots." Pound's "entire being" will never become completely clear to us, but his poetry and politics provide fruitful terrain for the exploration of a universal and timeless dilemma.

"Cracklingly written and thought-provoking. It's rare to see such a play of ideas."

--L.A. Weekly

"Fascinating...precisely the sort of ambitious play the Berkshire Theatre Festival should be nurturing."

--Daily Variety

"Bolus, whose dramatic direction hits every beat, succeeds brilliantly in dramatizing the key issues in Pound's life, slashing them with humor and in creating two believable characters."  

--Curtain Up

 

POUND OF FLESH is high-minded, literate, and elegantly crafted."

 --KCRW

 

"Bolus does a remarkable job of capturing the arrogance, the brilliance and the over-the-top hubris of the poet."

--The Jewish Journal

 

ATTIC PEOPLE

 

SYNOPSIS: In the dilapidated shell of what once was a grand manor, a paranoid, maniacal, messianic Father desperately tries to maintain his fledgling power--both in his assigned geographical "quadrant" and in his own home. While sending his two older sons on mercenary missions in the "neighborhood," futilely exercising his authority over his sex-starved wife and rebellious maid, and preparing his youngest son to take over the household, he claims to take his orders from the mysterious, unseen "people in the attic."

Attic People is both a dark, macabre, absurdist comedy and a biting political allegory--urgently timely and gracefully timeless.

"Brilliant...few are addressing themes like this today." 

--Cover Magazine

"Irreproachable...a satiric bull's-eye!"

--This Week on Stage

For complete script, please send email request.

scholarship & criticism

 

© 2019 by MICHAEL PETER BOLUS