Stride

Rick Whelan rwhelan44@gmail.com 3709519102106

ACTION ADVENTURE DRAMA FAMILY POLITICAL YOUNG ADULT

1940s & '50s

Rick Whelan

TaleFlick Pick!

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Logline

THE STRIDE logline Defying racial barriers in 1950s Jim Crow South, 16-year-old piano prodigy Frances "Frankie" Trumbull, reeling from the recent death of her beloved brother, finds healing in the music of African American stride piano player James "Honeybear" Powell.

Genre

Action,Adventure,Drama,Family,Political,Young Adult

Short Summary

A rusty freight train rolls into a small Alabama town. Among the itinerant labourers is one James 'Honeybear' Powell ..,. not a labourer but rather an iconic stride piano player fleeing his violent past.


Against a backdrop of small-town racial tensions, Honeybear becomes the unlikely and, at first, unwilling mentor to Frankie, a young girl yearning for redemption. Together these two unlikely soul mates rekindle in each other all that is important in their lives.

Setting

Information not completed

Based on a True Story

No

Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age,Happy Ending,Meaningful Message

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Frances 'Frankie' Trumbull

Age: 16

Gender: Female

Role: Antagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Complex,Desperate,Engaging,Insecure,Outspoken,Skillful,Secretive

Additional Character Details

Name: James 'Honeybear' Powell

Age: 65

Gender: Male

Role:

Key Traits: Badass,Charming,Complex,Confident,Empathetic,Engaging,Educated,Honorable,Underdog,Masculine,Blunt,Outspoken,Skillful,Funny,Sarcastic,Lone Wolf

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

Why Stride? I feel Stride, a story of redemption, will appeal to a wide cross-section of young adults as well as the general population. I’m often quite surprised, in speaking with today’s crop of teenagers, how much they don’t know about the history of America’s long struggle toward racial equality. That’s why I set my novel in the early 1950s, at the birth of the civil rights movement. So much needed to be done … so few had yet taken up the struggle. In the piano man, “Honeybear" Powell, I feel I have created a complicated, damaged and yet loveable character … a gifted musician who, due to the color of his skin, has had to ply his musical genius in smoky, beer stained “buckets of blood” … the juke joints that dotted the landscape during the days of the “Chitlin Circuit," reserved exclusively for poor blacks in dire need of a bit of joy. I also believe that potential audience members will identify with Frankie Trumbull, a 16-year-old white girl who is struggling with the recent loss of her beloved brother. Like so many teenagers, even in this modern era, Frankie must struggle with the complexities of teenage-dom and all of its uncertainties as well as her own personal search for spiritual salvation. Stride its the story of one young girl's journey - and her fortuitous meeting with the one person who changed her life forever.

About The Author

Rick Whelan is an award-winning playwright and journalist. He began his professional life as an actor, appearing as Charlie Brown in the U.S. national company of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. He also appeared in Jean Stapleton’s production of Hello Dolly and a production of South Pacific starring Ricardo Montalbán. He was a member of the acting company at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival for four seasons. His plays have been produced in theatres all across the U.S. and Canada, including the Stratford Festival, the Barter Theatre (Virginia), the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville and Ottawa’s National Art Centre. His play Heaven Sent was a winner at Barter Theatre’s Appalachian Plays and Playwrights Festival. His adaptation of Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which premiered at the Stratford Festival, has been widely produced at theatres and campuses across North America. He has co-written two documentaries for Ballinran Entertainment. Death in Canada was nominated for four Gemini Awards (Canada) and an Irish Film and Television Academy Award. He also co-wrote New Dawn in the Desert, a film detailing the Canadian footprint on the economic miracle of Dubai. Mr. Whelan received his BA degree from Columbia University.

Target Audiences

Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Jim Crow Alabama; Chicago's South Side

Publishing Details

Status: No

Hard Copy Available

No

ISBN

Information not completed

Genre

DRAMA

Brief

In the racist 1950s, a teenage pianist girl is trying to find herself artistically. After an unexpected course of events, she goes to Chicago alongside a black talented pianist, in a journey that will help both of them find themselves.

Overall Rating

GOOD

Point of View

THIRD PERSON

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: FAIR

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: GOOD

Premise: GOOD

Structure: GOOD

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

Yes, it does depict the book.

Draw of Story

The characters' introduction is attractive and somewhat creative. James Powell is a renowned pianist, but he is presented as a common old man.

Possible Drawbacks

Some of the actions could be better developed, such as Frankie running away from her grandfather's rally when she was expected to play, which seems too convenient and simple.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

The theme itself. The characters' quest to fulfilling their dreams and finding their inner self.

Fanbase Potential

It could make people deeply affectionate about the main characters and their inner struggles.

Awards Potential

Yes, but the racial issues should be better set up with extensive research, and the author could improve the conflicts for them to reach the theme's level.

Envisioned Budget

MEDIUM BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

GREEN BOOK - A BLACK ARTIST EXPERIENCES RACISM AND FORMS A BOND WITH A WHITE FRIEND. WHIPLASH - A YOUNG, TALENTED MUSICIAN IS PUSHED BY AN OLDER ARTIST TO ACHIEVE THE EXCELLENCE LEVEL.

What’s New About the Story

An unusual friendship develops between a teenage girl and an elderly.

Lead Characters

The fact that they are both very talented, but they still face some lack of confidence.

Uniqueness of Story

Not a rare gem. It would have to amplify the drama related to the racial issues and artistic struggles, and also change the narrative's tone a little bit.

Possible Formats

Film - Streaming, Film - Indie, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series

Analyst Recommendation

CONSIDER

Justification

The book's structure is good, the pace is well-developed, and the dialogue is fitting and reflects the language used at the time (further research would still be necessary, though). The plot entertains while still having historical relevance. Besides the racial matter, the theme of the narrative is universal because it explores friendship and the search for fulfilling our dreams. However, even though the author was able to create a captivating story, his narrative choices are still a bit raw, and it requires an experienced screenwriter to adapt the book into a successful film/series. Furthermore, the characters are memorable, but some of the book's scenes could still be improved. They sometimes feel too childish to reflect the dramatic importance of racism. At the same time, dealing with themes like these with a lighter touch also has a positive side because it makes us reflect on the problem without sounding like a lecture. Overall, the content is robust. It just needs polishing.