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Birthrite, a screenplay

Based on a true story, BIRTHRITE is the compelling tale of a woman’s search for identity, a journey from discovery to despair to triumph. Haunted by dreams of a female stranger and beset with infertility, Jesse, (27, willful, edgy and vulnerable) is driven to search for her birth mother, but her search leads to an unexpected and bizarre series of coincidences and twists. (103 pages)

The year is 1959. The film opens with a montage of three scenes intercut: the labor of Collie, (Jesse’s birth mother, 20), the hasty courtship of Collie and Sam (birth father, 23) and the signing of papers in a New York adoption agency six months prior to the birth of Jesse. Enter Ruby and Sol, a loving Jewish couple in their mid-thirties trying desperately to conceive a child. They adopt Jesse. Twenty-seven years later, Jesse and husband David (33) are also trying to have a baby. A stranger is in the way. She invades Jesse’s dreams and leads her into a bright white room with an empty crib. Jesse is driven to search for her birth mother. The journey is filled with quirky and surreal characters that guide her to her destiny. As she narrows her search, Jesse’s internal voice and emotional state intensify. Finally, Jesse is reunited with Collie in the office of the adoption agency where the story opens 27 years earlier. But there’s an unexpected guest, Sam. This event triggers a unique series of coincidences, (the two families have more than Jesse in common) that create conflict amongst Jesse, Sol and David. The revived skeletons instigate break-ups, break-downs and rebirth.

Strong female leads, Jesse, 27 and Collie, (20’s and 52) in this character driven and highly visual piece. A woman’s search for self through motherhood versus infertility, nature versus nurture. Compelling manipulation of time and space. Rich settings. Interesting character and action parallels drawn amongst all three couples. Expect an evocative transformation of Jesse.

"Promising writing." American Playhouse
Semi-finalist in the 1997 Austin Screenwriter’s Contest
Semi-finalist in the 2003 Writer’s Network Screenwriter’s Contest