The Ballad of Ethan Burns

by James D. Balestrieri

The Ballad of Ethan BurnsThe stymied son of a Western movie icon risks Hollywood’s ridicule when he assembles an unlikely crew to produce and star in an epic horse opera of his own. As he trips over his father’s long shadow, a beautiful director who ties his tongue, two feuding Native American tribes–and nine very angry mailmen–Ethan Burns finally learns that he might not be his own worst enemy. Now, with everything on the line, he must find out who is.


Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Western • 13 and older


“The old west, Hollywood, romance, struggle, family turmoil, even social issues, all wrapped into one screenplay. Balestrieri allows the jargon of old day to meet with current day making me laugh as well as step inside the scene-by-scene action of each character. A great read for young and old!”

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James Balestrieri

James Balestrieri

James Balestrieri’s first play, Scissors, Paper, Stone was performed in an abandoned brewery in the seaside college town of Aberystwyth, Wales. He was hooked. Subsequently, two of his short plays, Forbidding Mourning and Terrapin, were performed in New York and in 2008, his solo play, Extraordinary Rendition, selected for the New York Fringe Festival, was named a “Pick of the Week” in Time Out. In 2011, James’s adaptation of Rip Van Winkle enthralled young audiences in Sleepy Hollow country at Halloween. A Milwaukee native, James received his B.A. from Columbia University and his M.A. from Marquette University. He was a Screenwriting Fellow at the American Film Institute and earned his M.F.A. in Playwriting at Carnegie-Mellon University. He has taught at Marquette and at the University College of Wales at Aberystwyth. Director of J. N. Bartfield Galleries in New York City by day, James writes on the train as he commutes to Tarrytown, New York where he resides with a tolerant wife and three excellent children who, if he has anything to say about it, will make their living in finance or the sciences, though they are already taking an unhealthy interest in the arts.