Betsie Howie and Mary Murfitt

"What the show's really about ," says co-creator of Cowgirls Mary Murfitt, "is that hard work, trying and believing will bring you success." Cowgirls did indeed bring Murfitt and collaborator Betsy Howie success. The show was a hit at regional theatres throughout the country (Old Globe in San Diego, Florida Studio Theatre and others) before it went on to win rave reviews Off-Broadway, playing to full houses for nearly two years. An actor, singer, writer and musician, Mary Murfitt is also the co-creator and original cast member of Oil City Symphony, another musical that uses actor/singer/musicians. She had the initial idea for Cowgirls and wrote its 23 songs, drawing on her own passion for playing both classical and country music. She's a Kansas music teacher's daughter who thought she would become a classical violinist and ended up an Off-Broadway actress and writer/composer. After struggling to write the book, a friend suggested that she partner with off-off-Broadway playwright, novelist and stand-up comedian Betsy Howie. Howie wrote the character of Mo for herself and gave the character Murfitt would play, Mary Lou, the greatest acting challenge. Their biggest compliment came when Dolly Parton sashayed backstage during the Off-Broadway run to congratulate them. "I'd play any of those cowgirls," said Dolly. "If you don't want to do the show some night, just tell me."

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