MARY MURFITT was a co-author (with Debra Monk, Mark Hardwick and Mike Craver) and original cast member of the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway musical, Oil City Symphony. Oil City Symphony received the Outer Critic s Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway musical of 1988 and Ms. Murfitt received a Theatre World Award, Drama Desk Award and Joseph Jefferson Award citation for her work as an actor in Oil City. In addition, she has directed numerous productions of Oil City Symphony including: Danny s Skylight Cabaret (NYC), The Cape Playhouse (MA), The Ogunquit Playhouse (ME), Hippodrome State Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre and the Caldwell Theatre (FL). Oil City is published and licensed by Music Theatre International. The original cast recording was produced by DRG Records.
Ms. Murfitt is also the creator and composer/lyricist of the hit Off-Broadway musical, COWGIRLS, and originated the role of Mary Lou in the Off-Broadway production and appeared in numerous regional productions including The Old Globe, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Tennessee Repertory, Capital Repertory (NY), Caldwell Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre and Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati. COWGIRLS was nominated for Best Off-Broadway musical of 1996 by the Outer Critics Circle and Ms. Murfitt was honored for her work by the New York Drama League. COWGIRLS is published and licensed by Dramatists Play Service. The original cast recording was produced by Varese Sarabande and Ms. Murfitt s songs have since been published by Hal Leonard Publishing in five separate folios: COWGIRLS Vocal Selections; The Singer s Musical Theatre Anthology, Volume 3 for both Soprano and Mezzo-Soprano/Belter; Belter s Book of Comedy Songs; and Musical Theatre Anthology for Teens.
In 1996, she was commissioned to write the theme song for the Dare to Dream Foundation s video series. This foundation s mission is to build self-esteem in adolescent and teenage girls. Participants in the video include Sandra Day O Connor, Diane Sawyer, Chris Evert, Sally Ride, Sherry Lansing and Beverly Sills. This video series has been distributed to over 10,000 schools across the country.
Ms. Murfitt received a Commission/Grant from the Continental Harmony Millennium Project to compose a site-specific musical theatre piece for the Performing Arts Company of Jackson Hole (WY). Continental Harmony was funded by The American Composers Forum, The White House Millennium Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. This program linked rural and under-served communities with composers to celebrate the millennium with new musical works and to participate in residency activities with schools as well as local residents and musicians. PETTICOAT RULES: The Jackson Hole Revue was the result of this grant and its culmination was the musical s premiere in July 2000. PETTICOAT RULES ran successfully throughout the summer of 2000 and again throughout the summer of 2001.
In 2000, Ms. Murfitt was invited to participate in the National Music Theater Conference at the O Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut. Two of the pieces she developed there were included in the musical production, Eight is Enough (performed at The Duplex and Joe s Pub in NYC the following year).
Her new musical, ORPHAN TRAIN, has received readings at the Laguna Playhouse in California as well as the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. The reading at Ensemble Theatre, directed by Producing Artistic Director, Lynn Meyers, was so well received that it resulted in the scheduling of a full, World Premiere production in ETC s 2004/05 season.
This past year, Ms. Murfitt (a native Kansan) was very proud to have been nominated for induction into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Austin, Texas.
Ms. Murfitt earned her degree in theatre at Marymount College of Kansas. She is a member of The Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, Actors Equity and AFTRA.