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Late, A Cowboy Song - Full Length Play, Comedy

Late, A Cowboy Song

Sarah Ruhl

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Full Length Play, Comedy

1m, 2f

ISBN: 9780573702952

Mary, always late and always married, meets a lady cowboy outside the city limits of Pittsburgh who teaches her how to ride a horse. A story of one woman’s education and her search to find true love outside the box...

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Description | Characters | Media | Author | Now Playing | Reviews
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $125 per performance


Full Length Play



120 minutes (2 hours)

Time Period - Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century

Settings Of Play - A version of Pittsburgh.
A silhouette of a messy kitchen.
An image of the Marlboro Man hovers in the distance against blue light. 


Unit Set/Multiple Settings, Bare Stage/Simple Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


Mild Adult Themes


Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre, Large Stage, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Sarah Ruhl is the 2003 recipient of the Whiting Award for Drama
This play is for all the lady cowboys of heart and mind who ride outside the city limits of convention. Mary, always late and always married, meets a lady cowboy outside the city limits of Pittsburgh who teaches her how to ride a horse. Mary’s husband, Crick, buys a painting with the last of their savings. Mary and Crick have a baby, but they can’t decide on the baby’s name, or the baby’s gender. A story of one woman’s education and her search to find true love outside the box.


"Here as ever, Ruhl has a finger to her chin in poetic meditation, with the added attraction of a youthful yodel in her heart." - Washington Post 

"[Ruhl's] language is vivid and lyrical. Crick is certainly no poet, but Ruhl finds language for him to describe his passion for art which is both moving and profound. While maintaining Mary’s dimness throughout the production, Ruhl allows her sufficient language to describe the sadness and fear she doesn’t even know she has. And Ruhl gives the laconic Red lines of cowboy wisdom which startle and provoke us..." - DC Theatre Scene

The [play's] complexity percolates with gender bender twists.  Is he for she?  Is she for she?  Is she a she or he?...Late: A Cowboy Song is an unexpectedly insightful dramedy about defining and redefining self in the pursuit of happiness." Chicago Now 

this witty bubbling new work presents an in-depth look at the idiosyncrasies of life in regards to gender roles and love. A compelling piece of quirky drama, with an urban fairytale feel to the story, there are laughs and moments of deeply ponderous emotion to behold in this rapid moving performance." - DC Metro Theatre Arts

"An eccentric play about eccentrics" - Washington City Paper
Late: A Cowboy Song premiered at the Piven Theatre in Chicago in August of 2010. 


1m, 2f


Non-Traditional casting, Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)


Red talks slow. Crick talks fast. Mary’s somewhere in the middle. Crick, Mary and Red need not be any particular race or ethnicity. 

CRICK - Charming, fragile, and child-like
MARY - Keeps her journal locked
RED - She’s no cowgirl, she’s a cowboy
  • Late: A Cowboy Song - No Rules Theatre Company Plus One

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  • Late: A Cowboy Song - Calgary's Third Street Theater

Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl’s plays include For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday, The Oldest Boy, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, The Clean House, Passion Play, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Melancholy Play; Eurydice; Orlando, Late: a cowboy song, Dear Elizabeth and Stage Kiss. She has been a two-time Pulitzer prize finalist and a Tony award nominee. Her plays have been produced on Broadway at the Lyceum by ... view full profile

Now Playing
Jim Ryan 6/28/2015 7:19 PM
Sarah Ruhl should be on everyone's reading list!

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