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Where can I obtain copies of Norman Corwin scripts?

Although not in standard script format, many of his best plays can be found in the books Thirteen by Corwin (1942), More by Corwin (1944), Untitled and Other Radio Dramas (1947), and Memos to a New Millennium: The Final Radio Plays of Norman Corwin (2012).

How can I obtain permission to produce/present a Norman Corwin radio play?

The executors of Corwin’s literary estate (the “Estate”) are unable to respond to inquiries at this time. However –

The Estate currently allows royalty-free productions of specific published Corwin works (see list below). No paperwork is necessary – if the producer and the production adhere to ALL the following terms and conditions:

  1. The script must be selected verbatim from one of four copyright-protected collections of Corwin’s radio dramas:
  • Thirteen by Corwin, Henry Holt and Company, © 1942 by Norman Corwin, all rights reserved. For copies click here.
  • More by Corwin, Henry Holt and Company, © 1944 by Norman Corwin, all rights reserved. For copies click here.
  • Untitled: And Other Radio Dramas, Henry Holt and Company, © 1945, 1947, by Norman Corwin, all rights reserved. For copies click here.
  • Memos to a New Millennium: The Final Radio Plays of Norman Corwin, BearManor Media, © 2011 Norman Corwin, all rights reserved. For copies click here.
  1. The Estate retains all rights regarding Norman Corwin’s books and scripts.
  2. The Estate has no authority to license music used in the original radio broadcasts, or music suggested by Norman in his scripts. Permission must be obtained from respective music rights holders.
  3. The Estate makes no warranties or representations.
  4. The Estate assumes no liability for third-party claims. The producer and production organization assume all such responsibility and liability.
  5. NO script changes allowed. Deletions permitted if necessary.
  6. NO recording, streaming, broadcasting or other distribution of the performance allowed.
  7. The following language must be included in printed programs, in all advertising and marketing, and must be announced during the performance:

“This production of [Play Title] is presented with permission from the Norman Corwin Estate.”

Any variance from the above conditions would require negotiations with the Estate, and would likely require a royalty or fee. The Estate is unable to negotiate and/or respond to such inquiries until further notice.

To see a list of the radio plays published in each book, click here.

How can I obtain permission to produce/present a Norman Corwin stage play?

Permission to perform stage plays such as The Rivalry is granted exclusively through the play-licensing agency. In the case of The Rivalry, it is Dramatists Play Service, Inc. They may be contacted at

The World of Carl Sandburg is managed through Samuel French, a Concord Theatrical Company. They may be contacted at

Was Norman Corwin married? Did he have children?

Yes. Norman Corwin married actress Katherine Locke in 1947. They had two children, Diane and Anthony (Tony). Katherine died in 1995. Both children are alive and well.

Who were Norman Corwin’s literary heroes?

Early influences were poets, especially Walt Whitman. It was a line in the book Leaves of Grass by Whitman that Corwin credited with giving him the idea for how to construct On A Note of Triumph. Carl Sandburg was another hero who became a good friend. Another hero was journalist Heywood Broun. Broun was a member of the “Algonquin Roundtable” with Alexander Woollcott, Robert Benchley and Dorothy Parker. He championed the underdog and wrote with a style that greatly appealed and influenced young Corwin. Norman Corwin traveled to New York City in 1929 and met Broun. Corwin cited Broun’s book Gandle Follows His Nose as influencing his works.

Why did Ray Bradbury dedicate his book The Martian Chronicles to Norman Corwin?

Bradbury was a fan of Norman Corwin and took the opportunity to write him a letter, enclosing a sample of his own work. He wrote that he’d like to take Corwin to lunch sometime. After reading the material, Corwin contacted Bradbury and said, “You’re not taking me to lunch. I’m taking you to dinner!” A lifelong deep friendship was born. Corwin suggested that Bradbury take his Martian short stories and try to compile them into one manuscript. This, of course, became The Martian Chronicles and launched Ray Bradbury on a magnificent journey as a writer.

What did Norman Corwin really think of Orson Welles?

One of the prized possessions that Norman Corwin kept all his life was a telegram from Orson Welles in 1941 asking to work on one of his shows. Welles’ first chance was on December 7, 1941, the very day Pearl Harbor was attacked, when the Gulf Screen Guild Theater presented Corwin’s Between Americans, read with special vigor that evening by Welles. Corwin didn’t direct the show, however. He was still writing We Hold These Truths. Naturally Welles got the call to join the all-star cast as soon as Corwin arrived in Los Angeles to direct and produce the broadcast. It was a relationship that continued throughout the 1940s. Norman Corwin loved working with Orson Welles and they had no clash of egos, which is probably remarkable.

Who was the greatest influence on Norman Corwin?

Perhaps the greatest influence in Norman Corwin’s life was his older brother Emil. It was Emil who took him to Europe for the first time in 1931. It was Emil who introduced him to the symphony. Emil worked hard to get his younger brother noticed in New York, even getting him an appearance on NBC’s The Magic Key through a friend in the publicity department. Norman Corwin often credited his brother with setting the example and providing unwavering support and encouragement. When Emil Corwin passed away on March 15, 2011 just weeks shy of his 108th birthday, the toll was heavy on younger brother (at age 100) Norman. Already in declining health, Norman Corwin would live only a few more months longer, passing away on October 18, 2011.

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  • Michael Kacey

    Michael James Kacey began his career as an actor before embracing filmmaking. He has written, directed and produced two feature films through his company Anthracite Films: "Daybreak" and "The Poet Laureate of Radio: An Interview with Norman Corwin." His current project, a detailed look at early broadcasting, is called " Hearing Voices: Modulating a Revolution."
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