Norman, Marsha 1947-

views updated

NORMAN, Marsha 1947-

PERSONAL: Born September 21, 1947, in Louisville, KY; daughter of Billie Lee (an insurance salesperson and realtor) and Bertha Mae (Conley) Williams; married Michael Norman (an English teacher; divorced, 1974); married Dann C. Byck, Jr. (a theatrical producer), November, 1978 (divorced); married Timothy Dykman; children: (third marriage) Angus, Katherine. Education: Agnes Scott College, B.A., 1969; University of Louisville, M.A.T., 1971.

ADDRESSES: Office—c/o The Tantleff Office, 375 Greenwich St., Suite 700, New York, NY 10013-2338.

CAREER: Playwright and producer. Teacher, Kentucky Department of Health, 1969-70, Jefferson County Public Schools, 1970-72, and Kentucky Arts Commission, 1972-76; book reviewer and editor for the Louisville Times, Louisville, KY, 1974-79; worked with disturbed children at Kentucky Central State Hospital; director at Actors Theatre of Louisville, 1980-81.

MEMBER: International PEN, Dramatists Guild, Writers Guild.

AWARDS, HONORS: American Theater Critics Association named Getting Out the best play produced in regional theatre during 1977-78; National Endowment for the Arts grant, 1978-79, for Actors Theatre of Louisville; John Gassner New Playwrights Medallion, Outer Critics Circle, and George Oppenheimer-Newsday Award, both 1979, both for Getting Out; Rockefeller playwright-in-residence grant, 1979-80, at the Mark Taper Forum; Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award nomination for best play, Pulitzer Prize for drama, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and Elizabeth Hull-Kate Warriner Award, Dramatists Guild, all 1983, all for 'Night, Mother; Literary Lion Award, New York Public Library, 1986; Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award for best book of a musical, Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award nomination for best original score, 1991, and Drama Desk Award for best book of a musical, all 1991, all for The Secret Garden; also received grant from American Academy and Institute for Arts and Letters.



Getting Out, (two-act; first produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Louisville, KY, 1977; produced Off-Broadway at Phoenix Theatre, 1978), Avon (New York, NY), 1977.

Third and Oak (contains the one-act plays The Laundromat and The Pool Hall; produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, 1978), Dramatists Play Service (New York, NY), 1978, reissued in separate volumes as Third and Oak: The Laundromat, 1980, and Third and Oak: The Pool Hall, 1985.

It's the Willingness (teleplay), broadcast by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 1978.

Circus Valentine (two-act), produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, 1979.

The Holdup (two-act; produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, 1980), Dramatists Play Service (New York, NY), 1987.

In Trouble at Fifteen (teleplay), broadcast on NBC television program Skag, Lorimar Productions, 1980.

'Night, Mother (also see below; produced at American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, MA; produced at Golden Theatre, New York, NY, 1983), Hill & Wang (New York, NY), 1982.

Traveler in the Dark (produced at the Mark Taper Forum, 1984), Dramatists Play Service (New York, NY), 1988.

The Laundromat (teleplay), produced for HBO, 1985.

Sarah and Abraham, produced at Actors Theater of Louisville, 1987.

Four Plays by Marsha Norman (collection), Theatre Communications (New York, NY), 1988.

(Author of book and lyrics) The Secret Garden (children's musical; produced by Virginia Stage Company, Norfolk, 1989), Warner Brothers (Secaucus, NJ), 1991.

Third and Oak: The Pool Hall (teleplay), produced on American Playwrights Theatre: The One Acts, Arts and Entertainment, 1989.

Face of a Stranger (teleplay; also known as My Shadow), CBS, 1991.

D. Boone (also see below), produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, 1992, later retitled Loving Daniel Boone.

(Author of book and lyrics) The Red Shoes, produced at the Gershwin Theater, New York, NY, 1993.

Lunch with Lynn, produced at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York, NY, 1994.

Trudy Blue (produced at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, March, 1995; produced at MCC Theater, New York, NY, December 2, 1999), published in Humana Festival '95: The Complete Plays, Smith & Kraus (Newbury, VT), 1995.

Collected Plays (includes "Loving Daniel Boone," "Sarah and Abraham," "Getting Out," "Third and Oak," "Travelers in the Dark," "Circus Valentine," and "The Hold Up"), Smith & Kraus (Lyme, NH), 1997.

140, produced as part of Love's Fire, Guthrie Theater Lab, Minneapolis, MN, January 1, 1998; produced in London at the Barbican Center, 1998; produced at Joseph Papp Public Theater, June 19, 1998.

RCA, produced as part of Fit to Print, Bay Street Theater, Sag Harbor, NY, August, 1999.

Sisters, produced at the Broadway Playhouse, Sacramento, CA, November 7, 1999.

Take Flight (musical), staged reading at Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Waterford, CT, August, 2001.

Last Dance, produced in New York, NY at Manhattan Theater Club, June 3, 2003.


'Night, Mother, Universal, 1986.

A Cooler Climate (adaptation of the novel by Zena Collier), produced for the Showtime network, 1999.

The Audrey Hepburn Story, ABC-TV, 2000.

Custody of the Heart (adaptation of the book by Barbara Delinsky), Lifetime, 2000.

Also author of unproduced screenplays The Children with Emerald Eyes, for Columbia, The Bridge, for Joseph E. Levine, Thy Neighbor's Wife, for United Artists, and Medicine Woman.


The Jumbo Jelly Bean Journal, Courier-Journal/Louisville Times (Louisville, KY), 1975.

The Fortune Teller (novel), Random House (New York, NY), 1987.

Also author of the musical Shakers. Work represented in anthologies, including The Best Plays of 1978-1979: The Burns Mantle Yearbook of the Theatre, edited by Otis L. Guernsey, Jr., Dodd (New York, NY), 1980; and Selected from Contemporary American Plays: An Anthology, New Readers Press, 1990. Contributor to educational journals and newspapers.

ADAPTATIONS: Getting Out was adapted as a television movie in 1994, starring Rebecca De Mornay.

SIDELIGHTS: Marsha Norman has established herself as a writer with a powerful message about ordinary people confronting extraordinary circumstances. She came to prominence with her debut drama, Getting Out, which was a huge success in 1979. In 1983 she won the Pulitzer Prize for her play 'Night, Mother. Norman has continued to expand her horizons, writing screenplays and fiction in addition to her stage plays. In Trudy Blue, she explored the writer's psyche in a very personal way, for the main character is a writer who, like Norman, was misdiagnosed with a terminal illness. The play's protagonist, like Norman, finds that the experience gives her insight into what is really important to her.

Norman took the theater world by storm with Getting Out. A drama about a woman released from prison after an eight-year sentence and a lifetime of trouble, the play concentrates on the psychological changes of the character as she is transformed from a hate-filled child named Arlie into the rehabilitated woman, Arlene. To contrast the two sides of her protagonist's personality, Norman used two actresses on the stage simultaneously. Critics hailed the innovative drama for its powerful dialogue and emotional honesty. In Newsweek, Jack Kroll praised Getting Out as a "superb first play … we see one of those before and after diptychs living right before our eyes, but this one blazes in the uncompromising light of truth." John Simon of New York declared: "No gesture is arbitrary, no syllable rings false. The language is the play's greatest asset: coarse-grained, unvarnished, often hateful, sometimes fumbling for tenderness, funny yet beyond laughter (except the hysterical kind), heartbreaking yet a stranger to tears. And always frighteningly true." In writing the play, Norman drew upon experiences she'd had while teaching disturbed children at a state hospital.

Norman's next two plays, Third and Oak and Circus Valentine, were written while she was playwright-inresidence at the Actors Theater in Louisville, Kentucky. Third and Oak consists of two one-act plays,"The Laundromat" and"The Pool Hall." The former features two women in a laundromat and the latter, two men in a pool hall, both pairs brought together out of loneliness. "Neither has the power of Getting Out," observed Mary Ellen Miller in the Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook,"but both show Norman's ability to dramatize the ordinary in extraordinary fashion." Circus Valentine, a romanticized account of a traveling circus on the small-town circuit, was not well received by critics. Norman spoke with Allan Wallack of Newsday about its negative critical reception: "It was devastating. It took me about two years to recover from it and regain my confidence…. But the most wonderful result of failure was that ultimately I felt strengthened by it—that they [the critics] hated the play and I survived. That they had said everything awful that could be said. And I still wanted to write."

Norman's perseverance paid off in the form of a Pulitzer Prize in 1983 for her fifth play, 'Night, Mother. A two-character drama, the play premiered at Harvard's American Repertory Theater starring Anne Pitoniak and Kathy Bates as Thelma and Jessie, a mother and daughter who spend a harrowing evening together in what turns out to be the last night of Jessie's life. "'Night, Mother reflects what I believe about the theater: Plays should deal with moments of crises," Norman commented in the New York Times. The crisis in 'Night, Mother stems from Jessie's calm but determined announcement to her mother at the beginning of the play: "I'm going to kill myself." Her reasons are myriad: she's an overweight, plain woman who is afraid of going outside. She spends most of her time indoors caring for her self-indulgent, inept mother, gossiping about the neighbors, and eating junk food. Her husband has deserted her because she wouldn't quit smoking and her son is a petty thief. She was recently fired from her job in a hospital gift shop. In short, she neither enjoys nor controls her life and wants to end it. "I'm just not having a very good time, Mama," Jessie explains to Thelma. The rest of the play, Norman stated in the New York Times,"is the fight of their lives. We all know people who killed themselves. These suicides leave us hurt and wanting desperately to talk about it and understand." Norman has declined to elaborate on the incident in her own life that inspired the play, but she told Mel Gussow of the New York Times Magazine,"The play should not be seen as something from my life but as something from our lives. The best plays, the ones that last, are communal dreams."

Although Jessie spends the bulk of the play justifying her reasons for wanting to end her life, most critics contend that the drama is much more than simply a suicide story. "The play is about suicide only on its surface," observed Holly Hill of the Times."Its subjects are perhaps the most difficult of all relationships—parent and child—and the definition of self." Miller sees the individual's right to choose as the drama's central concern. "It was not Norman's intention to judge the act of suicide in philosophical, religious, or social terms," Miller asserted. Instead, she wrote, the play is "about choice, about Jessie's decision to 'get off the bus,' because it is going nowhere she wants to be." Simon described the play's subjects as "suicide, love, and the meaning of life—as huge as they come; but they are treated with the specificity of threading a needle or choosing the right breakfast for your needs." Different interpretations of the play are to be expected, Simon added. "Believers and atheists, Freudians and anti-Freudians, rationalists and idealists, Marxists and capitalists, parents and children—everyone will have his or her interpretation of 'Night, Mother," he wrote. "Miss Norman may not provide any answers, but anyone who can serve up questions so brilliantly—in language that is only slightly, but finally appositely and awesomely, heightened—has more than earned that right," Simon concluded.

When she learned that 'Night, Mother had won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize, Norman was vacationing by herself in a secluded cabin four hours north of San Francisco. Later, she told Gussow of the New York Times: "The Pulitzer seems like these redwood trees I've been sitting in all week. Enormous but very still at the center. I am thrilled." She continued: "I feel like someone just came into my room in my mind where I work and embroidered a big 'P' on the back of my typing chair. It may not change my life, but it will feel good to know it's back there."

In 1985, Norman wrote another play about ordinary people in a crisis situation entitled Traveler in the Dark. The cast of four consists of Sam, a famous surgeon; his wife, Glory; his son, Stephen; and his father Everett, a preacher. The focus of the play is Sam's attempt to deal with the death of a childhood friend on whom he unsuccessfully operated. During the course of the play, Sam's despair at death comes in conflict with his father's faith and his son's questioning. "Sam tries to put his rationality against the face of death," explained Norman in the Los Angeles Times."There's this section of the play when young Stephen asks his dad, 'Is there a center of everything?' Sam replies, 'There was one, the Big Bang theory, but it blew up.' Stephen says, 'Everett says God lit the fire. Did he? Is there a God?' Sam answers, 'I think there is something out there. I want there to be a God, but I don't want it to be me.' That's the play: the incredible longing for God, while saying 'I don't want it to be me,'" Norman summarized.

Critics gave the Traveler in the Dark a lukewarm reception, praising it for its thoughtfulness and seriousness but questioning its lack of direction and pat ending. The play "makes large, dark gestures, but its tone is oddly cozy," wrote Dan Sullivan in the Los Angeles Times."It is getting at something that isn't platitudinous, but platitudes are all that seem to come out." Richard Christiansen of the Chicago Tribune pointed out that the play shared some of 'Night, Mother's faults: "a hortatory argumentation, a schematic working out of a carefully set up problem and an ending that's too neatly wrapped up. But it's also a play that sincerely tries to grapple with the basic issues of human life and death, and it does so with stretches of powerful and moving dialogue." In the Chicago Tribune, Norman blamed the play's negative reviews on poor production and a shaky opening night that was "little better than a staged reading." Critics, she added, "didn't think I should write a play about a man."

In order to "escape the brutality of the theater," Norman told Hilary DeVries of the Chicago Tribune, she decided to try her hand at writing a novel. The Fortune Teller centers around Fay Morgan, a clairvoyant who is helping police solve a mystery involving twenty-seven kidnapped children. As she attempts to use her psychic powers to locate the missing youngsters, she becomes increasingly worried about her own nineteen-year-old daughter, whom she has envisioned running away with a rich but shallow boyfriend and leading a life of misery. While Fay tries to save her daughter from an unhappy future, she only succeeds in driving her further away. Despite her special gifts, Fay encounters the same obstacles as any mother who tries to spare her daughter the pain of making her own mistakes.

In the New York Times Book Review, Amy Hempel observed: "The mystic overlay is effective, and the feminist concerns that become key to the story are worth talking about. But the characters are rendered as just that—characters. Their ways and exchanges are so familiar that The Fortune Teller ends up being a quick read that does not linger or make us think." Comparing the novel unfavorably to 'Night, Mother, Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times wrote: "Clearly the exchanges between the two women provide some of the best, most fully realized scenes in the novel, but while they occasionally promise to open into the sort of painful, revelatory talks that lent 'Night, Mother its power, Ms. Norman never lets them develop fully." The novel, Kakutani concluded, feels "contrived and heavy-handed." In the Detroit News, Liza Schwarzbaum also drew a comparison between The Fortune Teller and Norman's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, and found that the author traded "dramatic tension for fullness, a roundness like a wheel of fortune…. There is a roundness to this plot, a symmetry to the actions and relationships that is itself a kind of fortune telling."

Speaking of The Fortune Teller in the New York Times Book Review, Norman, too, compared writing to fortune-telling: "You look into someone's life, read where they have been and predict what will happen to them. What Fay does for her clients … I've done for characters my whole writing life." The novel, she continued, originated as a play, but eventually Norman realized there were too many characters to fit onstage and she "wanted to be able to include things like fire engines and sex, things you can't do onstage."

During her hiatus from the theater, Norman found herself, like many other established playwrights, being courted by Hollywood studios. "There are lots of opportunities there now for playwrights, and people are usually willing to trust our judgment," she remarked to Michael Bloom of the New York Times. Writing for a medium other than the theater provides an opportunity to reach the people she writes about, who Norman contends cannot always afford to go to the theater. "If I want to speak to them, I have to write in a different form," she told Bloom. One such opportunity Norman took advantage of was the chance to adapt her Pulitzer Prize-winning drama into a screenplay. The resulting movie garnered mixed reviews. "The structure of 'Night, Mother is essentially a conceit built for the theater—two people talking in a room—and its power depends on the theater experience, the fact that you're watching flesh and blood and spittle and sweat ten rows away," observed Paul Attanasio in the Washington Post. "Adapting it would have required the kind of imagination that, apparently, was sorely missing." Jay Scott of the Globe and Mail also found the play's believability diminished in the film version, which he found "packed with tiny esthetic intermissions that weaken Norman's premise irreparably…. the illusion of real time and space that gave the play the power to persuade its audience that these were real people is disrupted." Janet Maslin of the New York Times found that despite a camera that is "constantly, annoyingly, in motion," the movie's momentum is maintained by the "urgency of Miss Norman's writing" and the persuasive performances of actresses Anne Bancroft and Sissy Spacek.

In 1988, three years after her last playwriting effort, Norman decided to return to the theater with an experimental workshop piece entitled Sarah and Abraham. "That's been my pattern—to get mad at the theater and go away for a while," she told DeVries. "I seem to write better from the outside," she added. As a workshop production, Sarah and Abraham was unreviewable and thus allowed Norman to try her hand at something "quite risky and bold" without fear of critical repercussions, she explained to DeVries. What was evident during the play's run, observed DeVries, was "the return of one of the country's most articulate and intelligent theatrical voices." Sarah and Abraham, she continued, "marks a new chapter in [Norman's] career."

The setting of the play is a regional theater, where actors are improvising and performing the biblical story of Sarah and Abraham. Using a play-within-a-play structure, Norman wove together the lives of the actors and the characters they play, with the theater owner representing God. The tone is more comic than that which had marked Norman's work previously, as she explores life in the theater, the plight of men over-shadowed by successful women, and the right of women to make choices about childbearing and careers. The work sparked debate about whether it was a feminist or antifeminist statement, but its author preferred to let audiences draw their own conclusions about the meaning of what they saw.

According to Pamela Monaco, a contributor to the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Sarah and Abraham marked a "shift in Norman's writing toward plays with a greater mythic quality or fairy-tale aspect," which coincided with her "shift toward musical theater." This interest in musical theater was not new; her first attempt at writing for the stage was a children's musical about Thomas Edison. Her interest in writing more musical theater was in part a practical consideration, however. The author once declared that serious theater was dead in America. Monaco explained: "Unlike English theater, American society will not support plays that are not immensely popular and profitable, so in order for playwrights to make a living in America today, they must abandon serious theater. Although one can name several successful American playwrights who write straight plays, Norman contends she cannot make a living from that type of writing today, and she blames theater critics for some of this problem. A popular musical, on the other hand, will generate income for years."

Accordingly, she began work on a musical version of the classic children's novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden. Her adaptation was extremely successful, enjoying an almost two-year run at the St. James Theater in New York and winning Norman a Tony Award. The story concerns Mary Lennox, an English child who is orphaned while her parents are in India. Sent to Yorkshire to live with her uncle, the spoiled, unpleasant girl goes through a transformation mirroring that of a neglected garden she discovers. "In a classic story of death and rebirth, Mary restores the garden and in the process restores the family to health," related Monaco. A great popular success, the play was revived at many other locations across the United States after it closed in New York.

D. Boone, later retitled Loving Daniel Boone, was commissioned as part of the celebration of the state of Kentucky's bicentennial. The plot concerns Flo, a cleaning woman in a historical museum. With few prospects for a modern lover, she travels through time to meet and assist Daniel Boone and his fellow frontiersmen after he is captured by Indians. She is accompanied by the museum's curator, Mr. Wilson; Hilly, Flo's assistant; and Rick, a married man who is nonetheless trying to woo Flo. The journey through time provides them all with a test of character. According to Monaco, at the time she wrote Boone, Norman "was no longer interested in domestic drama and wished to break away from the traditionally structured play. The few reviews called it a pleasant entertainment but questioned whether Norman's manipulation of history helped or hurt the creative process."

Norman tried an adaptation of another classic in 1998. The Red Shoes is her musical version of the 1948 movie about a ballerina caught between her love of dance and her love for a composer. In an attempt to give the story a more feminist slant, the dancer's suicide was changed to an accident. The show was not a success, closing after only three days and losing several million dollars.

Following this professional disaster, Norman became gravely ill and was diagnosed with lung cancer. The diagnosis turned out to be wrong, but before this was discovered, Norman experienced some profound insights about her life. As she told April Gornik in Bomb Magazine, "I was struck by this understanding that there really were only two things I wanted to know the outcome of: what my son, Angus, would look like as a man … and what would happen to the Madeline project, which was a movie script I was working on at the time and from which I was subsequently fired. So this leaves me with one decent curiosity about the future. I thought, There's something wrong here, regardless of how sick I turn out to be. I am not attached enough to my life, I am not living in a way I have respect for." This led her to write Trudy Blue, in which her lead character, a writer, goes through a similar experience. The character, Ginger, replays the past and fantasizes about past and future. When she learns she is not really going to die, she finds her life has changed anyway as a result of the realizations she has gone through, particularly those regarding her marriage and other relationships. According to Charles Isherwood in Variety, Trudy Blue is "an alternately playful and somber trip through the mind of an ailing writer" in this "whimsical comedy-drama." Isherwood found that despite the original premise, the play does not catch "dramatic fire" until its "final minutes." Simi Horwitz, writing in Back Stage, pointed out that Trudy Blue is "both an extension of and departure from her previous works…. Mother-daughter relationships are a common concern for her, although in this instance, the story is told from Mom's side. Addressing the double self is a repeated theme. So is the conflict over remaining free and connected." And Patrick Butters, writing in the Washington Times, found that Trudy Blue "bores into one's soul with an intensity and humor that grab hold of the viewer."

Norman's stature in contemporary American theater puts her at "the crest of a wave of adventurous young women playwrights," declared Gussow. Throughout the highs and lows of her critical reception, the universality of Norman's themes continues to draw audiences from all over the world to her plays. 'Night, Mother has been produced in thirty-two foreign countries, including Italy, Scandinavia and New Guinea. In each country, the characters of Jessie and Mama were altered only slightly to suit the archetypes of the particular culture. The feelings stirred by the play, however, remained the same no matter which language the characters were speaking. Norman explained the play's applicability around the world to Aljean Harmentz in the New York Times: "We all lose our children. You can live for a lifetime and not know what their life is to them. You think for a lifetime they belong to you, but they are only on loan."

The role of the playwright is one that Norman takes very seriously. "I almost see us as this battalion, marching, valiant, soldiers on the front lines, and we must not step on the mines," she told Gussow. "We are trying as best we can to clear the path, to tell you what's out there." As a woman, Norman is pleased with the emergence of women as major playwrights, a movement she helped launch. "Now we can write plays and not have people put them in a little box labeled 'women's theater,'" she continued. "It's a time of great exploration of secret worlds, of worlds that have been kept very quiet."



Brown, Linder Ginter, Marsha Norman: A Casebook, Garland (New York, NY), 1996.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Gale (Detroit, MI), Yearbook: 1984, 1985, Volume 266: Twentieth-Century American Dramatists, Fourth Series, 2002.

Norman, Marsha, 'Night, Mother, Hill & Wang (New York, NY), 1982.


American Theater, January, 2002, p. 60.

Back Stage, November 26, 1999, Simi Horwitz, review of Trudy Blue, p. 17; December 10, 1999, Victor Gluck, review of Trudy Blue, p. 48.

Booklist, June 1, 1998, Jack Helbig, review of Love's Fire, p. 1706; September 15, 1998, Jack Helbig, review of Collected Plays, p. 188.

Chicago Tribune, July 1, 1988; May 17, 1989; June 4, 1989.

Christian Science Monitor, May 3, 1991, John Beaufort, review of The Secret Garden, p. 14.

Commonweal, October 12, 1979; February 23, 1990, p. 117.

Detroit News, May 17, 1987.

Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 20, 1986.

Library Journal, September 15, 1998, Howard E. Miller, review of Collected Plays, p. 80.

Los Angeles Times, January 17, 1985; January 25, 1985.

New Republic, July 7, 1979.

Newsday, May 8, 1983.

Newsweek, May 28, 1979; May 6, 1991, p. 69; December 27, 1993, p. 50.

New York, November 13, 1978; May 28, 1979; January 3, 1994, p. 64; July 20, 1998, John Simon, review of Love's Fire, p. 76; August 23, 1999, John Leonard, review of A Cooler Climate, p. 58.

New Yorker, May 13, 1991, pp. 84-85.

New York Times, May 17, 1979; May 27, 1979; June 8, 1979; September 15 1979; February 18, 1983; April 19, 1983; August 10, 1986; September 12, 1986; May 13, 1987; October 29, 1988; April 21, 1991, Alessandra Stanley, "Marsha Norman Finds Her Lost Key to Broadway," p. H5; April 26, 1991, Frank Rich, review of The Secret Garden, p. B1; May 31, 1998, Andrea Stevens, review of Love's Fire, p. AR4; June 23, 1998, Ben Brantley, review of Love's Fire, p. B1; July 5, 1998, Vincent Canby, review of Love's Fire, p. AR16; December 3, 1999, Anita Gates, "Thinking to Live, and Living to Think," p. B3; March 27, 2000, Anita Gates, review of The Audrey Hepburn Story, p. B8; June 4, 2003, Ben Brantley, review of Last Dance, p. E1.

New York Times Book Review, May 24, 1987, p. 10.

New York Times Magazine, May 1, 1983.

Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), November 26, 2002, review of Getting Out, p. E4.

Saturday Review, September-October, 1983.

Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), December 4, 1999, Michael Sommers, review of Trudy Blue, p. 44.

Times (London, England), May 5, 1983.

U.S. News and World Report, June 8, 1987, p. 78.

Variety, April 25, 1994, p. 26, February 19, 1992, p. 78; December 6, 1999, Charles Isherwood, review of Trudy Blue, p. 94.

Vogue, May 1987, p. 199.

Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1991, Edwin Wilson, review of The Secret Garden, p. A11; July 1, 1998, Donald Lyons, review of Love's Fire, p. A16.

Washington Post, April 30, 1983; October 13, 1986.

Washington Times, January 13, 2001, Patrick Butters, review of Trudy Blue, p. 2.


Bomb Magazine, (January 25, 2004), April Gornik, interview with Marsha Norman.*

About this article

Norman, Marsha 1947-

Updated About content Print Article