Tonight on L.A. Theatre Works, it’s a performance of The Rivalry by Norman Corwin, starring Paul Giamatti and David Strathairn.
About the play:
Academy Award-nominees Paul Giamatti and David Strathairn star in this electrifying dramatization by Norman Corwin of the history-making Lincoln-Douglas debates. The fierce rivalry between rising legislator Abraham Lincoln and incumbent Senator Stephen A. Douglas tackled some of the day’s most passionate and controversial issues – above all those of slavery and the American concept of freedom. As seen through the eyes of Douglas’ young wife Adele (Lily Rabe), the play illuminates two of the most charismatic politicians of any era. Nominated for two 2010 Audies Awards for Best Audio Drama and Best Multi-Voiced Performance. Directed by Academy Award-winner Eric Simonson.
A L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: Paul Giamatti, David Strathairn, James Gleason, Lily Rabe and Shannon Cochran.
About the playwright:
Norman Lewis Corwin (May 3, 1910 – October 18, 2011) was an American writer, screenwriter, producer, essayist and teacher of journalism and writing. His earliest and biggest successes were in the writing and directing of radio drama during the 1930s and 1940s.
Corwin was among the first producers to regularly use entertainment—even light entertainment—to tackle serious social issues. In this area he was a peer of Orson Welles and William N. Robson, and an inspiration to other later radio/TV writers such as Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry, Norman Lear, J. Michael Straczynski and Yuri Rasovsky.
He was the son of Samuel and Rose Corwin and was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Corwin was a major figure during the Golden Age of Radio. During the 1930s and 1940s he was a writer and producer of many radio programs in many genres: history, biography, fantasy, fiction, poetry and drama. He was the writer and creator of series such as The Columbia Workshop, 13 By Corwin, 26 By Corwin and others. He recently was a lecturer at the University of Southern California.
Corwin won a One World Award, two Peabody Medals, an Emmy, a Golden Globe, a duPont-Columbia Award; he was nominated for an Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay for Lust for Life (1956). On May 12, 1990, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Lincoln College. In 1996 he received the Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa from California Lutheran University. Corwin was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1993.
A documentary film on Corwin’s life, A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin, won an Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Feature) in 2006. Les Guthman‘s feature documentary on Mr. Corwin’s career, Corwin aired on PBS in the 1990s. He was inducted into the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters Diamond Circle in 1994.