Norman L. Berman (born March 19, 1949) is an American theater composer, arranger, and director.
Berman co-composed the score to the Broadway and off-Broadway productions of the 1979 musical play Strider: The Story of a Horse. For the 1980 Broadway production, he was the first composer to be awarded the Drama Desk award in the category of outstanding music in a play. He also served as orchestrator and musical director. Strider has subsequently been produced all over the world including regional theaters across the United States.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Berman served as composer-in-Residence at the celebrated Circle Repertory Company. He composed music scores for over 20 plays there ranging from premieres by Tennessee Williams, Lanford Wilson, Marsha Norman and Paul Zindel to Shakespearean and Chekhovian classics. At Circle Repertory Company he worked with various distinguished directors and actors including Marshall W. Mason, Lanford Wilson, William Hurt, Christopher Reeve, Judd Hirsch and Jeff Daniels.
Berman has been commissioned to compose music for many prominent regional theaters across the country including the New York Shakespeare Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Roundabout Theatre, Arena Stage, Folger Theater Company, St. Louis Repertory Company, GeVa Theater, Seattle Repertory Company, Taper Two and many more.
In Los Angeles, Berman currently serves as Composer-in-Residence for the classical repertory company, A Noise Within, where he has composed scores for some 32 plays ranging from Shakespeare to Thorton Wilder.
He received an Ace Award nomination for his score for the film Traveler's Rest, seen on Showtime Cable Network. Berman’s other television scores have been heard on PBS, CBS Cable Television (Kennedy’s Children) and the Discovery Channel. He has also composed music for four mini-musicals with librettist/lyricist Abraham Tetenbaum for the educational touring shows produced by Enrichment Works.
Berman was commissioned by the Chelsea Theatre Center, to create (with Betty Comden and Adolph Green) and co-direct By Bernstein, a musical revue premiering Leonard Bernstein's unheard songs from Candide, On the Town, Peter Pan and The Race to Urga. For Manhattan Theatre Club, he conceived and directed the musical revue Unsung Cole, which premiered two dozen songs by Cole Porter. Unsung Cole was subsequently produced by Circle Repertory Theater and many regional theaters across the country.
Berman directed various stage productions for Manhattan Theatre Club, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Westchester Theatre Company and more. He created and directed the revue Patch, Patch, Patch, which premiered the songs of Alan Menken at the West Bank Cafe in New York City
Berman composed the music for First Kids, a new musical with libretto and lyrics by Abraham Tetenbaum. First Kids presents an historical view of the children who grew up in the White House. It was given a workshop production in July, 2010 in Hickory, North Carolina and preparation is being made for a Broadway production.