The Magician’s Nephew: A Little-Known Play

The Lewis Legacy-Issue 81, Summer 1999 The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing

In 1984 the Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, IL, published a new one-hour play for children by Aurand Harris. Harris was at that time the most published and produced playwright for children, with 35 plays and 16 awards to his credit. His plays are for child audiences, not child actors. This one premiered at the University of Texas in Austin, produced by the school’s Department of Drama.

The small 63-page “Magician’s Nephew’ playbook includes a brief, efficient study guide with several features including a song about Narnia by Harris and music by William Penn. The copyright page notifies the public that amateur and stock rights are controlled by the publisher and royalty fees are charged for every performance, whether admission is free or not. Because of a letter Lewis wrote to one of his correspondents granting her permission to dramatize Narnia, the Dramatic Publishing Company acquired the right to authorize such dramatizations in the U. S.