Thomas Schumacher, longtime president and producer of Disney Theatrical Group, is stepping down from his function overseeing enterprise operations and can as a substitute give attention to the artistic components as chief artistic officer.
Schumacher, who helped form Disney Theatrical right into a powerhouse on Broadway and develop productions equivalent to The Lion King, has been at Disney Theatrical since its inception and has been president since 1994. His two deputies, Andrew Flatt and Anne Quart, will take over his duties, performing as joint govt vice presidents.
With the brand new function, Schumacher will retain the identical title as Jennifer Lee at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pete Docter at Pixar.
The Disney govt began as govt vp of Disney Theatrical, working alongside Peter Schneider, as Disney made its first massive foray into Broadway with Magnificence and the Beast in 1994. Schumacher, who was additionally working as president of Walt Disney Characteristic Animation on the time, turned president of Disney Theatrical in 1999 after which left animation to solely give attention to theater in 2002.
The Lion King, which opened on Broadway in 1997 and remains to be operating right this moment, notably as one of many high grossing reveals within the trade every week, has been the largest present underneath Schumacher’s tenure. The manager had already performed a big function within the artistic improvement of tasks, together with discovering the correct artistic expertise and choosing which titles had been proper for theatrical variations, which have included Aida, Tarzan, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Newsies and Aladdin, which can be nonetheless operating on Broadway after opening in 2014.
Frozen, which opened on Broadway in 2018 and didn’t return after the theatrical shutdown, was the latest present underneath Disney Theatrical. Nevertheless, many tasks have been in improvement, together with The Princess Bride, in addition to a stage adaptation of Hercules, which had productions at Paper Mill Playhouse and at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater. Disney Theatrical additionally has entry to the twenty first Century Fox catalog, after the 2019 acquisition of the belongings by the media large.
Schumacher has additionally been a giant trade presence on Broadway, having beforehand served as chair of The Broadway League from 2017 to 2020.