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FEED Humanities events for Anne Washburn’s 10 out of 12 concluded with Tom Schumacher, president of Disney Theatricals, discussing the challenges of making a Broadway show – and its similarities to off-Broadway. The moderator for the evening was the young commercial producer Mike Bosner who is currently represented on Broadway with Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

PANELISTS

Thomas Schumacher (Producer and President, Disney Theatrical Group) Since 1988, Thomas Schumacher has worked with The Walt Disney Company setting new standards of excellence in film, television and theatre.  Currently, he serves as President of Disney Theatrical Group where he oversees the development, creation and execution of all Disney live entertainment around the globe including Broadway, touring and licensed productions, as well as Disney on Ice and Disney Live! shows produced in partnership with Feld Entertainment. The division’s Broadway, West End, touring and international production credits include Beauty and the Beast, King David, The Lion King, Der Glockner von Notre Dame, Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, On the Record, High School Musical, TARZAN®, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, The Jungle Book, Peter and the Starcatcher, Newsies, Aladdin and Shakespeare in Love. With 15 productions currently produced or licensed, a Disney musical is being performed professionally somewhere on the planet virtually every hour of the day. Intensely passionate about theatre from an early age, Schumacher recognized the impact that theatre has on the lives of young people and developed a licensing program with Music Theatre International to make select Disney theatrical titles available for performance in schools and amateur theatres throughout the world. Schumacher’s career at Disney began in Walt Disney Feature Animation producing the animated classic The Rescuers Down Under. He was ultimately named President and oversaw some 21 animated features including The Lion King, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, Tarzan, Hercules and Lilo & Stitch, as well as working closely with Pixar on their first five films. Prior to joining Disney, he was associate director of the 1987 Los Angeles Festival of Arts, presenting the American premiere of Cirque du Soleil and the English-language premiere of Peter Brook’s The Mahabharata. Previously, he spent five years on staff at the Mark Taper Forum, served as a line producer on the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival, and served as assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Ballet. Mr. Schumacher is the author of the book “How Does the Show Go On? An Introduction to the Theater” as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Tony® Administration Committee and the Advisory Committee of the American Theatre Wing. He is a mentor for the TDF Open Doors program and serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia University.

Mike Bosner (Moderator) Mike Bosner is a producer of the Tony, Olivier, and Grammy winning show, BEAUTIFUL – The Carole King Musical. Midway through it’s second smash year on Broadway, Beautiful is branching out internationally. The show opened in February 2015 at London’s Aldywch Theatre in the West End. It will embark on a UK tour in 2019. Future global Beautiful productions will be seen in Australia, Japan, South Africa, Germany, and Scandinavia. On the home front, the show will launch it’s US National Tour this coming September in Providence. Previous to Beautiful, Mr. Bosner served five seasons as Associate Producer of The St. Louis Muny. There he oversaw more than 35 productions alongside Executive Producer Paul Blake.

With thanks to Elizabeth Boulger at Disney Theatrical Group.

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