Thomas Schumacher

Birth name:
Date of Birth:
Height:
5' 10½" (1.79 m)
Since 1988, Thomas Schumacher has worked with The Walt Disney Company setting new standards of excellence in film, television, and theatre. Having spent much of his tenure as president of Feature Animation, Mr. Schumacher presently devotes his full energies to Disney Theatrical Group. As president of Disney Theatrical Group, Thomas Schumacher has invigorated the theatrical world with a new sense of energy and helped broaden the scope of the Broadway theatrical experience. In this post, he oversees the development and production of the studio's stage productions.In May 1997, The Walt Disney Company completed restoration of the historic New Amsterdam Theatre on 42nd Street. To celebrate the reopening of the theatre, Schumacher, along with former Walt Disney Studios chairman Peter Schneider, presented the world premiere concert of Alan Menken & Tim Rice's King David. Together with Peter Schneider, Mr. Schumacher produced the world premiere of the Broadway musical The Lion King, which garnered six 1998 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.In June 2006, The Lion King moved in its entirety, to its new home the Minskoff Theatre. Worldwide, The Lion King can also currently be seen onstage in London, Hamburg, Tokyo, Seoul, and two touring companies throughout the U.S. In June 2007, a 10th anniversary celebration production opened in Johannesburg, South Africa, home of the cultural inspiration of the show. A production opened in Paris, France in October 2007. In June 1999, they presented the premiere of Disney's first original foreign language production, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which debuted in Berlin.In March 2000, Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida opened at the Palace Theatre on Broadway, winning the praise of audiences and was honored with four 2000 Tony Awards. Aida played its last performance on Broadway on September 5, 2004, following a triumphant four and a half year run. Worldwide, Aida can currently be seen in Germany and Japan.In addition, Schumacher supervises the stage production of Beauty and the Beast, which after 13 enchanting years and over 5,000 performances played its final Broadway performance in July 2007.In 2004, he produced the world premiere stage adaptation of Mary Poppins in partnership with Cameron Mackintosh, which began performances in December 2004 at London's Prince Edward Theatre and received two Olivier Awards. After a four-and-a-half year run, Mary Poppins played its final performance in London in January 2008. The Tony Award-winning production of Mary Poppins opened on Broadway in November 2006 and continues to thrill audiences at The New Amsterdam Theatre.On The Record, a musical celebrating Disney's catalogue of beloved songs, completed its successful U.S. tour in July 2005. In May 2006, Mr. Schumacher introduced the world premiere of Tarzan, featuring music and lyrics by Phil Collins with direction and design by Bob Crowley. Following Tarzan's Broadway engagement in 2006 - 2007, the musical continues a hit run in Holland with future productions expected in Europe and Asia.Schumacher also oversees the ongoing development of an ambitious slate of Broadway-bound stage projects including The Man in the Ceiling featuring original book author Jules Feiffer and composer Andrew Lippa, and The Little Mermaid based on the Disney film and the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Led by director Francesca Zambello, some of the theatre's most innovative artists have created a stage version of The Little Mermaid, with a score composed by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken and the legendary Howard Ashman. After a sold-out, pre-Broadway try-out in Denver, previews began on Broadway in November 2007 and officially opened in January 2008.Disney Theatrical Productions kicked off the touring stage version of Disney's High School Musical in summer of 2007. The touring production opened in Chicago in August 2007 and will reach 60 cities through 2008.He is also the author of the new children's book How Does the Show Go On? An Introduction to the Theatre, published by Disney Editions and released in November 2007. This uniquely designed book is a first-of-its-kind introduction to the world of the theatre, from box office to backstage and beyond.Schumacher also supervises Disney Live Family Entertainment, which provides children's and family entertainment throughout the world in partnership with Feld Entertainment. Projects include Disney On Ice and Disney Live! with twelve productions touring the globe at any one time.Schumacher is regarded as one of the key architects of the animation renaissance in which Disney has set new standards in storytelling, artistry and technical innovation. He joined Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1988 to produce the animated feature The Rescuers Down Under (1990), then served as executive producer on Disney's 1994 animated blockbuster, The Lion King, which is one of the highest-grossing films of all time.He supervised 21 animated features for Disney during the course of his career, including such films as The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Toy Story, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, A Bug's Life, Tarzan, Toy Story 2, Dinosaur, Monsters, Inc., Lilo & Stitch, Finding Nemo.Before joining The Walt Disney Company, Schumacher enjoyed a distinguished career in the performing arts. As associate director of the acclaimed 1987 Los Angeles Festival of Arts, he was instrumental in presenting the American premiere of Canada's immensely popular Cirque du Soleil and the English-language premiere of Peter Brook's The Mahabharta.Prior to the Los Angeles Festival, Schumacher spent five years on staff at the Los Angeles Music Center's Mark Taper Forum, where he worked on more than 25 productions for the Taper Mainstage, Taper Too and the Taper's literary cabaret. Additionally, he produced three original productions for the Improvisational Theater Project, the theater's touring program for young audiences.Schumacher worked on the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival, served as assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Ballet, and has participated extensively in conferences and on panels relating to the arts and arts policy. A graduate of UCLA, he is a member of the Board of Trustees for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Tony Administration Committee, and serves on the Advisory Committee of the American Theatre Wing.
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