Thomas Schumacher Steps Into Role Of Chief Creative Officer At Disney Theatrical Group

Thomas Schumacher, the longtime president and producer of Disney Theatrical Group, is stepping down from that role and moving into the Chief Creative Officer role of Disney Theatrical, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

What’s Happening:

  • Thomas Schumacher, the long running president and producer of Disney Theatrical group, who helped shape the division into a Broadway powerhouse, is stepping down from that role and focusing less on the business elements of the division and more on the creative as Chief Creative Officer.
  • Schumacher is largely responsible for the development of the group since its inception, and has been president since 1999, bringing about productions like The Lion King.
  • The Disney executive started as executive vice president of Disney Theatrical, working alongside Peter Schneider, as Disney made its first big foray into Broadway with Beauty and the Beast in 1994. Schumacher was also working as president of Walt Disney Feature Animation at the time, and became president of Disney Theatrical in 1999, leaving animation to solely focus on theater in 2002.
  • With the new role, Schumacher holds the same title as Jennifer Lee at Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Pete Docter at Pixar Animation Studios. Appropriate since Schumacher played a large role in the creative development of projects like The Lion King, which has been one of the top grossing shows in the industry each week, as well as as picking other titles for theatrical adaptation, including Aida, Tarzan, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Newsies, and Aladdin, which itself is nearing a ten year anniversary after opening in 2014.
  • Schumacher has also been a big industry presence on Broadway, having previously served as chair of The Broadway
  • League from 2017 to 2020.
  • His two deputies, Andrew Flatt and Anne Quart, will take over his duties as president of Disney Theatrical, acting as joint executive vice presidents.

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Tony Betti
Originally from California where he studied a dying artform (hand-drawn animation), Tony has spent most of his adult life in the theme parks of Orlando. When he’s not writing for LP, he’s usually watching and studying something animated or arguing about “the good ole’ days” at the parks.