March 25, 2015

A Conversation with President of the Disney Theatrical Group Thomas Schumacher and Grammy and Emmy Award-winner Paul Bogaev

Producer and President of the Disney Theatrical Group Thomas Schumacher will hold a conversation with Grammy and Emmy Award-winning musical director, arranger, conductor and composer Paul Bogaev on Tuesday, April 7. The event is part of Professor of Theater Stacy Wolf’s spring course, “Isn’t It Romantic? The Broadway Musical from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Sondheim.” The conversation will begin at 1:30 p.m. in Room 219 at 185 Nassau Street and is free and open to the public to observe.

Since 1988, Thomas Schumacher has worked with The Walt Disney Company in its film, television and theater projects. 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. His Broadway, West End, touring and international production credits include Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, High School Musical, Tarzan, Mary Poppins, and The Little Mermaid, along with several new projects currently in development. Recently, Disney co-produced and developed three acclaimed new shows: Peter and the Starcatcher with New York Theatre Workshop, Aladdin with The 5th Avenue Theatre, and Newsies with Paper Mill Playhouse. Both Newsies and Peter and the Starcatcher are currently playing on Broadway and won seven Tony Awards between them.

thomas schumacher

Photo courtesy The Walt Disney Studios

Prior to joining Disney, Schumacher was associate director of the 1987 Los Angeles Festival of Arts, presenting the American premiere of Cirque du Soleil. He is the author of the book, How Does the Show Go On? An Introduction to the Theater and a member of the Board of Trustees for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Tony Award Administration Committee, and the Advisory Committee of the American Theatre Wing. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia University.

Paul Bogaev, who is a returning guest to Wolf’s course, is a multi award-winning artist whose film credits include the Oscar-winning Chicago, for which he won a Grammy Award; Nine; Dreamgirls, starring Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson; Across the Universe; and the Disney films Mulan, The Lion King, and The Emperor’s New Groove. Among his many Broadway credits are Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, for which he won his first Grammy; Tarzan; Bombay Dreams, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award; Sunset Boulevard; Chess; Cats; Starlight Express; Les Miserables; and most recently, Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark.

paul bogaev

Photo courtesy Paul Bogaev

Bogaev also served as music director of the ABC-TV musicals Cinderella, South Pacific, and Annie, for which he won an Emmy Award. He has worked with a number of pop, film, and theater stars over the course of his career, including Sting, Phil Collins, Bono, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Hugh Jackman, Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Penelope Cruz, Keith Urban, and Fergie. As a symphony conductor, he conducted the music for Francis Ford Coppola’s presentation of the silent film epic Napoleon with major orchestras around the world.

Wolf’s course examines the Broadway musical’s unique conventions of aesthetics and form, and its status as popular entertainment that shapes and is shaped by its historical and cultural context. Special guests are visiting the class throughout the semester. Upcoming events include a master class and conversation with Judith Clurman, Emmy and Grammy-nominated conductor, educator, and choral specialist, which is also free and open to the public to observe.

Wolf is a professor of theater and director of the Princeton Arts Fellows in the Lewis Center where she teaches courses in American musical theatre history, dramaturgy and dramatic literature, histories of U.S. performance, performance theory, and performance studies. Wolf is the author of Changed for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical; A Problem Like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical; and the co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the American Musical. She has published articles on theatre spectatorship, performance pedagogy, and musical theatre in many journals, including Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, and Camera Obscura. She was the editor of Theatre Topics: A Journal of Pedagogy and Praxis from 2001 to 2003. She also directs the Lewis Center’s Music Theater Lab and has experience as a theater director and dramaturg.

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