Theatre Development Fund (TDF), the not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, will honor Disney Theatrical Productions and Thomas Schumacher, its president and producer, at TDF’s Gala on Monday, March 14 at Manhattan’s historic Gotham Hall (1356 Broadway @ 36th Street, NYC).
Guests will be treated to a special program produced especially for this event hosted by Tony Award® and Drama Desk Award winner James Monroe Iglehart (for his role as the Genie in Aladdin) and featuring an all-star lineup of Disney on Broadway stars, preceded by cocktails and dinner. The musical director is Jim Abbott. The chair for the event is TDF Trustee Betsy Miller.
The funds raised at the gala will provide vital support for TDF’s wide range of programs serving theatre goers and theatre-makers. Tables begin at $10,000 and individual tickets are available for $1,500 and $750.
“Both Tom and his organization continue to be great allies of TDF and its programs, especially evident through our Autism Theatre Initiative (ATI), which we launched in 2011 with an autism-friendly performance of The Lion King,” said TDF’s Executive Director Victoria Bailey. “ATI has gone on to include other Disney productions, including Aladdin, and Mary Poppins. Tom and Disney regularly welcome TDF’s Accessibility for Young Audiences students to their shows with special performances that provide the needed accommodations for New York City public school students with hearing and vision loss to enjoy the theatre. Additionally, Tom has personally been involved in TDF’s Open Doors program as a mentor to high school students through this academic year-long program for over 10 years. Tom’s commitment and dedication to TDF—and Disney Theatrical Productions’ sustained partnership with TDF’s programming—have been key elements to the success of our programs.”
DISNEY THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS, a division of The Walt Disney Studios, was formed in 1994 and operates under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.
Worldwide, its eight Broadway titles have been seen by over 133 million theatergoers and have been nominated for 59 Tony Awards®, winning Broadway’s highest honor 20 times. With 15 productions currently produced or licensed, a Disney musical is being performed professionally somewhere on the planet virtually every hour of the day.
The company’s inaugural production, Beauty and the Beast, opened in 1994. It played a remarkable 13 year run on Broadway and has been produced in 28 countries worldwide. In November 1997, Disney opened The Lion King, which received six 1998 Tony Awards including Best Musical. In its 19th smash year on Broadway, it has welcomed more than 80 million visitors worldwide to date, and can currently be seen in nine productions worldwide. Having played 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, The Lion King’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.
Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida opened on Broadway next, winning four 2000 Tony Awards. It was followed by Mary Poppins, a co-production with Cameron Mackintosh, which opened in London in 2004 and went on to enjoy a six year Tony-winning Broadway run. Mary Poppins is currently on tour across the U.K.
Tarzan®, which opened on Broadway in 2006, is now an international hit with an award-winning production in its 6th year in Germany. In January 2008, The Little Mermaid opened on Broadway and was the #1-selling new musical of that year.
Disney Theatrical Productions opened two critically acclaimed productions on Broadway in 2012, receiving seven Tony Awards between them: Newsies, which is currently on tour throughout North America, and Peter and the Starcatcher, which enjoyed a two year New York run.
Other successful stage ventures have included the Olivier-nominated London hit Shakespeare in Love, stage productions of Disney’s High School Musical, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame in Berlin, and King David in concert. DTP has collaborated with the country’s leading regional theatres to develop new stage titles including The Jungle Book and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Aladdin is its most recent Tony Award-winning Broadway hit. Its success continues internationally with productions in Tokyo and Hamburg, and upcoming sit-down productions in Sydney, London, and the recently announced North American Tour.
THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND (TDF) was created in the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance, and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Since 1968, TDF’s programs have provided over 90 million people with access to performances at affordable prices and have returned over $2.5 billion to thousands of productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, outreach, access (including its internationally renowned Autism Theatre Initiative) and award-winning education programs — as well as its Costume Collection — have introduced thousands of people to the theatre and helped make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone, including students and people with disabilities. Recent TDF honors include a 2011 Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Arts Education Program, a 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community, and a 2013 Lortel Award “Outstanding Body of Work Award.” For more information about TDF go to: www.tdf.org.