Disney’s theater unit ups Schrader

Promoted to exec VP of strategic planning

Disney Theatrical Group’s David Schrader has been upped to the newly created role of executive vice president, overseeing strategic planning for the division including finance, marketing, sales and public relations for Disney on Broadway as well as its national touring, merchandising, international co-prods and licensing operations.

A 13-year Disney vet, the New York-based Schrader will continue to report to Disney Theatrical Group president Thomas Schumacher.

In addition to principal productions such as “The Lion King,” “Mary Poppins” and “The Little Mermaid,” all currently running on Broadway, Schrader’s purview will cover all Disney Live Family Entertainment business, including Disney on Ice and Disney Live! shows.

Schrader’s background prior to Disney was outside the theater world, with Ernst & Young, American Airlines and Viacom. He joined the Mouse House’s theatrical division in 1996 as manager of finance, seguing to senior VP and then to the dual role of CFO and managing director.

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“David possesses the ability to approach challenges with innovative ideas that continually push us to redefine our business,” said Schumacher.

Company estimates peg the global reach of Disney’s live shows at more than 20 million people annually in upwards of 40 countries.

Latest major property to join the Disney stage franchise is the live production of “High School Musical,” spun out of the popular Disney Channel movies. In addition to the Disney Theatrical Prods. version touring the U.S. and U.K., the property has been licensed through an agreement with Music Theater Intl. for school and amateur company productions, resulting in more than 10,000 performances worldwide in the past year.

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