Episode 206 – The President of Disney Theatrical Group, Thomas Schumacher

Did you miss me?

Ok, maybe not.

But did you miss my guests???

That’s what I thought!

Well, the wait is over.  Welcome back to the brand new season of The Producer’s Perspective Podcast!

(Insert confetti cannons here)

Believe it or you-know-what, over the break, we celebrated five years of podcasting. Five freakin’ years. When I first started out, with my portable microphone and no idea of what I was doing, I never imagined we’d have over 200 episodes and that so many of our industry’s leaders would be so willing to sit and share their wisdom.  The generosity of theater folks is beyond.

And a perfect example of one of those folks is today’s guest . . .  Mr. Thomas Schumacher, the President and Producer of Disney Theatrical Productions, who oversees the development, creation, and execution of Disney’s legitimate stage entertainment worldwide.  Yeah, we’re talking the guy responsible for getting The Lion King to Broadway, not to mention Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Frozen and everything else under the Disney brand.

Tom and I sat down to talk about the role Disney has played in the building of the modern Broadway as well as . . .

  • How the film version of The Little Mermaid gave musicals back their voice
  • How theatre and Disney become part of your family heritage
  • What Broadway definitely needs to learn about diversity from Disney’s Mulan.
  • How Disney’s purchase of the New Amsterdam Theater helped revitalize Times Square.
  • A hint of what might be next for Disney on Broadway.

A lot of folks think that Disney is a big corporation.  Well, in this podcast, you’ll hear why its success is because it’s not run like a big corporation.  It’s run by one of the best independent producers in the business, who just happens to be backed by one heck of a big investor.

 

  • Click here to listen on our site!
  • Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)
  • Download it here.

And this week’s #SongwriterOfTheWeek is Grace McLean! If you enjoyed the outro song in this episode, go on over to www.gracemclean.com or check her out on Instagram & Twitter @thatgracemclean.

Podcast Episode 205: Our Season Finale Mashup! In case you missed . . .

And in the blink of a podcast, our fall season has vanished like the leaves on the trees.

It’s been an exciting few months of podcastin’ for us and when I thought about how best to wrap up this season, I thought . . . what would Happy Days do?

Some of my favorite episodes of my favorite childhood sitcoms like Happy Days and Different Strokes and Silver Spoons (I so wanted to be Ricky Schroeder) were the compilation episodes that tied together the best scenes from the best episodes of the series.

So that’s what we did for you!

For this season finale, we mashed-up clips from all of our guests throughout the season!  Listened to them already?  Be reminded of some of the truth bombs and greatest lessons.  Missed an episode? This is a chance for you to get the cliff notes!

You’ll get some of the top takeaways, stories, and maybe even me beatboxing.

Listen in and hear: 

  • Anthony Veneziale’s key to success when starting out 
  • Ali Stroker’s “ninja patience” and how she gets through any challenge that comes her way
  • How building a career outside of Broadway helped Mara Isaacs to see Broadway differently and why she wants to maintain her “outsider status” for as long as she can
  • Why Alan Cumming feels it’s so important to not try to pretend to be perfect all of the time
  • And much, much more!

Enjoy . . . and if you like this mashup idea, let me know and we’ll do it again!

  • Click here to listen on our site!
  • Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)
  • Download it here.

Thank you to Julie Halston, Mark Sendroff, Stephanie Lee, Susan Blackwell, Adam Gwon, Anthony Veneziale, Ali Stroker, Mara Isaacs, Charlotte Wilcox, Ken Cerniglia, Glen Kelly, and Alan Cumming for joining me on the podcast this season!  

If there’s anyone you want to hear from next season, let me know. I want to bring in who the listeners want to hear. Message me your requests on Instagram and I’ll do my best to get them on the podcast next season! And while you wait for us to come back (mark your calendars!) on February 24th, catch up on the rest of the 200+ episodes here!

Thanks, Terry Knickerbocker, for supporting this episode. Terry Knickerbocker Studio offers a two-year acting conservatory, workshops, studio rentals, one-on-one coaching, beginner acting classes, and the best actor training in New York. For more information, visit terryknickerbockerstudio.com

The final #SongWriterOfTheWeek for the 2019 season is . . . Kerrigan-Lowdermilk! And my good friend and Godspell company member, Lindsay Mendez is singing their song called Hand in Hand from their immersive house party musical THE BAD YEARS. If you like what you hear and want to learn more, check out www.kerrigan-lowdermilk.com or @kerrigan_lowdermilk on Instagram.   

Happy holidays and “see” you back on the podcast for the spring season in February!

Podcast Episode 204: Tony Award Winning Actor and Artrepreneur, Alan Cumming

Soap.

That’s how this episode kicks off . . . with a conversation about soap.

Not just any soap, mind you.  Alan Cumming’s soap.  Like not his bar of Ivory . . . like his actual branded and sold on shelves, soap.

So you see, Alan Cumming truly has done everything.

And what’s amazing is, as you’ll hear in one of my favorite podcasts of my 200+ episodes, he’s only just getting started.

I knew when I saw him in Cabaret back in 1998 that I was watching something . . . well . . . beyond.  Then I had the pleasure of producing his one-man Macbeth on Broadway and realized that Alan was not just an actor . . . he was a Super Hero of an Artist.  

We talked about Cabaret, Macbeth, and a whole host of things on this podcast about acting, art, getting recognized in public, success, failure, running nightclubs, and yes even those bars of soap (and how you can get them), as well as:

  • How he still gets nervous and how he deals with those nerves.
  • Why he is working on a solo dance piece . . . when he is NOT a trained dancer.
  • How being vulnerable is what gives him confidence.
  • The importance of actors being able to “turn it on.”
  • Why artists feel the need to leave on the edge of fear (and why he wants to do a documentary about it).

This episode is a must for all TheaterMakers out there, because Alan is one of the most successful makers of art . . . his own way . . . that is.

Here’s how to listen!

  • Click here to listen on our site!
  • Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)
  • Download it here.

This week’s #SongWriterOfTheWeek is Joey Contreras! Check out his song “Joyride” from his latest EP, “Joyride.” It’s available on iTunes/Spotify/Apple Music. If you like what you hear and want to learn more, check out www.joeycontreras.com or @joeycontreras on Instagram.

This episode is brought to you by Sunlight Studios. With 8 bright and spacious studios for rent, you can rehearse your next Broadway hit knowing you’re in good hands. To book a studio today, please visit www.sunlightstudios.com. Use Code DAVENPORT to receive a 5% discount on bookings until January 2, 2020.

And when you’re done listening to the podcast, go listen to Alan’s cabaret song and story show, Legal Immigrant on Audible!

Podcast Episode 203: The Score Whisperer, Glen Kelly

Ever wondered how to arrange a big Broadway score like Spamalot

Ever wonder what “arrange” a big Broadway score actually means?

This week’s guest has the ability to take a score and blow it up into a big Broadway musical that we all know and love. Maybe you’ve even heard of a few he’s done like, oh I don’t know, The Book of Mormon, The Producers, Beauty and the Beast

He’s extremely well-known, yet a bit of a mystery . . . which is why I like to call Glen Kelly . . . “The Score Whisperer.”  (insert spooky music chords – arranged by Glen, of course – here)

So, if you want to listen in and hear us discuss:

  • What is “Musical Dramaturgy” and how he does it.
  • How he taught himself the piano and musical theory without ever having any musical training 
  • The most common thing he adjusts when he first gets a score
  • The importance of adding space and giving the audience a chance to process during a song
  • What is was like to work with Mel Brooks on The Producers

If you’re looking for a master class in how a Broadway score is “made,” this is it!

Enjoy!

  • Click here to listen on our site!
  • Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)
  • Download it here.

This week’s #SongWriterOfTheWeek is Angela Sclafani! Today we’re playing a song called “I’ll Save You the Waltz” and it is from Angela’s musical The Other Side of Paradise. If you like what you hear and want to learn more, check out www.angelasclafani.com or @angelasclafani on Instagram.

This episode is brought to you by Terry Knickerbocker Studio. Terry Knickerbocker Studio offers a two-year acting conservatory, workshops, studio rentals, one-on-one coaching, beginner acting classes, and the best actor training in New York, period. For more information, visit terryknickerbockerstudio.com.

Podcast Episode 202: The Dramaturg for Disney, Hadestown and more, Ken Cerniglia

I’m gonna be honest . . . I never liked the idea of a dramaturg.  “That’s what a Director is for,” I thought. “And a Producer!”

Then, I realized that my “dislike” of something was based on the fact that I really didn’t understand what the heck a dramaturg was.  (Most things in life that we don’t like (including people, btw) are just because we don’t know what they are really about.)

That’s why I decided to have one of the leading dramaturgs in our business, Mr. Ken Cerniglia on the podcast to help explain to me and to all of us TheaterMakers exactly what a dramaturg does and why they are so important for every show, from a new play in a regional theater to a big ol’ Broadway show.

Listen in and hear Ken talk about:

  • What a dramaturg is and how you become one.
  • The most common note he gives to writers.
  • What his 15 years at Disney taught him about successful storytelling.
  • How Hadestown morphed over the years and how he assisted in the process, without over-assisting in the process.
  • The common elements that all stories for the stage need to be “successful.”

If you’re a Writer, Director, Producer or anyone with a script, this podcast has buckets of tips on how to make that script better.

So listen to the other Ken now!

  • Click here to listen on our site!
  • Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)
  • Download it here.

P.S.  Ken has just agreed to lead one of our Writer’s Groups this year!  Click here to apply today!

This week’s #SongWriterOfTheWeek is Ben Diskant and Sami Horneff! Today we’re playing a song from their musical The Pirate Princess, “We Could Be Pirates”. If you like what you hear and want to learn more, check out www.bendiskant.com and www.samihorneff.com.

My pal Justin Guarini (you may have met him at The Super Conference this weekend) wants to help you nail your next audition! Justin will help you create a unique and memorable vocal performance that blows your competition out of the water. Visit www.JustinGuarini.com for more information!

Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

Featured Program
The TheaterMakers Studio
Featured Product
Be A Broadway Star
Featured Book
Broadway Investing 101
All Upcoming Events

april, 2020

20apr8:00 pm9:00 pmTMS Coaching Call with Eric C. Webb

22apr4:00 pm6:00 pmApril Producer Pitch Night (Virtual)

Featured Webinar
Path to Production Webinar
Advertisement
X